The ability to skillfully address patients’ medical and social needs is critical to improving
health outcomes. The goals of establishing this specific track with a focus on the social determinants of health is to support
family medicine physicians to excel as community health leaders through commitment to social justice and community service.
AAFP supports the assertion that physicians need to know how to identify and address social determinants of health in order
to be successful in promoting good health outcomes for individuals and populations…Physicians in training must develop
awareness of the potential obstacles patients confront when following treatment plans.”
Residents in this training track learn how to screen for challenging social issues that impact health
and healthcare access.Trainees work closely with experienced social services personnel to learn about resources in the community
to help address these problems once they are identified.
A start-up goal
of SMART is to graduate two residents annually through the program starting in 2019. To reach that midstream goal, we will
be enrolling two second-year residents in 2017 and continue to bring in two dedicated residents each year. This requires an
upstream conduit of medical students with an interest in social medicine and in serving vulnerable populations and will include
local University of Kansas medical students.
The JayDoc Free Clinic is a medical student run free clinic operating out of the Family Health Care site three evenings
each week. Student interest in social medicine at the University of Kansas is high. Eighty to ninety percent of the medical
student body volunteer their evenings at JayDoc. Almost every year for the past thirteen years, the three executive directors
have not only chosen a primary care specialty, but have chosen placements in residencies with a focus on social medicine.
(There are only a handful in the country.) Four (about 1/10th) have returned
to the Kansas City area, but about half of residents who attend a residency with an emphasis in social medicine go on to work
in charity health care and about half of residents stay to work in the area near their residency training site. The downstream
goal is to develop providers with a strong interest in continuing service to the vulnerable populations in our community.