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NCNM Student Cultural Climate Survey

Principal Investigator: Kim Tippens, ND, MSAOM, MPH

Does diversity in medical school better prepare medical professionals for life after academics? Are medical students prepared to treat diverse communities respectfully and effectively? How do medical students treat one another? Dr. Kim Tippens and a team of students are working to answer these questions and more with a formal survey of campus cultural climate.

The survey was distributed to the NCNM student body between November 2009-January 2010 and included questions about personal beliefs related to the role of culture in medical care, how culture influences interpersonal communication and relationships on campus, the NCNM environment (how people treat one another), and if/how issues of diversity and culture are integrated into the curriculum. The research team is currently analyzing all the data and preparing a detailed summary for the NCNM administration.

The data will be used to inform campus activities in a program of diversity awareness and discussions of health equity, including faculty and staff trainings, speakers, guest lecturers, etc. The research team plans to submit a paper summarizing their findings to an academic journal in the coming months. They are also in the process of refining the survey to administer it to students at other CAM schools, and hope that these institutions will also consider implementing regular assessments of climate and curriculum.