Although physicians generally recognize that social determinants influence the health of their patients, many are unsure how they can intervene. Dr. Anne Andermann, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University in Montreal and founding director of the CLEAR Collaboration, discusses how physicians and allied health care workers can address social determinants in their day-to-day practice. She wrote a review article (subscription required) published in the CMAJ.
More than 800 000 Canadians access food banks each month, and no province or territory is unaffected by food insecurity. As citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Canadians should not have to struggle to put healthy meals on their families’ tables — families living on minimum wage should not have to go into debt to benefit from a nutritious diet. We tend to concern ourselves with these issues during traditional “giving” holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, donations to food banks hit a lull during the summer, which unfortunately coincides with increased demand due to children no longer being enrolled in school-based meal programs. We need to be concerned year-round. ...continue reading
Ryan Meili is a family physician at the West Side Community Clinic in Saskatoon, Head of the Division of Social Accountability at the University of Saskatchewan, founder of Upstream: Institute for a Healthy Society, and a health policy expert with EvidenceNetwork.ca
Recently, I was fortunate to attend the Global Symposium on the Role of Physicians and National Medical Associations in Addressing Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health held in London, England. The meeting was organized by the Canadian, British and World Medical Associations and had, among other goals, an agenda to assist public health pioneer Sir Michael Marmot in making such issues central to his upcoming role as president of the World Medical Association.
Among the attendees was Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Chris Simpson. I sat down with Dr. Simpson to explore the stories, the evidence and the politics that come into play when doctors are actors for social change. ...continue reading