Designing a Social Determinants of Health Curriculum Through Interprofessional Education and Community Partnership

02-15-2019 21:28

The LCME requires medical schools to provide education on health disparities while emphasizing the importance of underserved care. To meet these goals and equip students to reduce health disparities, faculty members at the UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest School of Medicine teamed up to develop a longitudinal population health curriculum focusing on social determinants of health and health disparities. Nine web-based modules include content on population health management, early childhood development, health care access/quality, housing, built environment, environmental exposures, food security, employment and transportation. Each topic presents the health disparity, its determinants and impact, measurement tools and case studies illustrating successful interventions. In addition to online and classroom content, modules incorporate field visits for hands on experience with local community organizations. Both medical schools are integrating content with existing curricula and additionally developing a certificate program in population health. The focus of this presentation will be the design and implementation strategy undertaken by UNC including the challenges of introducing a curriculum component in population health. The innovation includes community partnership and integration of the social determinant modules within an interprofessional course comprising students from the schools of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, PA, social work, public health, dentistry and allied health.

Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Discuss the importance of introducing social determinants of health to undergraduate medical students within an interprofessional learning context;
  2. Describe an effective process for engaging community partners in the education of future physicians and other health professionals in health disparities and social determinants;
  3. Discuss the challenges of designing interactive learning modules and tools for the new generation of health professions students.

Author(s):Alexander Kaysin, MD, MPH; Sarah Nickolich, MD; Nancy Denizard-Thompson, MD; Amber Brooks; David Miller; Beat Steiner, MD, MPH
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