In celebration of our first birthday as SMA, three reflections from this year that I’ll share:
- Institutional change can take place irrespective of national climate – and even because of it. Motivated by Supreme Court decisions and anti-DEI legislation, advocates nationally used these threats as an opportunity to double down on social mission practices and policies.
- Movements can be decentralized. There are so many different community contexts and resources that can offer even more power to change efforts at a local or institutional level. A well-resourced community based workforce is a social mission investment worth advocating for, and some great examples exist.
- Without sincere collaboration, transformation can be elusive. In an increasingly polarizing landscape for American health professions education — and health equity more broadly — an inclusive education movement is critical. Partnerships across value-aligned organizations and individuals are critical.
To that final point, I am grateful to each of you — changemakers and ambassadors of social mission — who understand that health equity requires transformative leadership. Needed moving forward are constructive national and local discussions that amplify how everyone is better off when our health profession schools are socially accountable and community-responsive: and then we need action towards these transformations.
There is no shortage of opportunity to look forward to in 2024 as we continue evolving the social mission movement and our commitment to health professions education that is not only better, but more just.