Cultural Competency: What is it and How Can I Become More Competent

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Cultural Competency Defined

  • Set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.  (US Department of Health and Human Services)
  • Ability to understand, appreciate, and interact with persons from cultures and/or belief systems other than one's own. (
So, cultural competency sounds like a good thing, particularly with our world becoming ever smaller. But you might ask yourself, “How can I enhance my cultural competency—and what impact might that have on how I practice veterinary medicine?”

The links below will take you to some tools to get you started on your path toward culturally competency. 

This resource was developed through a partnership with the AVMA Future Leaders Program, which is funded by Zoetis Animal Health.