Socially Accountable Medical Education: Our Story Might Not Be Yours

  •  Brian M. Ross    
  •  Erin Cameron    


Socially Accountable Medical Education is a global educational movement transforming the development and delivery of medical schools in higher education. It is described as an upstream policy approach that seeks to align medical education and local community healthcare needs. To better understand social accountability as a policy initiative, we conducted a narrative review to identify key themes in the literature around frameworks of implementation. Our findings illustrate that social accountability has been mostly defined to date in terms of outcomes and related-actions and that there is a lack of focus on critical social constructs, such as power and place, that can reorient processes and inequities within health systems and educational institutions. We conclude that while socially accountable medical education is a promising paradigm shift in higher education, we call for a more complexified, contextualized, and nuanced approach.

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