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Research Articles

Vol. 26 No. 3

Using Experiential Education in Health Professions Training to Improve Health Equity: Lessons Learned from Interviews With Key Informants

March 22, 2021


Health professions students can increase their understanding of how social determinants impact health equity through experiential learning opportunities. Using key informant interviews with faculty and staff familiar with experiential education programs in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and social work, we sought to identify key features and best practices to inform the broader implementation of these programs. Interviews were recorded and compiled notes were reviewed to identify common themes across programs. Experiential learning helped teach students competencies related to health equity. However, many programs were challenged by limited infrastructure and the need for faculty training on health equity topics. Key informants noted that programs should be linked to accreditation and curricular requirements. Strong community partnerships also facilitated successful program implementation. Our findings can help guide other schools considering experiential learning programs, as well as future research in this area.