Cultural Humility: A Key Ingredient of International Collaboration In Latin America

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Lansing School of Nursing & Health Sciences, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY

Learning Objective 1: Establish a personal definition of cultural humility to guide leadership roles and educational activities when undertaking international collaboration efforts in Latin America

Learning Objective 2: Design strategies to address common barriers when beginning international collaboration (for example, emotions, inappropriate methods and solutions, lack of sustainability, economics, and politics)

The proposed oral presentation or poster will highlight the author's experiences with international collaboration in Mexico and other Latin American countries.  The concept of cultural humility (Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998) will be explored and its essence as a base upon which to build relationships and partnerships in Latin America will be emphasized.  The concepts of realistic and ongoing self appraisal and commitment to a lifelong learning process by individuals and institutions will be explored. Participants will be given strategies to reflect upon and examine these processes.

Examples of barriers encountered when attempting to build mutually beneficial clinical, educational, and advocacy partnerships with individuals, institutions, and communities will be discussed. Stories of success and failure will be shared along with ideas for sustainable partnerships. The importance of institutional consistency as well as the manner in which institutional processes can impede or support successful partnerships will be examined.


Tervalon, M., & Murray-Garcia, J. (May, 1998).  Cultural humility versus cultural competence:  a critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education.  Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9 (2), 117-125.