Social Issues in Medicine (SIM)

Hospice of the Piedmont 2018-19


Abundant Life MinistriesSince 2006, Social Issues in Medicine (SIM) has been a required course in the School of Medicine for all first-year medical students, informing them on the social determinants of health. An important pillar of the course is to foster a humanistic approach to medicine and an ethic of service. To accomplish this, presentations by expert physicians and community leaders, self-reflection activities and group discussions, and experiential hands-on learning are provided. Students are placed in small groups at community health and human services agencies and schools working with under-resourced populations on projects to improve health outcomes. During this course, students will recognize and analyze the interrelationships between socio-cultural environments and the occurrence, prevention and treatment of disease.  Students will also identify and nurture values that characterize a professional and humanistic practice of medicine and an ethic of service.

Every interaction I have with patients in the Free Clinic makes me overjoyed to be in this field. It’s rewarding in a sense distinctly different from finishing an exam or writing a paper. It’s the reason I went down this path to begin with. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the non-clinical things we have to do, and so this experience has been such a refreshing reminder of why I’m working hard towards becoming a good physician. – Austin Murray, Charlottesville Free Clinic


Content Sessions

  • Aging
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Health and the Indian Health Service
  • Child Advocacy
  • Comprehensive Care of Patient with Chronic Illness
  • Disability
  • Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Literacy
  • Health Policy
  • Implicit Bias
  • Introduction to Service-learning and Designing an Outcome-Based Project
  • Introduction to SIM Physician-Student Panel
  • LGBTQ+ Health
  • Learning from HIV
  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Opioid Addiction
  • Poverty, Housing, and Health
  • Rural Health
  • Systemic Racism and Health Outcomes
  • Veterans Issues and Advocacy

Computers for Kids

Computers for Kids

Partner Agencies

*2023-24 partner agencies (as of 7/17/23)

Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail
Albemarle High School
Alliance for Interfaith Ministries
Alzheimer’s Association
Blue Ridge Care Connection for Children
Boys & Girls Club Cherry Avenue
Boys & Girls Club Southwood
*Buford Middle School
*Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministrie
*Charlottesville Free Clinic
*Charlottesville High School
City Schoolyard Garden
Foothills Child Advocacy Center
*Great Expectations/Student Financial Resource Center
Greenbrier Elementary School
Habitat for Humanity
*Horses as Healers
*Hospice of the Piedmont
*Innisfree Village
International Neighbors
*International Rescue Committee
*Jefferson Area Board for Aging
*Legal Aid Justice Center
Loaves and Fishes
*On Our Own
*Region Ten
Salvation Army
Sexual Assault Resource Agency
Shelter for Help in Emergency
*Sin Barreras
*The Center at Belvedere
*The Colonnades
*The Haven
*Thomas Jefferson Adult Career Education
*UMA Behavioral Health
*UMA Social Determinants of Health
UVA Children’s Fitness Clinic
UVA Family Medicine PCC
*UVA Inpatient Homeless Consult Service
*UVA Latino Health Initiative
UVA Teen & Young Adult
*Virginia Institute of Autism


PACEM Poster and Students

PACEM poster and students