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Public health students can help physicians improve health equity, JAOA study reports

Interprofessional education may help students in clinical programs to recognize social determinants of health.

Nonclinical health professionals are more likely than clinical health care profesionals to recognize the influence of environmental, socioeconomic, demographic, and nonbiological variables on patients’ overall health and well-being, according to a study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA).

The study reports interprofessional education that includes students in nonclinical health programs may help students in clinical programs to recognize social determinants of health. As a result, the researchers urge academic health centers to consider implementing interprofessional education activities within their institutions.

“Clinical participants may overlook aspects of social determinants of health when prioritizing team responses regarding the interdisciplinary care plan,” notes lead author, Pamela Ann Duffy, MEd, PhD. “Including public health students on interdisciplinary teams during training may increase medical students’ awareness of social determinants of health and their interest in incorporating a biopsychosocial approach to health care to improve patient outcomes.”

Read the full article or watch the below interview with Dr. Duffy to learn more.

In this video, Dr. Duffy talks about recognizing social determinants of health.

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