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Brown University

Docs for Health: Considering Social and Structural Determinants in Medical Care

Brown University via Independent


Program Release: March 17, 2022 Expiration Date: March 17, 2024 Estimated time to complete: 33 Minutes There are no prerequisites for participation. Speaker Rahul Vanjani, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Brown Medicine Providence, Rhode Island Overview Although physicians are increasingly aware of the impact of social and structural determinants of health on their patients’ well-being, they may feel under-resourced and powerless to help, and constrained by the competing demands that arise during a typical medical encounter. The societal-level causes of structural racism, poverty, and other drivers of inequity can leave the generalist feeling helpless and resigned to focusing on the narrowly biomedical aspects of care. Failing to address contextual factors, however, can render strictly biomedical interventions ineffective. Physicians can, in fact, have an impact if they have the tools. Docs for Health (DFH) is a website with prepared forms and letters in six categories for advocating for and assigning patients in areas related to criminalization, housing, immigration, income support and transportation. It empowers physicians to assist patients in accessing resources and other sources of community support to address contextual factors complicating their care. This presentation is designed to provide participants with both a scaffold for identifying contextual factors during a medical encounter and a practical resource that can aid in addressing them.


After completing this course, the learner should be better able to: 

  • Describe why providers are uniquely positioned to address particular social and structural determinants of health.
  • Understand how to navigate Docs for Health, what resources are available, and how to find specific forms and letters.
  • Identify applicable forms and letters through case examples and consider how to screen for relevant SDOH.


Method of Participation and How to Receive CME Credit

There are no fees for participating in and receiving credit for this activity.

  • Review the activity objectives, faculty information, and CME information prior to participating in the activity.
  • View the CME presentation recording
  • Complete the CME activity evaluation at the conclusion of the activity in order to receive a credit certificate.

Faculty Disclosure

The Warren Alpert Medical School is committed to presenting CME activities that promote improvements and/or quality in health care and are developed free of the control of ineligible companies (formerly known as a commercial interest).It is our policy to ensure that our activities are balanced, independent, objective, scientific, and in compliance with ACCME and other regulatory requirements.

Anyone who is in a position to control the content of a CME presentation is required to disclose all financial relationships within the past 24 months with ineligible companies. This collected disclosure information has been reviewed and any potential conflicts of interested mitigated prior to the activity.

This activity may include discussion of off-label or investigative drugs uses. Speakers are aware that it is their responsibility to disclose to the audience this information.

Faculty Disclosure/Conflict of Interest

The following speakers and planning committee members* have disclosed the following:

Rahul Vanjani, MD has no financial relationships to disclose.
Emily Green*, PhD, MA receives royalties from Springer Nature.
Jennifer Maloney*, Chelsea Reyes*, Maria Sullivan, BS* have no financial relationships to disclose.

Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy: The Office of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and its educational partners protect the privacy of personal and other information regarding participants and educational collaborators. The CME Office maintains its Internet site as an information resource and service for physicians, other health professionals, and the public. The CME Office will keep your personal information confidential when you participate in a CME Internet-based program. CME collects only the information necessary to provide you with the services that you request.

Disclaimer: This educational program is designed to present scientific information and opinion to Health professionals, to stimulate thought, and further investigation.


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