Concordance of resident and patient perceptions of culturally dexterous patient care skills

Document Type



General Surgery


Purpose: Disparities in surgical care persist. To mitigate these disparities, we are implementing and testing the Provider Awareness and Cultural dexterity Toolkit for Surgeons (PACTS), a curriculum to improve surgical residents' cultural dexterity during clinical encounters. We analyzed baseline data to look for concordance between residents' self-perceived cultural dexterity skills and patients' perceptions of their skills. We hypothesized that residents would rate their skills in cultural dexterity higher than patients would perceive those skills.
Methods: Prior to the implementation of the curriculum, surgical residents at 5 academic medical centers completed a self-assessment of their skills in culturally dexterous patient care using a modified version of the Cross-Cultural Care Survey. Randomly selected surgical inpatients at these centers completed a similar survey about the quality of culturally dexterous care provided by a surgery resident on their service. Likert scale responses for both assessments were classified as high (agree/strongly agree) or low (neutral/disagree/strongly disagree) competency. Resident and patient ratings of cultural dexterity were compared. Assessments were considered dexterous if 75% of responses were in the high category. Univariate and multivariate analysis was conducted using STATA 16.
Results: A total of 179 residents from 5 surgical residency programs completed self-assessments prior to receiving the PACTS curriculum, including 88 (49.2%) women and 97 (54.2%) junior residents (PGY 1-2s), of whom 54.7% were White, 19% were Asian, and 8.9% were Black/African American. A total of 494 patients with an average age of 55.1 years were surveyed, of whom 238 (48.2%) were female and 320 (64.8%) were White. Fifty percent of residents viewed themselves as culturally dexterous, while 57% of patients reported receiving culturally dexterous care; this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.09). Residents who perceived themselves to be culturally dexterous were more likely to self-identify as non-White as compared to White (p < 0.05). On multivariate analysis, White patients were more likely to report highly dexterous care, whereas Black patients were more likely to report poorly dexterous care (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: At baseline, half of patients reported receiving culturally dexterous care from surgical residents at 5 academic medical centers in the United States. This was consistent with residents' self-assessment of their cultural dexterity skills. White patients were more likely to report receiving culturally dexterous care as compared to non-White patients. Non-White residents were more likely to feel confident in their cultural dexterity skills. A novel curriculum has been designed to improve these interactions between patients and surgical residents.


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Surgical Education