Advancing the Biosocial Perspective in the Clinical Training Environment: Surmounting the Barriers and Constructing the Framework

Acad Med. 2019 Aug;94(8):1094-1098. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002668.


Calls for integrating the biosocial perspective into medical education are abundant. The core curricula of most of health professions education, however, have yet to fully integrate this concept. In this Invited Commentary, the authors describe barriers to implementation-the lack of a shared vocabulary, core curriculum, and clinical metrics-and propose a framework for implementing curricula in social medicine and structural competence. Advancing the biosocial perspective necessitates concerted efforts to link classroom training in social medicine to the clinical training environment by implementing tools to identify and address structural vulnerability in the clinical setting. Creating clinical metrics that value health outcomes instead of processes will enable educators to model clinical practice that integrates the social determinants of health as a core component. Finally, formalizing and emphasizing social medicine in graduate medical education will reinforce and solidify the importance of the biosocial perspective in the future clinical practice of our trainees.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Social Medicine / education*