Examining curriculum that aims to develop change agency and critical consciousness in medical students



It is essential for medical students to develop an understanding of diverse patients and their experiences with healthcare. In particular, it is necessary for medical students to not only understand social and structural determinants of health care but personal social and cultural realities for these patients. This project seeks to understand the ways in which students, community partners and faculty contribute to deeper critical understandings about race among all participants. The course, Health in the Neighborhood, is in its fourth year and we made some modifications to expand the scope of the content and experiences this year. We'd like to evaluate the effectiveness of the course in meeting its goals as well as the overall impact the course has on students.

Overall goals and objectives for project: We'd like to determine if and in what manner the course helps students raise their critical understanding of social determinants of health, our local community, and relationship to healthcare.

We'd also like to concurrently develop a methodology for evaluating courses oriented at promoting racial/social justice in authentic community contexts.

Anticipated outcomes

We anticipate having a better understanding of the most beneficial aspects of the course for achieving its goals that can then be applied to curriculum development in the future.

We also will develop an analytical framework of qualitative and quantitative measures to use in future evaluation of curriculum and potentially instruction.

Project timeline

June 2021 - Winter 2022

Anticipated student contribution

  • Student(s) will be responsible for assisting in developing the codebook and coding reflections related to the course.
  • Student(s) will help lead, transcribe, and code interviews with past course participants.
  • Student(s) will help analyze qualitative and quantitative data to develop recommendations regarding the course and future curriculum in this area.
  • Student(s) will assist with other project needs and IRB documentation.