Training Primary Care Providers in Culturally Competent, High Quality Health Care

Project Overview

Insight worked with the Advisory Committee on Training and Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD) to address the complex and intertwined relationship between health disparities and cultural competency and to make recommendations on how Title VII programs can best influence health disparities and affect overall quality of care. Since 1999, ACTPCMD has advised Congress and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on issues under the domain of Title VII, Section 747 programs, including the undergraduate- and graduate-level training of primary care providers, the recruitment of underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged populations, and the provision of quality health care to underserved communities.

“Training Primary Care Providers in Culturally Competent, High Quality Health Care,” ACTPCMD’s Third Report, focused on means to improve cultural competency in order to address disparities in care and improve overall quality of care. Through expert presentations, white papers, and direct research, the ACTPCMD report addressed the breadth and scope of health disparities; the association between cultural competency and health disparities; the impact of training in cultural competency and quality outcomes; and the impact of training in cultural competency on the delivery of primary care medicine and dentistry. The report found that the training of primary care physicians, dentists, and physician assistants to provide culturally effective health care is a significant strategy to help eliminate health care disparities and improve the overall quality of care for racial/ethnic minorities.

This report outlined the role that Title VII, Section 747 should play to help eliminate health disparities; it also detailed a specific set of recommendations to eliminate health care disparities in racial/ethnic minorities and to increase the quality of care for all Americans. These recommendations address provider awareness and understanding of cultural competency, the absence of relevant training education, poor cross-cultural communications, poorly arranged systems of care, and the lack of diversity in provider and leadership roles.

Core Activities

Stakeholder Engagement and Coordination of Advisory Committees and Technical Expert Panels; Policy Analysis and Assessment; Report Development and Presentation


The final report is entitled “Training Culturally Competent Primary Care Professionals to Provide High Quality Health Care for All Americans: The Essential Role of Title VII, Section 747 in the Elimination of Health Care Disparities.” (November 2003)