Advancing health equity through an interprofessional approach

Integrating a social justice lens into education and practice.
Students at commencement

Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) champions an interprofessional approach to health equity, anchored in a steadfast commitment to social justice across all our programs. From the Doctor of Medicine (MD) to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Master of Public Health (MPH), Special Master's in Biomedical Sciences (MBS), and Physician Assistant (PA), Tufts’ School of Medicine integrates a social justice lens into every aspect of education and practice.

Our programs are meticulously designed not only to train skilled and dedicated clinicians, scientists, public health professionals, and researchers but also to instill in students a profound commitment to improving health care for all.

A focal point of our curricula is delving into the social and behavioral determinants of health and their role in driving disparate health outcomes among historically underserved communities.

Our mission is to cultivate graduates who mirror the diversity of the communities they serve. The School of Medicine is dedicated to enrolling and educating a diverse student body that celebrates the strengths of peers, faculty, staff, and all impacted by our collective efforts.

Through hands-on learning experiences, interdisciplinary projects, and community outreach, TUSM students acquire practical skills and insights into the intricacies of health care delivery. They learn to collaborate seamlessly across disciplines, leveraging their combined expertise to devise holistic solutions to pressing health challenges.

As an institution, we are steadfast in our commitment to fostering a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, and social responsibility. By equipping students to confront the social determinants of health and advocate for health equity, the School of Medicine is shaping the future of health care to be more equitable, inclusive, and accessible for all.

Hear from our faculty

Eric Hegedus

Tufts DPT programs emphasize the social determinants of health, recognizing the significant impact of factors like living conditions, work environment, and access to resources on individual and community well-being. Graduates are trained not only to treat symptoms but also to advocate for systemic change, ensuring equitable access to health and wellness. Embracing an interprofessional approach acknowledges the complexity of human health and guards against unconscious biases, promoting better patient care and outcomes.

Eric J Hegedus, PT, DPT, PhD, MHSc, Professor and Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Headshot image of Haili

The PA program begins with a focus on public health and health care inequities in Primary Care Medicine 1. Throughout the didactic year, students engage in case discussions and lectures on health care disparities, applying their knowledge during clinical rotations in the second year. Interprofessional practice exercises further reinforce these concepts, as PA students collaborate with peers from other Tufts Medical School programs in simulated cases addressing patient disparities. Emphasizing these principles not only equips our students with the knowledge and skills to recognize and address health care inequities but also fosters collaboration across disciplines.

Haili Dunbar, PA-C, MMS, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine