Few internal medicine residencies offer formal health disparity training, study finds

Sixty percent of internal medicine residency programs in the United States do not have formal curricula on health disparities, a study published in JAMA Network Open found.

Researchers surveyed 227 program directors and 22,723 internal medicine residents about their training in health disparities in 2015.

About 40 percent of program directors said they had a curriculum on health disparities, and only 17.8 percent said the quality of this training was “good” or “excellent.”

About 70 percent of residents received bedside training involving patients at risk of health disparities. Of these, 79 percent rated the training quality as “very good” or “excellent.”

Residents who cared for more patients from underserved communities reported having more training in health disparities, even if their program didn’t have a formal curriculum. 

These findings highlight “the opportunity to teach around health disparities at the point of care, but also the need for standardized curriculum and capable faculty,” study authors said.

To view the full study, click here.

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