Exploring Health Systems Within the Context of Social Determinants of Health: A Global Health Case Study

Date of Review: October, 2018

This resource, from MedEdPORTAL, serves to introduce the topic of health systems and disparities by using a real life case in the global health context. Using case of an immigrant requiring heart surgery as a result of untreated strep throat, it involves one 2-hour session, with a 50-minute small-group problem-based learning session followed by a large-group discussion session. In the small group problem-based learning session, students propose a global health intervention. The large group session involves students describing their proposals and the facilitator discusses their possible implementation and impacts. The resource is recommended for medical students with some knowledge of cardiology, but could feasibly be implemented in many other student groups. One potential limitation is the lack of learner assessment, although this limitation seems reasonable in the context of a session meant to introduce and provoke thoughtful discussion (rather than specific knowledge goals) about these topics. This resource both contains facilitator and student guides. —David Liss, PhD, NCEAS and Ashti Doobay-Persaud, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

Where Was the Curriculum Implemented?

Hershey, PA

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Clinical Specialty:

Emergency medicine, family and community medicine, internal medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry and behavioral sciences

Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner satisfaction or reaction

Outcome and Study Design:

Post only

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