Long School of Medicine

Social Drivers of Health Training



Our social drivers of health training, developed in collaboration with University Hospital, community partners, and field experts, is uniquely tailored for incoming residents and fellows-in-training, with a focus on our beautiful San Antonio community. Our training equips learners with the necessary tools and perspectives to drive positive change, promoting healthier and more equitable healthcare delivery while effectively addressing social drivers of health.

Understanding Social Drivers of Health

Social drivers of health, commonly referred to as social determinants of health are the non-medical factors that profoundly impact health outcomes. However, “determinants” implies a fixed fate, limiting our ability to shape our health outcomes. By recognizing social factors as drivers of health, we shift the narrative from one of fate to one of empowerment. We affirm that health is predetermined, but rather dynamic and influenced by the actions and choices of individuals and communities. Together, we have the power to overcome barriers, effect change, and cultivate a healthier future for all. 

Examples of Social Drivers of Health

Social drivers of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These factors are influenced by a myriad of interconnected systems and structures that significantly impact an individual’s daily life. These systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies, and political systems.

Listed below are some examples of these social drivers, each bearing significant influence on health equity and well-being: 

  • Income and social protection

  • Education

  • Employment stability and job security

  • Workplace conditions and safety standards

  • Food accessibility and nutritional adequacy

  • Housing affordability, basic amenities, and the environment

  • Early childhood support and developmental resources

  • Accessible and quality healthcare services

Recognizing the profound impact of these social drivers of health is important to advancing equity and a healthier future for communities. 

Jessian L. Muñoz, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Jessian L. Muñoz, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

“Providing optimal care to the patients of our community requires identifying and addressing the social determinants of health that impact them daily .”

Averi E. White, M.D.

Averi E. White, MD

“Social Determinants of Health are the heart of humanity. They are the aspects that make the person sitting before you a human, not another medical record number or another admission or another consult or the patient who is always late or the one who never takes their prescriptions. A human, just like me and you.”