It’s not just DEI. Woke activists are increasingly relying on another acronym – SDOH – to advance their divisive agenda within healthcare. It stands for the “Social Determinants of Health,” and when you unpack it, it’s clearly part of the campaign to move healthcare in a divisive and discriminatory direction.
To understand what “Social Determinants of Health” are, consider the definition used by the federal Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden administration:
“Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.”
HHS groups these determinants into 5 key areas:
- Economic Stability
- Education Access and Quality
- Health Care Access and Quality
- Neighborhood and Built Environment
- Social and Community Context
Do these topics bear on the care provided by physicians to individual patients? Of course not, with the exception of “health care access and quality.” But they are inherently politicized. “Social determinants of health” are squarely in the domain of elected officials and social workers, not physicians.
Physicians, nurses, and medical professionals can’t solve these kinds of problems, no matter how much activists want them to. Even if they could, there’s no causal link between social conditions and negative health outcomes. It’s much more likely that poor social conditions simply result in patients seeking healthcare late in the course of their medical problems. They may also adhere less to difficult treatment programs once a disease is diagnosed. Forcing healthcare to focus on education and economics won’t do anything to change these underlying issues.
Focusing on the “social determinants of health” will not lead to the desired outcome of improving health. But it will be costly, especially as healthcare devotes precious resources to issues in which it has no expertise. Medical professionals should focus on providing the best care to individual patients, not economic factors, community housing, or the quality of K-12 education.
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