A case-based workshop training medical students in assessing social determinants of health needs and connecting with community resources 

Date of Review: May, 2022

This resource is an article published in MedEdPortal describing a 90-minute workshop aimed at teaching undergraduate medical students how to assess social determinants of health (SDHs) and connect with the community they serve (e.g., patients, community resources, etc.). This workshop was geared to students participating in service-learning experiences to teach them how to connect patients with resources related to SDHs needs and to improve access and building trusting relationships to healthcare system. The training slides consisted of assessing barriers to health and access to health; searching for appropriate resources, including essential resources such as food, housing, and others; basic eligibility criteria and benefits of public health insurance programs; historical basis for mistrust of the healthcare system and its impacts; and five case studies. A clear facilitator guide was also included for the case studies. Some of the knowledge topics were (appropriately) specific to the area in which the workshop was held. Prior to the training, the students were provided with a pre-survey that measured their confidence and knowledge expected to be learned during the workshop. After the training, up to 2 weeks later, the students were given a post-survey that contained the same questions as the pre-survey to assess the students’ knowledge and confidence related to the training material. The training showed statistically significant increases in knowledge and confidence in all training topics and, with the smaller training groups, more focused discussion could occur. I think this single session workshop would be relatively easy for other institutions to implement into their pre-clinical training, the slide set needs to be adapted to the local context but that should be fairly simple and I think that this teaching could be integrated into a health equity curriculum and could also be used as educational scaffolding for students volunteering in their local community. –Ashti Doobay Persaud, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



Albany Medical Center

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

Albany, NY

Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Outcome and Study Design:


Level of Learner Assessment

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self-reflection, blogging with rubric)

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