civic health; voter registration; medical education; social determinants of health


Medical Education | Public Health Education and Promotion | Social Justice


The social determinants of health have gained increasing prominence in medical education, but medical students and professionals alike are under-prepared to address those determinants. There is a growing body of evidence that voting and other forms of civic engagement affect the health of patients and communities. Registering patients in healthcare settings offers students and professionals an opportunity to impact their patients’ health beyond the clinical encounter. Medical students are particularly well suited to this work for a variety of reasons, including increasingly positive attitudes toward this kind of advocacy, increasing diversity in the medical student body, and lighter clinical and administrative loads. The 2020 election made these effects clear as students prepared over 18,000 patients and their peers to vote.