Reducing health inequalities: predictors of social and community involvement among physicians in israel: Keren Dopelt

K Dopelt, Z Yahav, J Urkin, Y Bachner, N Davidovitch

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

Abstract

Background
Reducing health inequalities is one of the most challenging public health and social issues. Research has demonstrated the role of physicians in improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities by community and social involvement.
Objectives
To examine which factors can predict social and community involvement among physicians in Israel.
Methods
Online cross-sectional survey among 9,000 physicians in Israel during 2011. The survey included measures about community orientation, social involvement and place of work. Data was analyzed using uni-variate and multi-variate analyses, including logistic regression models and Sobel Test.
Results
About 37% of the Physicians reported that they were involved in community programs. Physicians who are Israeli born, working in the periphery, working in primary health care, active in professional positions conducting research, and those who hold the perceptions regarding the role of the physician to work towards the reduction of health disparities are more likely to be socially involved (C-statistic = 0.72, p < 0.001). Moreover, the perceptions regarding the role of the physician to work towards the reduction of health disparities partially mediate the relationship between medical school social orientation and physicians' social involvement. The relationship between the orientation during studies and the social involvement of the physician is reinforced when the physician maintains the attitude that it is his/her role to work towards the reduction of health disparities, an attitude that by itself is influenced by a social orientation of his/her studies.
Conclusions
As physicians' perception regarding their role in reducing health disparities was found as an important factor, it emphasizes the important role of medical education in shaping physicians' attitudes toward working in the periphery and being more involved in community programs. These insights are crucial when considering changes in the medical schools' curriculum and implementing a long-term national plan for reducing health disparities. Furthermore, Socially-oriented medical education has the potential to induce a socialization process reinforcing human values regarding doctor–patient relationships and to produce positive attitudes among future doctors about social involvement.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)268
JournalThe European Journal of Public Health
Volume23
Issue numbersuppl1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

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