Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Improving medical student attitudes in caring for the underserved


American Public Health Association 2015 Annual Meeting


Chicago, IL

Date of original Performance / Presentation



As the need for medical education programs to devote time and resources to care for the underserved becomes more apparent, the need for effective programs and accurate measures of effectiveness is essential. Attitudes of health professionals and medical students have been demonstrated to affect the decision of pursuing careers to car for the underserved. These attitudes change during the course of medical school training in positive and negative directions. Tools such as the Attitudes Towards the Homeless Questionnaire (ATHQ) and the Health Professionals Attitudes Towards Homeless Inventory (HPATHI) have been created to assess these changes over time. Based on prior comparisons, the HPATHI was chosen to gauge the attitudes of the medical students. An addendum was created by the study team in an effort to better understand the variability in outcomes that have previously been documented. This addendum utilizes both proximity of experience to the homeless in the following four categories of: Awareness, Personal Experience, Volunteer Experience, and Direct Care Experience. Additionally, the frequency of those experiences was determined through a five-point Likert scale from ‘Never' to ‘Very Often.' Comparative data from this tool will be reported on medical students across four years of their training and the implications of proximity and frequency of experience with homeless individuals on medical student attitudes will be discussed in the context of future research opportunities.


Medicine and Health Sciences