Optimizing Student Learning About the Social Determinants of Health

Project Summary

Addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) is a primary strategy to attaining health equity. Leading health care accreditation organizations including the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (medical school), the American College of Graduate Medical Education (residency and fellowship) and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant require that curricula include education about the SDOH. The purpose of this project is to define optimal strategies to teach and assess learning about SDOH.

Narrowing The Gap

Although there has been growing consensus that health care students must be able to apply SDOH concepts in order to provide optimal care, there has been limited guidance on the instructional and assessment approaches for this domain. We are working to narrow this knowledge gap through an extensive systematic review of existing curricula. While examining the curricula, we have systematically reviewed and compiled existing assessment tools in order to identify the most effective SDOH tools.

Informed by our data collection efforts, we have developed and now engaged in a modified Delphi process to assess faculty, student, and community members to define optimal strategies to teach and assess learning about SDOH.

Supporting Literature:

  1. Social Determinants of Health. (n.d.). Retrieved April 02, 2017, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/social-determinants-of-health
  2. LCME. Standards for Accreditation of Medical Education Programs 2015:10-1.
  3. ACGME, American Board of IM. The Internal Medicine Milestone Project. 2015
  4. Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education. Fourth Edition. 2010.
  5. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). A framework for educating health professionals to address the social determinants of health. National Academies Press.
  6. Yardley S. Dornan T. Kirkpatrick’s levels and education evidence. Medical Education. 2012; 46: 97–106

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