Health Care in the Age of Mass Incarceration: A Selective Course for Medical Students in Their Preclinical Years

Date of Review: January, 2021

This resource, from MedEdPortal, is a 3.5-hour elective course offered to preclinical medical students at John Hopkins University. Students attended three separate sessions ranging from an hour to an hour and a half in length, over three weeks. This course utilizes a multimodal approach to instruct students by providing a didactic session, case scenarios, reflection, and firsthand accounts. The first session provided an overview of the history of mass incarceration in the United States, health care disparities experienced by the incarcerated population, and an overview of health care delivery in the prison system. The second session utilized a case-based approach which allowed students to discuss case scenarios of medical care provided in the prison system during a small group exercise. The students participated in a reflection exercise regarding how incarceration influenced the type and quality of care that the patient received. The third session focused on reentry challenges experienced as well as advocacy. During this session, three formerly incarcerated individuals shared challenges they experienced after their release, and informed students of how they can advocate for currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. This curriculum is appropriate for preclinical medical students and other health students who will provide care to those who are incarcerated or have experienced incarceration. –Ashti Doobay-Persaud, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:


John Hopkins University

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

Baltimore, Maryland

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner Satisfaction or reaction

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Outcome and Study Design:

Post Only

Level of Learner Assessment:

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

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