R1: Community Medicine Rotation
(and longitudinal R2 Community Medicine)

(1 Rotation)



Community medicine lies at the heart of what we do as family physicians.  Most of the illness we see in our patients directly or indirectly results from forces in our society:  poverty, inequality, racism, violence, exploitation.  In a sense, our clinical work is only a band-aid for the ills of the individuals and families who enter our clinics seeking health care.  Our specialty occupies a unique position at the nexus of individual, family and community.  In our everyday clinic work we identify and treat the common medical conditions that affect our patients.  We start to see patterns and trends:  epidemics of heart disease, obesity, depression, substance abuse. Using the tools of epidemiology and basic principals of public health, we can take the next step of learning about the macro forces that lie behind these illnesses.  Our advocacy in our communities for affordable housing, living wages, ending food deserts and addressing institutional violence and racism have the potential to impact the health and well being of the people we serve in as powerful a way as using a prescription pad.  We seek to make an education about the social determinants of health more than an intellectual exercise.


Goals of the Community Medicine CURRICULUM:

  • To develop the skills necessary to conduct occupational, environmental and population-based health assessments
  • To foster an awareness of and appreciation for the many local public and private organizations working toward a common goal of improving the health of the community
  • To develop the leadership skills, organizational abilities and communication skills essential to effective community organizing. 


Community Medicine Curriculum

  • Starts in R1 Block 1 with Social Determinants of Health 101 and walking tours of clinic neighborhoods
  • R1 Block rotation in Community Medicine with places residents in a variety of community organizations
  • Longitudinal: R2s participate in monthly 4 hour workshop in the nuts and bolts of community organizing led by community organizers from Sound Alliance, a coalition of community benefit organizations
  • Community Medicine project.  This can be an individual project or a group project that develops our of the R2 workshops.