Educating for Advocacy: Exploring the Source and Substance of Community-Responsive Physicians

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Abstract

Purpose.

Physicians are called to be community responsive. But with few existing operational definitions, how can it be taught? The nature, inclination, and impact of community-responsive physicians were studied to address this educational fissure.

Method.

Case studies on eight community-responsive physicians were conducted. Data were qualitatively analyzed using NVivo software.

Results.

One way physicians were community responsive was through advocacy. Three themes arose: (1) having knowledge of difference, social determinants of health, and the power and privilege of physicians; (2) being influenced by role models and exposure to marginalized groups; and (3) motivation to do the right thing, give back, make a difference, and be intellectually challenged.

Conclusions.

Educational strategies to advance the teaching of physicians to be community-responsive advocates are highlighted.

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