Best Practices / Research Oral Abstract

Global Health and Intercultural Education: Advice Provided by Health Professionals in India (O001)

Joy Wee (Queen’s University); Philip Finny (Queen’s University) 


As global interactions grow, health professionals are increasingly engaging in intercultural education. Though the literature stresses a need for academic competence and cultural sensitivity, little is understood about learner experience in intercultural continuing professional education (ICPE). This study explores experiences and advice of health professionals in rural India who were taught by teachers from within and without their culture, to identify effective teaching approaches.


Set in a hospital in Northern India, semi-structured interviews were completed by 31 Indian health professionals. Purposive sampling of participants was used for maximal breadth of experience. Interviews were notated, audio-recorded, and observations kept. Ten interviews transcribed verbatim, along with content and quotes from the remaining interviews, were coded and analyzed for themes.


Presented are benefits and challenges of teaching approaches used in the classroom, clinical setting, selfand field study formats, as identified by participants. They share experiences and provide advice for teachers from other cultures on teaching methods, content, and the importance of learning about local culture for effective intercultural teaching. Teachers are encouraged to learn about local practices, beliefs, resources, education levels, lifestyles, and to focus on low-resource assessments and relevant management strategies. Teachers must understand challenges that learners face in time, energy and communication barriers, while facilitating learner participation and practise.


Preparations for effective ICPE should combine understanding of setting, learner context and local culture, with good teaching methods, in a spirit of inquiry and mutual respect.


Intercultural, education, health