One of the best ways to get learners involved in equity is through outreach. A method which has been successful for our institution is to send weekly e-mails to all learners.
These weekly e-mails have served a few purposes. First, they provide a generalized education to all learners on the topic of health equity and vulnerable populations. This provides a quick read that allows people to learn more about the topic. Next, these e-mails introduce learners to key topics they may not be aware of to either improve their own practices or spark internal interest in the field. We have received feedback from many learners that these weekly e-mail series bring up points they were not aware of and have consciously allowed them to make changes to their own practice patterns. Finally, these e-mails invite learners who enjoy reading about these topics to consider joining your group or track. We have found in most cases that once learners relate to the content, they are more open to participate in the programing.
The weekly e-mails generally have 4 themes with are general background, vulnerable populations, modifiable behaviors and socioeconomic factors.
The e-mails generally are written with a specific format. The first part of each e-mail is written with a personalized story that the author has encountered throughout their career which pertains to the topic. The next section is the content which provides the teaching. Some e-mails have a third section which provides guidance on how to address the topic clinically. For example, an e-mail on food insecurity may teach learners how to search for food banks in the area. Finally, the e-mails usually end with a concluding remark, inviting interested learners to join.
Attached are samples of our general background e-mails provided to our residents in Internal Medicine at UConn Health. These e-mails are meant to provide quick background knowledge on the topic of providing equitable health care. Please feel free to use these e-mails for your own program.
Email 2: Introduction to Racism in Medicine
Email 3: What Makes Up Someone's Health