Introducing a Collaborative E2 (Evaluation & Enhancement) Social Accountability Framework for Medical Schools

Jeffrey Kirby, Shawna O'Hearn, Lesley Latham, Bessie Harris, Sharon Davis-Murdoch, Kara Paul



Medical schools recognize that they have an important social mandate beyond their primary role to educate future physicians. The instantiation of social accountability (SA) within faculties of medicine requires intentional, effective partnering with diverse internal and external stakeholders. Despite early, promising academic work in the field of SA in medical education, there remains a lack of conceptual clarity about what SA could and should entail, and a lack of practical direction regarding how it could be implemented. The paper describes the development of an innovative SA framework that incorporates both pragmatic-evaluation and collaborative-enhancement components. The framework consists of five distinct phases, uses a deliberative engagement methodology, and is meaningfully informed by a set of four SA Lenses: Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Responsiveness; Equity; Community / Stakeholder Engagement and Partnering; and Justice-Fairness and Sustainability. In addition to using the framework to evaluate and enhance the social accountability statuses of a variety of the medical school’s operational components, Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine leaders are committed to applying the framework’s SA Lenses to important decision-making processes, such as the revision of the medical school’s strategic directions and the allocation of limited resources to address important, emerging medical education issues and challenges.



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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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