Intercultural Competence in EMP Training: A Case Study and Implications for Syllabus Design

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Due to the development of global economy and increased geographical and occupational mobility, communication with people from multicultural backgrounds has become commonplace in many healthcare institutions. As the demographic profiles of both patients and medical personnel are increasingly varied, intercultural competence (IC) has become an integral component of English for Medical Purposes (EMP) training. However, are medical students generally familiar with the notion of intercultural competence? What intercultural aspects should they be aware of in order to practise effectively when they graduate? The aim of this article is to present medical students′ understanding of IC based on a survey conducted among undergraduate learners at the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland. The article begins with a discussion on intercultural competence in the context of health care. Following this, a discussion on why intercultural competence needs to be incorporated and used in Medical English programmes is presented.

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