Buscar Close Search
Buscar Close Search
Page Menu

Structural Inequity, Advocacy, and Justice Pathway

Hugh Silk, MD | hugh.silk@umassmemorial.org

Education Program Specialist 
Pawel Stefan Chojnowski | Pawel.Chojnowski@umassmed.edu

Class of 2027 Student Representative
Mariane St Juste | mariane.stjuste@umassmed.edu  

Pathway Description

Students will develop an understanding of the role of social structures in shaping the health of individuals, as well as the role physicians have played historically and currently in sanctioning and perpetuating oppression in structurally vulnerable communities. Using a multidisciplinary approach and critical social theories, students will discuss structural racism, trauma, sexism, intersectionality and standpoint theory, food insecurity, cultural humility, structural competency, systemic homelessness, language access, HIV, mental health inequities, mass incarceration, substance use and harm reduction, reproductive justice, and more. Students will be introduced to the principles of change through community organizing and effective interpersonal and public advocacy. This Pathway encourages critical thinking and challenging assumptions, ultimately training physicians who are effective advocates for meaningful change within their practices and communities.


  • Interactive class sessions consisting of relevant lectures followed by small group discussions
  • Conversations to develop an understanding of structural racism and how to practice anti-racism in the health care setting
  • Introduction to advocacy and how students can be physician advocates
  • Exposure to UMass Chan faculty and community partnerships focused on health equity
  • Strengthen critical thinking skills

Sample Topics Covered

  • Structural Racism
  • Putting Antiracism into Practice in Health Care Settings
  • Trauma-Informed Care

January 2024 | cjb