Health Equity Scholars Program

An Online Learning Community and Course (October 2015 – April 2016)


Registration Deadline: September 14, 2015


The Health Equity Scholars program explores being active within the context of a systems-oriented approach to enhancing people’s status to address health inequalities and injustices in the United States and abroad. The program is based on the principle that differences in status generate differences in health outcomes, unlike the conventional view of health disparities that points the finger at access and personal behavior. Along with building an argument for this perspective, the Program will provide Scholars with practical skills and tools to educate their peers and organize initiatives to address health disparities in their communities by studying current initiatives around the country addressing health inequity and hearing from experts on the subject.

Tentative Curriculum

Our curriculum will address the following topics: Food deserts, Diseases of Poverty, Social Support Networks and Social Environments, Health and Transportation, Disparities of Physical Environment, among others.

Each month the program will address one of the topics through the following components: assigned readings, a didactic session with an expert on the topic, and small group discussions.

Each scholar or pair of scholars will create a final project, which will need to be practical and applicable to the clinical setting or could be used by AMSA chapters. Final projects will be presented at the AMSA National Convention and posted on the AMSA website.

The Health Equity Scholars Program will run from October to February. Consisting of a total of 9 sessions, we will meet approximately biweekly from October to February. Scholars will also attend one session of their choice during Health Equity Week of Action (occurring in January) as part of program requirements.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the program, students should be able to:

  • Understand Health Equities Theory. This includes an understanding of the social determinants of health and why health disparities exists.
  • Understand how specific topics such as food deserts, transportation issues and environmental factors and how they contribute to health inequity.
  • Have the skills needed to successfully design and execute a project related to the field of Health Equity which is encouraged to be presented at the 2015 AMSA National Convention.
Participant Expectations

Medical, premedical, and public health students who are interested in topics related to health disparities, public health, and addressing the underlying causes of inequalities in health are encouraged to apply. Each Health Equity Scholar must be a member of AMSA at the start of the program. Information about registration and membership is available here.

In order for a participant to effective learn and apply the skills presented in this program, it is crucial that each participant is present for all aspects of the program.

The expectation is that each participant will complete all the mandatory assigned readings before the session, participate in an hour to hour and a half long group topic discussions, and attend all the webinars. In total, we expect that each month will require approximately 4 hours of webinar time plus outside preparation time. Participants will also be expected to design and implement a project related to health equity). Participants are encouraged to attend the AMSA National Conference in for a program graduation, but attendance at Convention is not mandatory to participate in the program.


Program Registration Fees
AMSA Student Member $40
Non-Member $140*

* Non-member fee includes AMSA membership, if applicable

For More Information, Contact

Alison Case, MD, Education and Advocacy Fellow, AMSA
Alexander Curtis, Scholars Program Coordinator