Skip to content

Leveraging the health equity implementation framework to foster an equity focus in medical education

Advances in Health Sciences Education September 5, 2023

Read the full article

Research Areas

PAIR Center Research Team


Teaching equitable clinical practice is of critical importance, yet how best to do so remains unknown. Educators utilize implementation science frameworks to disseminate clinical evidence-based practices (EBP). The Health Equity Implementation Framework (HEIF) is one of these frameworks, and it delineates how health equity may be concomitantly assessed and addressed in planning the implementation of an EBP. The HEIF therefore lays a strong foundation to understand and explain barriers and facilitators to implementation through an equity lens, making it well-suited for use by medical educators. Three equity-focused frames of reference within the model include (1) the clinical encounter, (2) societal context, and (3) culturally relevant factors, herein referred to as domains. The HEIF provides a structure for prospective and retrospective assessment of how EBP are taught and ultimately incorporated into clinical practice by trainees, with specific attention to delivering equitable care. We present three examples of common topics in internal medicine, contextualized by the three equity domains of the HEIF. We additionally acknowledge the limitations of this framework as a research tool with complex features that may not be suitable for brief teaching in the clinical environment. We propose a 360-degree learner assessment to ensure implementation of this framework is successful. By encouraging trainees to explore the narrative experiences of their patients and examine their own implicit biases, the HEIF provides a structure to address gaps in knowledge about delivering equitable care.


Deepa Ramadurai, Judy A Shea