Cultural and Linguistic Competency & Implicit Bias

In 2021, the California Medical Association (CMA) announced new standards for Cultural Linguistic Competency and Implicit Bias in CME. The goal of the standards is to support the role of accredited CME in advancing diversity, health equity, and inclusion in healthcare. These standards are relevant to ACCME-accredited, CMA-accredited, and jointly accredited providers located in California.  AAGL is ACCME-accredited and headquartered in California.

CMA developed the standards in response to California legislation (Business and Professions (B&P) Code Section 2190.1), which directs CMA to draft a set of standards for the inclusion of cultural and linguistic competency (CLC) and implicit bias (IB) in accredited CME.

The standards are intended to support CME providers in meeting the expectations of the legislation. CME provider organizations physically located in California and accredited by CMA CME or ACCME, as well as jointly accredited providers whose target audience includes physicians, are expected to meet these expectations beginning January 1, 2022.  AAGL has been proactively adopting processes that meet and often exceed the required expectations of the legislation.

CMA CME offers a variety of resources and tools to help providers meet the standards and successfully incorporate CLC & IB into their CME activities, including FAQ, definitions, a planning worksheet, and best practices. These resources are available on the CLC and IB standards page on the CMA website.

Important Definitions:

Cultural and Linguistic Competency (CLC) - The ability and readiness of health care providers and organizations to humbly and respectfully demonstrate, effectively communicate, and tailor delivery of care to patients with diverse values, beliefs, identities and behaviors, in order to meet social, cultural and linguistic needs as they relate to patient health.

Implicit Bias (IB) - The attitudes, stereotypes and feelings, either positive or negative, that affect our understanding, actions and decisions without conscious knowledge or control. Implicit bias is a universal phenomenon. When negative, implicit bias often contributes to unequal treatment and disparities in diagnosis, treatment decisions, levels of care and health care outcomes of people based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and other characteristics.

Diversity - Having many different forms, types or ideas; showing variety. Demographic diversity can mean a group composed of people of different genders, races/ethnicities, cultures, religions, physical abilities, sexual orientations or preferences, ages, etc.

Direct links to AB1195 (CLC), AB241 (IB), and the B&P Code 2190.1:

Bill Text - AB-1195 Continuing education: cultural and linguistic competency.
Bill Text - AB-241 Implicit bias: continuing education: requirements.
Business and Professions (B&P) Code Section 2190.1 

CLC & IB Online Resources:

Diversity-Wheel-as-used-at-Johns-Hopkins-University-12.png (850×839) (
Cultural Competence In Health and Human Services | NPIN (
Cultural Competency - The Office of Minority Health (
Implicit Bias, Microaggressions, and Stereotypes Resources | NEA
Unconscious Bias Resources |
Act, Communicating, Implicit Bias (