Family Medicine Research on Health Equity

Cedric Fernando MD

October 20, 2022

Family physicians should be trained in the social determinants of health equity. This includes understanding the impact of health on different populations and the factors that affect these disparities. The American Academy of Family Physicians made the Family Medicine for America’s Health resource guide, which is one of many educational materials on this topic available to doctors.


The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is committed to a comprehensive strategy to improve health equity. Recent events, such as the COVID pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, have raised awareness of health disparities. As a result, the ABFM has recently made changes to its strategic plan to improve equity in family medicine.

One major focus of HETT’s research is developing actionable interventions to address health equity in the community. In order to achieve this, the HETT developed a Health Equity Toolkit. This toolkit provides information and actionable interventions for improving care systems, reducing disparities, and improving patient outcomes. The organization also collaborates closely with the AAFP Center for Diversity and Health Equity.

Identifying social determinants of health

The Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., is a nonprofit health care network that addresses the social determinants of health. The Center’s assessment tools provide information about how to measure and address social risk factors in health care. These measures can improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

Identifying the social determinants of family health and illness is essential for improving health outcomes. The social and economic conditions in a community determine health and illness. Research shows that the higher the socioeconomic status, the better the health. This trend holds true even within the same social group.

These factors include the racial and socioeconomic status of patients, housing instability, and educational attainment. To help improve health care equity, communities can develop Community-Driven Health Equity Action Plans (CHC SDOH). The community-driven action plans focus on health equity, prevention, and connection with community resources.

Identifying strategies to improve access to health care

Identifying strategies to improve access to health-care services is essential to achieving the most positive health outcomes. Good access to health care involves three distinct steps: entry into the health care system; access to essential health services; and finding a provider with whom a patient can establish a trusting relationship. Addressing barriers at each step is vital to improving the patient experience.

The first step is to identify and quantify the barriers that prevent patients from receiving healthcare services. This process may involve the use of surveys or focus groups, which may target specific subpopulations or medical conditions.

Identifying strategies to improve access to jobs

There is a growing concern about health inequities. These disparities negatively impact the lives of individuals and communities. For instance, racial disparities in health care costs are estimated to be $337 billion between 2009 and 2018. More and more, healthcare systems are working to address issues of health equity, but this is not an easy process.

Health equity requires intentional attention to social, economic, and ecological factors affecting health. Historically, family medicine has valued the ecological perspective of health. Given the growing number of health disparities, it is imperative that primary care organizations increase their social accountability. To achieve this, the organization formed the Health Equity Tactic Team (HETT), which developed action-oriented strategies. These recommendations include a shared language and learning framework, multisector partnerships, and transformative leadership.

To create a more equitable work environment, PHC organizations need to improve their equity capacity in a wide variety of ways. This may involve collaborating with other sectors, such as child welfare agencies, to tailor care to the needs of patients. It could also include active steps to stop discrimination, like holding trainings on how to deal with racism in emergency rooms.

Identifying strategies to improve access to housing

Health equity requires looking beyond health systems to address the social determinants of health. These factors can range from housing conditions to education and child care. Housing conditions can be a significant health factor for low-income families with children. Two ways to reduce health disparities are to make more affordable housing available and to offer more child care.

The research on health equity focuses on the factors affecting the health of low-income families. The findings of the study can be used to improve the health care system in low-income communities. It is important to understand the factors contributing to health inequities and how these factors can be addressed. If a community wants to improve its health care system, it needs to think about health disparities and work to get rid of them.