The Health Equity Pathway within the Department of Medicine helps trainees understand the interconnectedness of social, environmental, health, and personal factors that impede health equity and how to mitigate the effects of inequity. The curriculum focuses on social justice, health disparities, cultural humility, social determinants of health, and care to individuals with limited resources and those living in resource-limited settings. The overarching goals are to empower residents to advocate for their patients and promote health equity for all members of their communities.
To do this, the pathway provides engagement in clinical, research, simulation, community and educational experiences to promote the achievement of health equity in practice. This is a sister pathway to the Global Health Pathway. The Health Equity Pathway emphasizes local and domestic health equity.
The goals and objectives of the Health Equity Pathway are to provide trainees with the tools and experience to:
- Identify social, behavioral, environmental and biological factors that contribute to specific individual and population health outcomes (Equity)
- Provide culturally effective care in diverse settings (Humility)
- Practice and appraise skills physicians can use to advocate for health systems change (Advocacy)
- Identify best practices for community-engaged interventions that improve health equity (Community)
- Produce a scholarly product that demonstrates proficiency in one or more of the above objectives (Scholarship)
Opportunities within the Pathway
- Residency Health Equity and Advocacy Lecture Series (available to current residents)
- Curated collection of on-line learning materials that support each of the pathway competencies
- Implicit Bias Training during PGY2 year (required of all residents)
- Facilitated antiracism workshop and UW Diversity forum
- Global Health in Wisconsin cultural competency modules and discussion session (led by Farah Kaiksow, MD, MPP)
- Book club
- 2-week Health Equity elective block
- 4-week Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) clinic elective (PGY2 and/or PGY3 year)
- Wisconsin Doctor Day for advocacy experience at the Wisconsin State Capitol
- Project opportunities and mentors listed below in Advocacy section
- Present equity/advocacy topic at residency Advances series, a Grand Rounds-like lecture where residents present a coached and evaluated systemic literature review of primary evidence that they undertake with support of faculty and library sciences.
Pathway Director, Vice Chair for Research
Chief Resident, Pathway Founder
VASH Clinic Coordinator
Director of the Global Health Pathway
How do I participate?
To participate in the Health Equity Pathway, indicate your interest through the senior schedule request survey and arrange block elective time. We hope to accommodate all residents who are interested in participating. If you have questions, please contact the program coordinator, Abby Mapes, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The HUD-VASH clinic at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is the main clinical site for the Health Equity Pathway. Senior residents can elect to do one-month VASH rotations during their second and third years. There are 13 slots and priority will be given to pathway participants. Hannah Bell, MD, coordinates the VASH clinic.
The pathway also facilitates service to the local community through medical care to underserved patient populations and community nonprofit partnerships. Participation will depend on resident interest and organizational availability. Examples include:
- MEDiC is a student-run program through the UW School of Medicine and Public Health that provides free health services at six clinics throughout Madison.
- Residents can volunteer with at the free Southside Clinic to provide medical care to a diverse population of largely uninsured, immigrant patients.
Share the Health
- Provides free gynecologic care to underserved women in Dane and surrounding counties.
- Interested residents can volunteer to gain practice with colposcopy, vulvar/vaginal biopsy, endometrial biopsy, and IUD placement.
Community Connections Free Clinic
- Community Connections Free Clinic is a free clinic in nearby Dodgeville, Wisconsin, that provides basic health care for those who cannot afford or access medical services in Iowa County and surrounding areas.
- Residents can provide primary care and urgent care services to uninsured residents of a predominantly agricultural county, through in-person visits or telemedicine.
Trainees in the Health Equity Pathway have the opportunity to partner with faculty to advocate for patients, healthcare, and workforce diversity. Faculty mentors are listed below.
Diversity in the Workforce
Needs of Veterans
Pro-Patient Medicare Regulations
Women and Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Numerous faculty members in the Department of Medicine are actively engaged in research geared toward improving health equity and health disparities. Faculty mentors include, but are not limited to:
Aging and/or Alzheimer’s Disease
Tracy Downs, MD, FACS (GU Cancer)
Jennifer Weiss, MD, MS (Colon Cancer)
Tobacco Research and Cessation
Women and Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
Other Ways to Engage on Campus
Outside of the Department of Medicine, trainees may be interested in research opportunities with other campus partners. A few of these partners include::
- Cancer Health Disparities Initiative (CHDI)
- Center for Health Policy Research
- Center for Patient Partnerships
- Center for Women’s Health Research (CWHR)
- Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE)
- Institute for Research on Poverty
- UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (CTRI)
- Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI)
Department of Medicine Grand Rounds and Recorded Lectures
Relevant Department of Medicine Grand Rounds
- Lupus Disease, Disparities and New Directions: Strategies from HIV and Beyond by Christie Bartels, MD, MS, on 9/13/19 (Cancer Health Disparities Initiative)
- Understanding Health Disparities and Equity through the Lens of Kidney Disease by Neil Powe, MD, MPH, MBA, on 6/28/19
- Battle Behind Bars: Addiction, Incarceration & Evidence-Based Treatment by Lipi Roy, D, MPH, DABAM, on 4/26/19
- How to Survive a Plague: What the U.S. Response to AIDS Can Teach Us About the Opioid Epidemic by Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, on 12/19/18
- Health Services and Care Research: Opportunities to Impact Health and Policy by Amy Kind, MD, PhD, and Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, on 12/21/18
- Climate Change and Health Risk: Learning from Recent Extreme Heat Crises by Richard Keller, PhD, on 9/28/18
- Advancing Health Disparities Research with the National Institute on Aging by Cerise Elliot, PhD, on 2/16/18
- Halfway There? Or Living on a Prayer? Assessing the HIV Epidemic on World AIDS Day 2017 by David O’Connor, PhD, on 12/1/17
- “Global Health Pathway: Bridging the Gap in Residency Education” by Dawd Siraj, MD, MPH&TM, on 9/8/17
- Rethinking Kidney Donation: Time to Chage the Status Quo? By Emily Joachim, MD, on 5/26/17
- Department of Medicine Go Big Read Panel Discussion; Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City moderated by Amy Kind, MD, PhD, on 5/4/17
- Caring for Transgender Patients by Vidthya Abraham, MD, on 2/24/17
- The Other Opioid Crisis: Learning from the USA by James Cleary, MD, on 10/21/16
- Meeting the Healthcare Needs of an Aging Population by Shari M. Ling, MD, on 5/6/16
- Sentenced to Fail: Releasing Incarcerated Prisoners into a Turbulent Healthcare System by Afaf Sharen Azar, MD, on 2/19/16
- Providing Better Care to Hmong- and Spanish-speaking Adults: Lessons Learned from our Patients by Elizabeth A. Jacobs, MD, MPP, on 10/23/15
Relevant Intern Lecture Series Talks (available to current residents)
- “You too can adopt a SDOH framework: Considering stress pathways in racial/ethnic health inequities” by Linnea Evans, PhD, MPH on 2/27/20
- “Physician Advocacy in Health Equity” by Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, on 2/18/20
- “Caring for Transgender Patients” by Vidthya Abraham, MD, on 1/23/20 (talk starts at 57:00)
- “Healthcare Inequity: May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor!” by Dawd Siraj, MD, MPH&TM, on 1/16/20
- “Forensic Nursing DV, Strangulation, Sexual Assault” by Cassilynn Brown, RN, Meriter’s Forensic Nurse Examiners Program and Mallory from DAIS on 5/4/2018
- “Impact of Unresolved Trauma on American Indian Health Disparities” by Donald Warne, MD, MPH, on 9/29/2017