Social Medicine and Advocacy Academic Community

Faculty Lead: Rosemary J. Hunter, MD

The Social Medicine/Advocacy Academic Community (SMAAC) will learn how social and economic conditions impact the health of our patients, families and communities and how best to advocate for their needs. We will strengthen our knowledge base and communication skills, and learn the process of Advocacy.

Community Members Visits Second Harvest Food Bank

We plan to work within our community to improve the health of Nashville's children. We have a quarterly community field trip to visit one of Nashville's community support agencies (Nashville Rescue Mission, Second Harvest Foodbank, the Oasis Center, etc.). We also have a quarterly "Doc for a Doc" night hosted at a faculty member's home where we watch a documentary about important issues of social justice that affect child health.


Some requirements may be fulfilled on your second year required Advocacy rotation. Those who complete the curriculum will be well suited to pursue a career in community-based or academic practice, or embark upon Advocacy-specific projects within their medical subspecialty.


  • Recognize the role of advocacy in child health.
  • Learn how the legislative process works and how to access local and state government leaders.
  • Understand societal and cultural factors that influence child health.
  • Learn how to use Media effectively to communicate your message.
  • Learn the fundamentals of Health Policy and its application to child health.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams and community agencies.
  • Learn how to assess and access community resources.
  • Recognize that advocating for children is part of one's professional role as a Pediatrician.


Doc Night 2019

  • Monthly learning sessions - Some off-campus at local community agencies
  • Attend Lectures/Workshops/Grand Rounds with Vanderbilt Dept. of Health Policy and Vanderbilt Office of Inclusion and Health Equity at least once a semester
  • Semi-annual presentations to peers, community or student groups, or legislators
  • Attend at least one Legislative Advocacy session during residency
  • Perform a Home visit with a family either from your Continuity clinic or with a Nurse-based Home visiting program
  • Generate Personal Goals/Learning or objectives to target your learning for your passion
  • Regular meetings with SMAAC faculty lead and Scholarly Project Mentor

Scholarly Project

  • All members will be required to produce a community-based scholarly research project with the assistance of selected mentor
  • The project will be presented at the Department of Pediatrics Research Retreat
  • The project may also be presented at a regional or national level and may result in publication