Poverty Related Education in Pediatrics: Current State, Gaps and Call to Action

Melissa Klein, Elizabeth Hanson, Cara Lichtenstein, Leora Mogilner, Olanrewaju Falusi, Destiny G. Tolliver, Lisha Lungelow, Lisa Chamberlain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Children are the poorest age group in our country, with 1 in 6, or 12 million, living in poverty. This sobering statistic became even more appalling in spring 2020 when COVID-19 magnified existing inequities. These inequities are particularly important to pediatricians, because poverty, along with racism and other interrelated social factors, significantly impact overall child health and well-being. It is imperative that pediatric educators redouble their efforts to train learners to recognize and address health inequities related to poverty and all of its counterparts. In this paper, we describe the current state of poverty-related training in pediatric undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education as well as opportunities for growth. We highlight gaps in the current curricula, particularly around the intersectionality between poverty and racism, as well as the need for robust evaluation. Using a logic model framework, we outline content, learning strategies, and outcomes for poverty-related education. We include opportunities for the deployment of best practice learning strategies and the incorporation of newer technologies to deliver the content. We assert that collaboration with community partners is critical to shape the depth and breadth of education. Finally, we emphasize the paramount need for high-quality faculty development and accessible career paths to create the cadre of role models and mentors necessary to lead this work. We conclude with a call for collaboration between institutions, accrediting bodies, and policymakers to promote meaningful, outcome-oriented, poverty-related education, and training throughout the medical education continuum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S177-S183
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • medical education, pediatrics
  • poverty, racism, social determinants of health


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