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Community Health and Advocacy Pathway

Pathway Director

Interested applicants can email Dorothea Vongoeler, MD

Pathway Description

A majority of disparities in health outcomes can be explained by socioeconomic status, psychosocial factors, and built environment.

The community medicine track is designed for residents interested in broadening their practice of medicine—regardless of their specialization plans—to include an understanding of, and the skills to address, social determinants of health.

Goals

  • Develop residents’ abilities to evaluate and understand the health needs of individuals in the context of local, regional, national and global influences–including social, economic, political, cultural and environmental forces
  • Enhance residents’ abilities to utilize, partner with, and build, community resources and do advocacy work

Highlights of the Pathway

  • Two themed ambulatory block months per year of residency, focused on bridging social determinants of health with clinical practice. Recent themes include:
    • Immigration
    • Palliative, geriatric and home-based care
    • Health system reform
    • Poverty and income inequality
    • Addiction /substance use
    • Food access/agribusiness and obesity
    • Environment and health
    • Study of the HIV epidemic
    • Correctional health
    • Mental illness
  • Seminars with outside speakers including academics, authors, community leaders, activists and organizers
  • Readings, movies, and resident presentations related to topic of the month, with the opportunity to do community-based projects and/or research projects
  • Population and public health, economic, sociological, political and historical perspectives
  • Continuity clinic at Baystate Brightwood Health Center, an innovative health center serving a low income, majority Latino population. Our health center has been a leader in the development of the medical home care coordination model.
  • Clinical care in special settings including correctional health, HIV care, farmworker outreach, addiction medicine, care coordination programs, and home visits
  • Fun field trips, exposure to legislative activities, participation in community service, outreach and advocacy with community partners

Note: Our residents have the same amount of inpatient time/schedules as the categorical residents. Graduates have gone on to pursue their specialties of choice—hospital medicine, public health and primary care.