An assessment of patient experiences as teachers of cultural sensitivity in an interprofessional setting

Caitlin Marie Gibson, Sarah Gordon, Annesha White, Nancy Borja-Hart, Jennifer Santee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: The importance of cultural sensitivity training in pharmacy education is well-recognized, though best practices are not well described. Traditional teaching approaches such as faculty lectures may result in overgeneralization, lack of nuance, or tokenization. Utilizing patients from diverse special populations as teachers of cultural sensitivity may mitigate these risks. However, faculty must ensure patients feel comfortable, empowered, valuable, and prepared to serve as partners in education. Educational activity and setting: Patients were used as teachers of cultural sensitivity in an interprofessional education panel activity at two colleges of pharmacy over two years. Patient experiences with training and preparation for the activity as well as their perceived benefits of partnering in student education were assessed. Findings: Overall, patients reported that training was adequate, and the educational activity provided a sufficient platform for sharing their knowledge with students. Patients felt they provided meaningful contributions to student education, learned valuable information in the process, and formed sincere relationships with each other and faculty. Faculty at other institutions may wish to adapt this activity to meet the needs of their own institution and empower patients to contribute to the education of health professions students. Practical recommendations are provided for promoting a positive patient experience. A comprehensive training program prepared and empowered patients to teach cultural sensitivity principles to an interprofessional group of health care students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1039
Number of pages8
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Cultural competency
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Interactive learning
  • Interprofessional education


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