Where cultural-awareness training is failing

Accentuating white guilt may be counterproductive

Cultural awareness training for health professionals may seem like a fine idea but it could be doing more harm than good, says a Melbourne Fulbright scholar in cultural competence.

presenting the world

In an opinion piece in the BMJ, Professor Stephane Shepherd argues that while the intention is laudable, it can lead to “over-politicisation of simple medical encounters” and perpetuate a sense of otherness.

“By emphasising differences, this training primes those who attend to view cultural minorities as wholly distinct, non-mainstream, or even