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Today, there is a continuum of concepts and terminology that address cultural concerns and the implications on occupational therapy education and practice. Researchers and program developers in medical education face the challenge of implementing and evaluating curricula that teach health care students how to effectively and respectfully deliver care to increasingly diverse populations. Inherent in this challenge is clearly defining educational and training outcomes consistent with this imperative. The traditional notion of competence as mastery of a theoretical body of knowledge and demonstrated application of skills may not be appropriate to the area of cultural sensitivity, cultural competence, and cultural proficiency. Cultural humility and cultural effectiveness are proposed as more suitable goals in multicultural education and application of attitudes and interactions during the clinical practice of occupational therapy (see Appendix A for definitions of these terms). Ethical considerations dictate that cultural competence should be considered in activities such as hiring practices, teaching, evaluation, and supervision of staff and students. There is an equally important need for all occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to continually improve their level of cultural humility and to establish a mechanism for the evaluation of competence-based practice. Guided by the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2015), occupational therapy practitioners should take a leadership role not only in disseminating knowledge about diverse client groups but also in actively advocating for fair, equitable, and culturally appropriate treatment of all clients served. This role should extend within and outside the profession. In the Principles and Standards of the Code, occupational therapy practitioners have a framework to guide their decisions when cultural conflicts arise.

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