The ACP And Social Determinants

Check this out. It is not new news. It was written in 2018. But it is still important. Relevant. Actionable.  

This piece is a “Position Paper” from the American College of Physicians on Social Determinants of Health, which are defined as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.”

Spend a couple of minutes looking at the amazing impacts of social determinants. Everything from their causing 15 year variations in life expectancy to “low social support” causing about the same number of deaths as lung cancer.

Again, this is nothing new here. The importance of physicians employing a biopsychosocial model rather than a simply biological model in their approach to healthcare was first discussed in the literature over 40 years ago. Position papers forty years later are “nice,” but don’t accomplish much to eliminate the disparity in healthcare.  

As we have discussed in previous posts, healthcare industry programs like Johnson and Johnson’s “Race to Health Equity” program, committing $100 Million over the next five years to actually doing something about the healthcare inequity which has been highlighted by COVID-19 sickness and death rates, is an important step in the right direction. Bottom Line. People, we are moving too slowly on this! We can’t wait another 40 years to eliminate the horrific impacts of health inequities. Let’s all get our companies in line with J&J, put our shoulders to the wheel, and do something! 

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