Workshop Symposia

Addressing Challenges in Teaching Cultural Competence (W037)

Kenneth Fung (University of Toronto); Lisa Andermann (University of Toronto); Hung-Tat (Ted) Lo (University of Toronto)


Cultural Competence (CC) is a cornerstone for providing effective healthcare to diverse populations. However, there are many challenges to teaching CC from multiple levels, from learner’s resistance to institutional factors. This workshop will give participants a practical framework to understand challenges in teaching CC and discuss ways to address such challenges.


While Cultural Competence (CC) has been acknowledged to be an important part of health professional education and standards, educational efforts in this area are still in early stages of development in many institutions. A number of challenges arising from different sources can be identified, from learner’s resistance to institutional factors. The purpose of the workshop is to provide participants with: (i) a framework for CC; (ii) a model for identifying and understanding the multiple challenges that CC educators encounter; and (iii) approaches for addressing such challenges.


In this workshop, we will have a brief slide presentation on our framework for CC and our model for identifying and understanding the multiple challenges that can hinder the successful implementation of CC educational programs. Participants will be engaged in interactive experiential learning exercises to explore these challenges from diverse perspectives. A large group discussion will follow to consolidate strategies for overcoming these educational challenges.

Expected Outcomes

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

1. Describe foundational concepts of cultural competence (CC)

2. Identify common obstacles in implementing a CC curriculum or training program

3. Develop an approach and practical strategies to successfully negotiate challenges in implementing CC training programs