When interacting with both students and our patients, we want to ensure that they are comfortable and being treated equally. Being competent in diversity, equity, and inclusion means “gaining cultural competence is a lifelong process of increasing self-awareness, developing social skills and behaviors around diversity, and gaining the ability to advocate for others. It goes beyond tolerance, which implies that one is simply willing to overlook differences. Instead, it includes recognizing and respecting diversity through our words and actions in all contexts.” (de Guzman et al., 2016).
It is the job of the preceptor to demonstrate this through their daily interactions. At the beginning of the rotation, it may be a good idea to sit down with the student and discuss that they will be seeing culturally diverse athletes and address any possible issues. You want to encourage students to be curious and even do their own research on these differences.
Always remind students that asking questions about clothing, accessories, or choices is okay, but only when done in a respectable and non-judgemental way. Remember to put yourself in the shoes of the other person.