Introducing a Structural Competency Framework for Psychiatry Residents: Drawing Your Neighborhood

  • Walter MathisEmail author
  • Kali Cyrus
  • Ayana Jordan
  • Robert Rohrbaugh
Feature: Educational Case Report

Training medical students and residents to address the social determinants shaping the health of their patients is a key component in reducing health disparities [1, 2]. The World Health Organization recognizes differences in community resources as major contributors to health inequality [3] and impacts emotional well-being and mental health [4]. Yet, while physicians understand these factors significantly impact their patient’s health, many feel ill-equipped to intervene, contributing to frustration and burnout [5].

To empower physicians to address social determinants of health, medical educators have begun incorporating structural competency (SC) into training. Developed by two psychiatrists, Metzl and Hansen, SC starts with understanding how structures—the large-scale organization of social, economic, and political power—impact health downstream [6]. It bridges research on social determinants of health to practical clinical interventions, building tools to recognize and act on...


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Deemed exempt from IRB review by the Yale Human Investigation Committee.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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