Integration of health systems science and women's healthcare

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Aug;227(2):236-243. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.04.038. Epub 2022 Apr 27.


Health systems science addresses the complex interactions in healthcare delivery. At its core, health systems science describes the intricate details required to provide high-quality care to individual patients by assisting them in navigating the multifaceted and often complicated US healthcare delivery system. With advances in technology, informatics, and communication, the modern physician is required to have a strong working knowledge of health systems science to provide effective, low-cost, high-quality care to patients. Medical educators are poised to introduce health systems science concepts alongside the basic science and clinical science courses already being taught in medical school. Because of the common overlap of women's healthcare subject matter with health systems science topics, such as interprofessional collaboration, ethics, advocacy, and quality improvement, women's health medical educators are at the forefront of incorporating health systems science into the current medical school educational model. Here, the authors have described the concept of health systems science and discussed both why and how it should be integrated into the undergraduate medical education curriculum. Medical educators must develop physicians of the future who can not only provide excellent patient care but also actively participate in the advancement and improvement of the healthcare delivery system.

Keywords: basic science; clinical science; health systems science; healthcare delivery; healthcare systems; interprofessional education; medical ethics; patient advocacy; quality improvement; undergraduate medical education; women’s health medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Schools, Medical
  • Women's Health