Introduction: Social determinants of health cause disparities in health and life expectancy in the UK1, especially in rural populations. Communities must be empowered to control their health2, alongside clinicians being more generalist and holistic. Health Education East Midlands is pioneering this approach, creating the ‘Enhance’ program. From August 2022, up to 12 Internal Medicine Trainees (IMT) will start the ‘Enhance’ program. They will spend 1 day per week learning about social inequalities, advocacy, and public health, before undertaking experiential learning with a community partner, working together to create and implement a Quality Improvement (QI) project. This will integrate trainees into communities, and help communities utilise assets to create sustainable changes. This longitudinal program will span over all 3 years of IMT.
Methods: After conducting a detailed literature search into experiential learning and service learning programs in medical education, virtual interviews were held with researchers worldwide to discuss how they created, implemented, and evaluated similar projects. The curriculum was created using Health Education England’s ‘Enhance’ handbook, the IMT curriculum, and relevant literature. The teaching program was created with a Public Health specialist.
Results: The program commences in August 2022. Evaluation will commence thereafter.
Discussion: This will be the first experiential learning program of this scale in UK Postgraduate medical education, with future expansion focusing specifically on rural communities. Afterwards, trainees will understand the social determinants of health, health policy creation, medical advocacy, leadership, and research including asset-based assessments and QI. Trainees will be more holistic and generalist, working with and empowering their local communities. Future work will evaluate the program after commencement.
1 Marmot M, Allen J, Boyce T, Goldblatt P, Morrison J. Health equity in England: the Marmot Review ten years on. London: Institute of Health Equity, 2020. Available at https://www.health.org.uk/publications/reports/the-marmot-review-10-years-on
2 Hixon AL, Yamada S, Farmer PE, Maskarinec, GG. Social justice: the heart of medical education. Social Medicine 2013; 3(7): 161–168. Available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258353708_Social_Justice_The_Heart_of_Medical_Education