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July 11, 2017

Social Mission in Health Professions EducationBeyond Flexner

Author Affiliations
  • 1Milken Institute of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2017;318(2):122-123. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7286

Education, research, and service are well-established missions of health professions schools and teaching hospitals in the United States. The role of social mission in these institutions is vitally important but less clear. Broadly defined, the social mission of a health professions school is the contribution of the school in its mission, programs, and the performance of its graduates, faculty, and leadership to enhancing health equity and to addressing the health disparities of the society in which it exists.1 School characteristics that are associated with commitment to social mission, include community engagement, promotion of diversity, reduction in health disparities, the responsible use of health resources, and a focus on the social determinants of health.

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