Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Background: Clinical pharmacists and their training programs can play a key role in helping to address social determinants of health (SDoH) by transforming healthcare beyond the traditional clinical approaches. Pharmacists’ knowledge of SDoH in post-graduate residency programs are key skills necessary for creating an impact in healthcare outcomes.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to assess U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) post-graduate residency program directors’ and residents’ knowledge about SDoH. Methods: An IRB exempt questionnaire was created via Survey Monkey (™) and administered to postgraduate pharmacy residents (N = 618) and residency program directors (RPDs) (N = 235) employed by VA Medical Centers.

Results: Sixteen percent (n = 100 of 618) of pharmacy residents and 24% (n = 58 of 235) of RPDs completed the survey. Population health was part of didactic work in pharmacy school for 46% of residents and 8% of RPDs. Nine percent (9%) of residents and 7% of RPDs were very familiar with Healthy People 2020. One percent (1%) of residents and 4% of RPDs had training in Healthy People 2020 in their residency program. None of the residents and only 4% of responding RPDs asked patients about food insecurity, a critical social determinant of health.

Discussion: Pharmacy Residency training and RPD’s experience with SDoH is limited. Residency Programs should expand curriculum and incorporate training to address SDoH (such as food insecurity) in chronic care management.

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