May 15, 2013

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health Within the Patient-Centered Medical HomeLessons From Pediatrics

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Garg and Zuckerman) and Family Medicine (Dr Jack), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

JAMA. 2013;309(19):2001-2002. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1471

Socioeconomic disparities in health continue to exist, despite advances in medicine.1 Since the classic Whitehall studies, it has been well known that the social context in which an individual lives and works influences health.2,3 Mitigating the harmful consequences of social factors that contribute to health disparities has largely been left to the public health and policy communities, whereas clinical medicine has traditionally focused on identifying and reducing biological risk factors for an individual patient. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH), however, offers an important opportunity to promote population health through systematically addressing the social determinants of health.

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