Article: Study shows medical students more likely to screen for SDOH after medical-legal education

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

By Robert Pettignano, Lisa Bliss, Susan McLaren & Sylvia Caley Academic Medicine

In 2011, the authors implemented a four-session didactic interprofessional curriculum on medical–legal practice for third-year medical students at Morehouse School of Medicine. This program, also attended by law students, focused on interprofessional collaboration to address client/patient social determinant of health (SDOH) issues and health-harming legal needs. In 2011–2014, the medical students participated in pre- and postintervention surveys designed to determine their awareness of SDOH’s impact on health as well as their attitudes toward screening for SDH issues and incorporating resources, including a legal resource, to address them. Postintervention survey results indicated that students self-reported an increased likelihood to screen patients for SDOH issues and an increased likelihood to refer patients to a legal resource.