Teaching Health Equity: A Medical School and a Community-Based Research Center Partnership

Online Publication Date:
February 13, 2022
Publication Status:
Published Article MUSE Link:
Manuscript PDF File:

**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.2. All rights reserved.**

To address the persistent health inequities in the U.S., medical education must prepare future physicians to understand the systemic causes of these inequities, as well as healthcare’s role in alleviating them. Limited time and faculty expertise often necessitate innovative strategies to augment existing medical education curriculum with content and experiences to expose medical students to these facets of health inequity. In this report, we describe a partnership between the Chicago Medical School (CMS), a community-based medical school, and the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI), a community-focused research center in Chicago, Illinois. As a part of this partnership, SUHI hosts a summer internship for 7 to 15 medical students per year to teach about health equity, population health, and public health research. The internship includes project-based learning, a structured curriculum, and community tours and volunteering. A total of 62 CMS medical students have participated. Student surveys consistently showed high levels of satisfaction with the program across all years (2013-2018, 2020). Almost all students report that they were exposed to new ideas and issues (96.6%), and that the new knowledge and skills were applicable to their future work as physicians (91.7%). Other medical schools may benefit from collaborative models with public health research organizations to complement existing curriculum, opportunities for research, and engagement with marginalized populations.