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Cultural Competency

This guide contains links to various kinds of resources on cultural competency.

Overview of Latino / Hispanic Health: Websites

Rutgers NJMS ODCE Contact Information

Office for Diversity and Community Engagement
New Jersey Medical School 
185 South Orange Avenue, MSB B624 
Newark, NJ 07103

(973) 972-3762

(973) 972-3768

Rutgers University Resources

Hispanic Center of Excellence - Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School

Promoting Academic and Medical Excellence in the Hispanic Community

Established in 1991, the Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE) has a primary goal of improving the health status of the Latino and other underserved populations by increasing the number of Latinos in the health professions and in particular medicine. As we enter our 20th year, the HCOE has focused its initiatives at enhancing academic performance of Latinos and other individuals from other underserved backgrounds; increasing the recruitment and retention of faculty; increasing the school's diversity through the recruitment and retention of Latino faculty; and developing the capacity of all graduates to provide culturally competent healthcare services. The HCOE seeks to reduce disparities in healthcare by supporting individuals committed to advance the goals of diversity in the medical profession and improve healthcare to underserved populations.

The programs of the Hispanic Center of Excellence are sponsored through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Health Careers Diversity and Development. For more information, visit

The diversity of our nation, combined with a shortage of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in the health professions, presents a significant challenge for medical education and academic medicine. Since 1972, NJMS has implemented programs in an effort to meet these challenges. With the support of the Hispanic Center of Excellence, NJMS continues to make significant strides in paving the way for student curriculum and faculty development in response to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education Standard on Cultural Competency. These standards maintain that medical school "faculty and students must demonstrate an understanding of the manner in which people of diverse cultures and belief systems perceive health and illness and respond to various symptoms, diseases, and treatments. Medical students should learn to recognize and appropriately address gender and cultural biases in health care delivery, while considering first the health of the patient."

To ensure that all graduates master the core competencies requisite for a culturally competent provider, a comprehensive plan that involves all four years of medical education was developed. In November 2003, school-wide education goals and objectives has been approved. Specifically, Goal 4 is "Commitment to the Health of the Community and Appreciation of Social and Cultural Diversity." Students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to obtain a history and physical that accommodates a patient's belief systems
  • Demonstrate cultural and linguistic competency
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop a treatment plan that accommodates the cultural, social and economic context of the patient

These education goals and objectives are of paramount significance, embracing the implementation of cultural competency as one of the courses without walls. The Hispanic Center of Excellence plays a critical role in developing and implementing an integrated, vertical and longitudinal curriculum conceptualizing cultural competency and its impact in reducing health disparities in the United States.


Mission Statement & Goals

The mission of the Hispanic Center of Excellence is to:

  • Increase the number of Latino physicians by expanding the educational pipeline for students interested in medicine.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to Latino and other faculty.
  • Prepare medical students, faculty and residents in delivering culturally competent healthcare services to the community.
  • Increase the quality and quantity of research on health issues that impact Latinos and other underserved populations in our nation.


  • Increase the qualifications and academic development of Latino and other disadvantaged students at the pre-college through matriculation and graduation from the New Jersey Medical School.
  • Provide students with research opportunities on health related issues affecting Latino and other underserved communities.
  • Introduce and expose medical students to health issues afflicting underserved communities.
  • Increase access to literature on topics that impact the care of the Latino community. For further information, please click here.
  • Enhance the performance of all students in caring for diverse populations through a culturally and humanistic approach.
  • To develop curricular initiatives that addresses cultural competence education and training for all medical students, faculty, and administrators.
  • To increase the diversity of NJMS' faculty by fostering the recruitment and development of Latino faculty in our institution. Click here

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