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NHLBI: Teaching Multi-cultural Practice

Resources for Education

Unnatural Causes

Unnatural Causes small group discussion guides now available!

Discussion Guides

Seven small group discussion guides have been developed by Dr. Olivia Carter-Pokras and other members of the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals to accompany the upcoming four-hour documentary series exploring America’s racial and socioeconomic inequities in health: Unnatural Causes. Produced by California Newsreel with Vital Pictures, Inc., the series has recently been awarded the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award which is considered to be the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. The purpose of the discussion guides is to acquaint medical and other health professional students with examples of specific health disparities that affect communities in the United States, bring to their attention the role that social determinants of health play in these disparities, and foster discussion regarding solutions and action that can be taken to eliminate these health disparities.  The discussion guides are posted on this site, here.

Six discussion guides are designed for 60 minute small group sessions (28 minute video followed by a half hour discussion). The discussion guide to accompany the introductory video,In Sickness and In Wealth, is designed for a 90 minute small group session.  The small group discussions can be facilitated by medical, health professional, and/or epidemiology faculty or graduate students. Facilitators will have familiarized themselves with material in the video and suggested readings as well as the Unnatural Causes Discussion Toolkit.  Facilitators may also have completed “A Physician’s Practical Guide to Culturally Competent Care” and/or “Culturally Competent Nursing Care: A Cornerstone of Caring,” training programs designed for providers to increase cultural competence through case studies about awareness of racial and ethnic disparities in health, and through curricula about accommodating increasingly diverse patient populations and improving the quality of health care services given to diverse populations (http://www.thinkculturalhealth.org).  Students should be provided the background readings at least one week in advance of discussion.

Discussion Guides

"In Sickness and In Wealth" Questions | Answers

"Bad Sugar" Questions | Answers

"Becoming American" Questions | Answers

"When the Bough Breaks" Questions | Answers


Unnatural Causes


  • NCME @ Health Literach Annual Research Conference
    • Two workshops on cultural competency and MedEdPORTAL
    • October 17-18, 2011, Chicago, IL
  • RWJ National Health Plan Collaborative Toolkit
    • This toolkit has resources, lessons, best practices and case studies to assist health plans reduce disparities.
  • AHRQ Health Literacy Toolkit
    • The toolkit can help your practice and communicate with patients.
  • Stopping Discrimination Before it Starts: The Impact of Civil Rights Laws on Healthcare Disparities
  • Curricular Products from the National Consortium for Multicultural Education for Health Professionals
  • Conferences:
    • AAMC annual meeting 2010
      • November 5-10, Washington, DC
    • APHA annual meeting 2010
      • November 6-10, Denver, CO