Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, Co-Founder of HEAL: The Power of Perspective in Caring for the Underserved

Doctors who realize that creating a local jobs program can be as important to helping their patients as writing a prescription have the kind of broad perspective that today’s WorkforceRx guest wants all health providers to adopt. “I think that context is oftentimes lost on providers in medical school or nursing school where they’re not connecting the patient to the entire context of their lives,” says Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, the co-founder of the Health Equity Action and Leadership initiative at UC San Francisco. The idea for HEAL grew out of global public health work Shamasunder had done himself in which he felt like he didn’t understand all of the factors impacting his patients’ health status — what he calls the structural determinants of care. “That requires mentorship. It requires the correct curriculum…kind of reorienting what medical education is,” he tells Futuro Health CEO Van Ton-Quinlivan. Each class of HEAL Fellows includes a mix of doctors from the US, Navajo Nation and the Global South. “It’s this really incredible learning community where for two years, they’re doing clinical work and project work to become better advocates and better leaders.” Tune in for a thoughtful look at using medicine as a way to establish trust in resource-denied communities and how HEAL is a potential solution to address vacancies in Native communities.

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