School of Medicine voices: Social determinants of health

April 8, 2015

Social determinants of health – things like a person's living situation, nutrition, exercise and social circumstances – are increasingly seen as integral to improving health outcomes and preventing disease. OHSU School of Medicine leaders and students are making their voices heard on how the topic relates to medical education. 

George Mejicano, M.D., senior associate dean for education, OHSU School of Medicine, was a guest on Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud program April 6. The topic of the talk show was a recent study finding that a majority of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools reviewed did not require exercise-related courses. During the talk show, Dr. Mejicano described how the school's new medical student curriculum, YOUR M.D., incorporates exercise and other social determinants of health to prepare future physicians for a changing health care delivery environment in which prevention is emphasized. OHSU is a national leader in this type of curriculum. Listen to the segment below or on the OPB website.

School of Medicine students are also getting in on the conversation. A group of second-year M.D. students are building a peer-to-peer teaching model to incorporate social determinants of health into the YOUR M.D. curriculum – and advocating for the classes behind them. The national Wing of Zock blog, a project about academic medicine in transformation by the Association of American Medical Colleges, took notice and recently published two columns from members of the OHSU M.D. Class of 2017.

Larissa Guran, MPH, wrote Instituting Effective "Time Outs" at Oregon Health & Science University, published in February. In response, Anushka Shenoy wrote Students Teaching Students: Passion, Collaboration, Innovation, published in March. 

Both student pieces are republished with permission on the OHSU StudentSpeak blog. Want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment for our students!