Course: Risk Management Consult: Achieving Cultural Competence
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 6
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 5.50
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 30
Course Release Date: 1/1/2021
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
A course to help physicians care for patients from different cultural backgrounds.

PLEASE NOTE: If you accessed this site through your insurer’s or university’s website, the courses you are viewing are already approved. If you accessed this site through, and are completing for an insurer or university, please confirm with that the course you wish to enroll in is approved.

The better you understand your patient’s language and culture, the easier it is to elicit a useful history, investigate symptoms, reach a correct diagnosis, and coordinate a mutually-agreeable treatment and follow-up plan with your patient.  Ideally, therefore, every patient should be matched with a physician who is fluent in both the patient’s primary language and his cultural background.  But in a world of 6 billion people divided among 191 nations and speaking over 6000 languages, this isn’t always possible.  And as America becomes increasingly diverse, you will inevitably find yourself attempting to diagnose and treat patients whose language, culture and beliefs may be totally unfamiliar to you.  Despite these barriers, you will still be expected to provide such patients with the same quality, compassionate care as you provide to those from mainstream American culture.  And to do this, you must develop cultural competence.
Upon completion of this course, a physician should be able to:
1. Explain the inherent dangers of allowing friends or family of the patient to serve as translators.
2. Describe the correct protocol for working with a translator.
3. Determine whether a patient from a different language or culture understands you well enough to offer informed consent and to carry out follow-up instructions.
4. Design specific strategies for identifying and overcoming communication barriers that may be interfering with your ability to provide appropriate care.

Target Audience
This course is designed for those who want to improve their ability to care for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds.
This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test.  Physicians should read the course content, answer the test questions and submit the answers for scoring.  Those who complete the course with a score of 80 percent or higher will earn a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.

This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, Ph.D.  Their CVs are available online at

Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte have any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests.
CME Information
Medical Risk Management, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians.  Medical Risk Management, Inc.designates this enduring material for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Estimated time to complete this course: 6 hours.

Nursing CE Information

Corexcel is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. Satisfactory completion of the test will earn the nurse 14.9 contact hours.

Commercial Support

This activity was developed solely by Medical Risk Management, Inc. without any commercial support.


No one in a position to influence course content has anything to disclose.