Social Determinants a System Issue

A Becker’s Hospital Review article featuring a Q&A with leaders from the Navvis and Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Population Health have partnership for the nation’s first private sector-supported academic chair in population health includes a question citing the Leavitt Partners “Social Determinants Matter, But Who Is Responsible?” white paper. The question states, “Leavitt Partners released a survey early in May that found while the majority of physicians believe social determinants of health matter, most physicians do not believe it is their responsibility address them. Where should a health system leader or physician leader begin their work, knowing that opinion?” Dr. Nash, dean of Jefferson College of Population Health, responded by saying, “We know social determinants are important, but how are we as individual doctors going to tackle this? You can’t — it’s a system issue. Part of the fix is to get this into the curriculum for medical, nursing and pharmacy schools on day one. Younger doctors will recognize it takes a system fix, but education at the individual doctor level right now does fly in the face of the population health perspective. There is tension there, no question.”