The Impact of "See the City You Serve" Field Trip: An Educational Tool for Teaching Social Determinants of Health

Aileen Y. Chang, Tracie L. Bass, Monique Duwell, Jeffrey S. Berger, Raksha Bangalore, Nancy S. Lee, Richard L. Amdur, Marcus Andrews, Esme Fahnestock, Lamek Kahsay, Jehan El-Bayoumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND : There has been limited evaluation of tools for teaching social determinants of health (SDOH).

OBJECTIVE : We evaluated a field trip as a tool for teaching SDOH to incoming medical interns.

METHODS : Incoming interns from The George Washington University participated in a bus field trip of Washington, DC, guided by community partners. The field trip introduced trainees to local neighborhoods. Pre- and postactivity surveys developed by the authors were analyzed using a Wilcoxon signed rank test. Reflection responses were recorded and counted for recurrent themes.

RESULTS : Incoming interns participated in 2015 (85 of 90, 94%) and in 2016 (96 of 116, 83%). Postactivity, basic knowledge of DC geographic health disparities increased, and a greater percentage of interns reported being at least somewhat comfortable understanding the neighborhoods from which their patients come (2015: 58% versus 89%, P < .0001; 2016: 65% versus 88%, P < .0001); identifying challenges to health care that affect low-income patients (2015: 74% versus 90%, P < .0023); describing community resources (2015: 29% versus 67%, P < .0001; 2016: 29% versus 50%, P < .0001); and referring patients to local community resources (2015: 25% versus 64%, P < .0001; 2016: 36% versus 52%, P < .0001). Interns reported that this experience improved their understanding of patients' background and local resources, and that they would change the way they practice.

CONCLUSIONS : A bus field trip guided by community partners is a feasible way to increase residents' perception of their understanding of local disparities and comfort in addressing SDOH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-122
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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