One focus area for the educational training programs and research initiatives is what is termed “localization” of curriculum transfer. This effort includes consideration of cross-cultural factors, which influence and guide curriculum sharing across international, language, and cultural boundaries. Effective curriculum transfer/sharing strategies are studied as we deliver educational programs and evolve existing curriculum for international participants. Our efforts in this area include curriculum transfer in both directions; U.S. to International, and International to U.S. Considerations of differences in language, clinical healthcare practice patterns, professional culture - especially healthcare system provider vertical relationships (nurse-physician, student-mentor, etc.), and educational systems and expectations are key to the cross-cultural transfer of curriculum; this curriculum transfer process is called “Localization”.
SimTiki on-site international programs include post graduate short-term in-residence training programs, and J1 Visa faculty development fellowship for international educators who spend one-year or longer in-residence at SimTiki. The fellowship focus incorporates training in cross cultural aspects of healthcare curriculum development and facilitation techniques. SimTiki fellowship participants have included healthcare professionals from Thailand, Japan, and Korea.
In addition to international cultural competency, the SimTiki simulation center conducts a broad variety of courses, which are focused on vertical cross-cultural competency within the U.S. health care system. Initiatives in this discipline have been termed interprofessional or interdisciplinary initiatives and are largely focused on communications and teamwork building. This is an area that is not traditionally considered in the cross-cultural competency rubric yet encompasses many of the core elements in the AAMC definition of cultural competence.
SimTiki supports initiatives in Telehealth including leadership of the HRSA funded Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center (PBTRC) www.pbtrc.org. Dr. Deborah Birkmire-Peters of TRI is the PBTRC director. The PBTRC mission includes “Empowering cultural diversity and creating a synergistic telehealth community.”
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