A Five-Year Evolution of a Student-led Elective on Health Disparities at The Alpert Medical School

Lucinda B. Leung, James E. Simmons, Julius Ho, Emma Anselin, Rian Yalamanchili, Joseph S. Rabatin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Medical students are often unprepared for social challenges in caring for safety net patients. We aim to evaluate and chronicle the evolution of a pre-clinical elective alongside medical disparities curriculum.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Medical students designed the course to supplement clinical training on care of vulnerable patients. From 2011-2015, there have been 80 first-year medical student participants, five cohorts of second-year course leaders, and two supporting faculty advisors for this 10-12 session evening elective.

RESULTS: Students (n=67) rated the course extremely highly (ranging from 4.4-4.6 on a five-point Likert scale). Medical students reported having significantly more knowledge of underserved populations after taking the course (difference=0.72, SE=0.16, P <0.001). Career interests and attitudes toward health disparities remained strong after taking the course.

CONCLUSIONS: This student-created elective equipped participants with improved knowledge in caring for underserved patients and contributed to the incorporation of health disparities in medical curriculum. [Full article available at http://rimed.org/rimedicaljournal-2016-10.asp].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalRhode Island medical journal (2013)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 4 2016


  • health disparities
  • medical education
  • underserved patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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