This paper presents findings from a qualitative investigation of cultural awareness that medical students developed in the context of providing medical care to refugees. The evaluation question was: What kinds of cultural awareness and communication lessons do medical students derive from clinical encounters with refugee patients? Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted to debrief a sample of 27 medical students. A multidisciplinary research team analyzed the debriefing texts following an interpretive “immersion-crystallization” approach. Three domains in cultural awareness training encompassed 13 key lessons or themes. Students reported enhanced awareness about the use of interpretation services and cross-cultural communication. A second set of lessons reflected awareness of the refugees’ cultural background, and a third learning component involved experiences of cultural humility.
An important policy initiative implemented for the past 40 years in Canada, refugee private sponsorship has attracted international attention as Europe continues to grapple with