A Society of General Internal Medicine Position Statement on the Internists' Role in Social Determinants of Health

Journal of General Internal Medicine (06/09/2020) Byhoff, Elena; Kangovi, Shreya; Berkowitz, Seth A.; et al.

A Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) position statement published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine contextualizes the daily relevance of social determinants of health (SDOH) and the role academic general internists play. SGIM said as practicing physicians, its members should commit to hiring and working in interprofessional care teams to ensure delivery of whole-person care to patients. As health system leaders, members should encourage organizations to team with community members and community-based organizations. As educators, members need to integrate multimodal and experiential SDOH curricula and evaluations across physician training and licensure, and prioritize it in all aspects, including continuing medical education. "Medical and continuing education curricula should teach how structures—the large-scale organization of social, economic and political power—impact health, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and care delivery, rather than learner test scores," the authors explained. SGIN added that members, as researchers, should concentrate on nurturing partnerships with community members at all levels, and should also advocate for the assessment of health impacts of key federal policies.

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