March 08, 2017

School of Medicine launching new Health Equity Scholars Program

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The UAB School of Medicine’s Office of Service Learning is launching a new program aimed to prepare medical students with the skills and training they need to work with medically underserved populations.

The Health Equity Scholars Program will give students an understanding of the social determinants of health, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as structures like social environment, physical environment, economic system and health services that are responsible for most health inequities. The program also aims to have students demonstrate expertise in a specific area of health disparities and population health and understand common issues for medical professionals who care for people in underserved communities.

”We are excited to provide this expanded learning opportunity for select students who are motivated to providing quality care to underserved populations. We believe this will weave together their volunteerism, coursework, and scholarly work to dive deeper in a particular topic and to become both culturally competent and committed to health equity,” says Kristin Boggs, director of the Office of Service Learning.

The program’s structure contains five major components:

  • Curricular- completion of 15 hours of UASOM Service Learning electives by the time of graduation
  • Extracurricular- completion of 40 hours of direct service work by the start of the MS3 year
  • Scholarship- completion of a scholarly project (research, education, etc.) examining health equity issues
  • Teaching- teach preclinical students for four hours during the MS4 year
  • Health Equity Scholars Program Trainings - Orientation in spring of MS1 year; training retreats in fall of MS-2,-3,-4 years; and one-week special topic course in April of MS3 year.
Applications for the program are now open for first-year students and are due March 22. Interested students can contact Kristin Boggs at or 934-9212.