Health Care


In a country where 92% of U.S. residents believe in God, religion is one of the key social factors that can affect medical care. Unfortunately, this topic receives very little attention in cultural competency training. As a result, today’s health care professionals are faced with increasingly diverse patient populations with needs that they may not be prepared to manage. Tanenbaum’s curricula for medical educators fill this need.

To learn more, email us at [email protected].

“A unique resource for anyone who wishes to embrace life in the global village of today and the future.”

Judith S. Jacobson, DrPH, MBA Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Religious and Cultural Competence for Medical Students: Advancing Patient-Centered Care is a free resource and curriculum for medical educators to improve the knowledge and practical skills of their students in caring for religiously and culturally diverse patients.

Each curriculum module (Trigger Topics and Spiritual Histories) includes a PowerPoint presentation and facilitator’s guide. The facilitator’s guide provides a detailed outline for medical educators on how to present the materials and instructions for facilitating discussions and skills-building activities. Materials can be used either as a stand-alone course or as supplementary information to be integrated into existing medical school curriculum.

Trigger Topics

Trigger Topics: Where Religion & Health Care Intersect 

Trigger TopicsWhere does religion come up in a patient’s decision-making process and what should doctors do about it? This learning module outlines 15 different areas within health care where religion emerges and offers a wide variety of case study examples that can be used for discussion and learning.

Click here to download.

Spiritual Histories

Spiritual Histories: Putting Religio-Cultural Competence into Practice 

Spiritual HistoriesHow and when should health care providers ask patients about their religious beliefs and what should they do with the information? This learning module provides concrete guidelines and strategies in answer to these questions as well as case study discussions and role-play activities to reinforce this learning.

Click here to download.

Made possible with the generous support of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation,
the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Louis and Rachel Rudin Foundation

A Training Program for Residents

Facilitator's Guide-Full-day trainingImproving Patient Care through Religious and Cultural Competence: A Training Program for Residents

Tanenbaum, in collaboration with Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital of Westchester New York, developed an extensive and comprehensive set of training materials on “religio-cultural competence.”

These teaching materials serve as a resource for residency program directors to improve the professionalism and communication skills of their residents in caring for religiously and culturally diverse patients.

The curriculum contains a series of training modules guided by PowerPoint presentations and accompanying facilitator’s guides.  The facilitator’s guides provide a detailed outline for medical educators on how to present the materials and instructions for facilitating discussions and skills-building activities.



Need more information on the curriculum? Contact our Health Care experts.

Interested in a train-the-trainer? Contact our Health Care experts for more information.

Made possible with the generous support of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.


Improving Religious & Cultural Competence in Israeli Health Care

Israel is a country where religion plays an important role in many people’s lives, and where there is great diversity among and within religious traditions. As a result, religious identity is a key social factor that can affect patients’ health care preferences, as well as the care they receive. While many providers in Israel recognize these issues, training and resources are sparse.

Tanenbaum, in collaboration with Three Faiths Forum Middle East, has therefore developed cutting-edge materials designed to support Israeli health care providers and institutions in providing religio-culturally competent care for patients from across the spectrum of religious backgrounds and practices.

What is the current state of religio-cultural competence in Israeli health care? Through a series of in-depth interviews with health care providers and cultural competence experts, Tanenbaum surveyed what is currently in place to care for diverse patient populations. We then recommended approaches for making patient care even better. Our findings are available in English, Hebrew and Arabic.
Download the Assessment Report in Arabic
Download the Assessment Report in English
Download the Assessment Report in Hebrew

How can health care providers deliver more culturally competent care? This PowerPoint deck and accompanying Facilitator’s Guide present specific examples that illustrate when religion comes up in patient care, together with concrete strategies for addressing this dynamic when it arises. This resource, available in both English and Hebrew, is designed for self-learning and/or for medical educators who want to train others.
Download the Facilitator’s Guide in English
Download the Facilitator’s Guide in Hebrew

Made possible with the generous support of the Polonsky Foundation & the Sternberg Foundation

© 2014 Tanenbaum | Center for Interreligious Understanding

Religious and Cultural Competence: Advancing Patient-Centered Care © 2014 by Tanenbaum | Center for Interreligious Understanding. All rights reserved. No part of these materials may be used or reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any other form or by any other means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express written permission of Tanenbaum | Center for Interreligious Understanding, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

First published 2014.

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