Exploring Tertiary Health Science Student Willingness or Resistance to Cultural Competency and Safety Pedagogy

Sowbhagya Micheal, Anita Eseosa Ogbeide, Amit Arora, Stewart Alford, Rubab Firdaus, David Lim, Tinashe Dune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


There is an increasing body of literature that considers the relevance and experiences of cultural competency and safety training in health professional students. However, less is written about Australian tertiary learners’ experiences of engaging with cultural competency training. The aim of this study is to explore tertiary students’ willingness or resistance to cultural competency and safety pedagogy. Qualitative student feedback to a teaching unit was collected and triangulated with data from focus groups with tutors. Results were thematically analyzed. Willingness and resistance to cultural competency and safety teaching emerged as two key themes. Willingness to engage with the unit was largely due to student interest in the content, teaching environment and relevance of cultural competency to students’ future practice. Resistance was linked to the students feeling personally attacked, or culturally confronted, with tutors noting the topics around sexuality and white privilege being more resisted. Acknowledging reasons for student resistance and developing strategies to reduce resistance can facilitate more student engagement with cultural competency topics, ultimately leading to their future provision of culturally competent healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9184
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural competency and safety
  • Patient-centered care
  • Student retention
  • Student transition
  • Teaching and learning


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring Tertiary Health Science Student Willingness or Resistance to Cultural Competency and Safety Pedagogy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this