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Human Dimension Overview

The Human Dimension is at the heart of the SOM curriculum. Through the service-learning experiences and integrated curriculum, students will come to understand the many Determinants of Health – this includes the Social Determinants of Health as well as the personal, economic, and environmental determinants. Determinants fall under several broad categories: policy, social factors, health services, behavior, biology and genetics, and access.

In the Human Dimension, pairs of SOM students will be matched to 2 families in the communities we serve. They will follow these individuals, families, and communities longitudinally over the entire core curriculum, paying specific attention to three domains of health: social, behavioral, and medical.

The student will be develop a close relationship with the families and will become involved in all aspects of family members’ health, including the individual’s life, family, and community.

Activities in this course will include meeting with individuals and families in their communities and in various health care and community-based settings, meeting with peers and faculty mentor, and participating in small and large group teaching sessions.

The student teams will be closely mentored by a faculty member who will meet regularly with the student teams in a small group and review monthly themes as well as debrief and process the students’ experiences. Student case presentations and workshops will also take place in this setting. Students work in the Human Dimension will also provide the foundation for the scholarly capstone project all students complete in Phase 2.

Core focus areas will include:

  • Continuity of Care
  • Transitions of Care
  • Health Care Disparities
  • Determinants of Health broadly
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health outcomes
  • Community Systems
  • Social Services
  • Health Care Delivery systems
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Mental Health and Illness
  • Substance Abuse
  • Trauma
  • Housing and Food Insecurity
  • Professional identity formation
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