University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Health Equity Pathway

The Department of Medicine Health Equity Pathway helps trainees understand the interconnectedness of social, environmental, health, and personal factors that impede health equity and how to mitigate their effects. You'll gain skills and experiences that empower you to advocate for your patients and promote health equity for all members of the community.

The Health Equity Pathway emphasizes local and domestic health equity. It's a sister program to the Global Health Pathway.

Dr. Gabby Waclawik at White Coats for Black Lives

Program Structure

Objectives

The Health Equity Pathway provides 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)

Curriculum

Clinical Service

Clinical Electives

Two clinical electives are available for Health Equity Pathway participants:

  • 2-week Health Equity elective block
  • 2-week Homeless Access Clinic and multidisciplinary home visits at the William S. Middleton VA Memorial Hospital (PGY-2 and/or PGY-3 year)

Homeless Access Clinic

The Homeless Access Clinic at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital is the main clinical site for the Health Equity Pathway. Senior residents can elect to rotate through this clinic during their second and third years. Priority is given to pathway participants. 

Residents rotating through this clinic can also assist with outreach to veterans experiencing homeless and review a curriculum focused on caring for patients experiencing homelessness. 

    Community Partnerships

    The pathway also facilitates service to the local community through medical care to underserved patient populations and community nonprofit partnerships. Participation depends on resident interest and organizational availability. Examples include:

    MEDiC Clinics

    • 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

    • This free clinic in nearby Dodgeville, Wisconsin, 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.

    Healing House

    • Healing House, located in Madison, is a residential facility providing 24/7 recuperative care for families experiencing homelessness to go when a member of the family needed to prepare for a medical procedure, or to recuperate after hospitalization. 
    • Residents provide general education on medical topics like medical expectations in the postpartum period and chronic disease pathophysiology

    Solace Friends

    • Solace Friends is a community-based project looking to offer housing and comfort care to individuals experiencing homelessness at the end of life.

    Scholarly Activity

    Trainees will define a health equity project with a faculty mentor. This could be in the form of educational materials for their colleagues (e.g., creating a new learning activity for future Pathway participants), original research (poster, oral presentation, abstract or publication at any national or international meeting), QI project to reduce inequities, or a community-engaged project (e.g., working with a local organization to write a grant or produce a community publication). 

    Health Equity Pathway participants can also gain advocacy experience at Wisconsin Doctor Day at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

    Health Equity Pathway participants will present an equity/advocacy topic at the residency program's Advances series. In this Grand Rounds-like lecture, residents present a coached and evaluated systemic literature review of primary evidence.

    More Ways to Engage on Campus

    Program Leadership

    Program Director

    How to Participate

    To participate in the Health Equity Pathway or for more details, contact the program coordinator.

    Program Coordinator