Cultivating an environment of social accountability: academic primary care for the future

Talk Code: 
Bhakti Visani, Christine Douglass, Sonia Kumar
Dr Bhakti Visani (Imperial College London), Dr Christine Douglass (Imperial College London), Dr Sonia Kumar (Imperial College London)

Aim and intended outcome 

At a time when general practice & healthcare systems are facing unprecedented pressures, and increasing health inequities persist across populations, we need to critically examine the design and delivery of general practice learning and teaching within our medical schools.     The WHO defined social accountability as a priority for medical schools “to direct their education, research, and service activities toward addressing the priority health concerns of the community, the region, or nation they have a mandate to serve". (1) In this workshop we will bring together the theories and practice of social accountability with priority outcomes from the recently published Declaration of Astana i.e., strengthening sustainable primary care, equitable access to health care, social justice, and interdependency of political, social, cultural and economic systems.     This workshop will provide participants with a means to explore and cultivate social accountability in partnership with local communities across their learning, teaching and research activities. By the end of the workshop delegates will be able to:  Understand what social accountability means in academic primary care and research and how it links to priorities from Astana  Identify successful tools and processes to advance social accountability across education and research activities in general practice  Develop relevant, innovative approaches to creating sustainable wider partnerships across learning, teaching and research activities in general practice  Link together with individuals/institutions interested in developing social accountability networks.      


The interactive workshop uses the principles of ‘Design Thinking’. Design Thinking is a creative, innovative way of addressing complex problems characterised by uncertainty, collaboration and co-production of knowledge. It is increasingly and successfully being applied across medical education & clinical contexts. The workshop design will fit well in the ‘exploration lab’ room 2. Mirroring of the computers will enabling rapid, interactive sharing, discussions and feedback from the group work.     


Using the principles of design thinking & reflexive practice, this 90’ interactive workshop will combine a brief presentation; principles of design thinking exercises; pair sharing narrative exercises; and group scenario-based brainstorming to reflect on how social accountability and the priority findings from Astana can be brought together to inform the design of an academic primary care of the future.     

Intended audience  

Clinical & academic GPs, trainee GPs, & all other Primary Healthcare Professionals      

1. Boelen, C., Heck, J., and World Health Organization, Division of Development of Human Resources for Health. (‎1995)‎. Defining and measuring the social accountability of medical schools. Geneva: World Health Organization.