Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer challenges physicians to look beyond the business of medicine and truly improve lives in their communities.

pedro joe greer TEDxFIU Tedx talk medical education florida international university

For the first time in the history of our nation, today’s children will have shorter life expectancy than their parents.

The United States is one of the top spenders on health care among industrialized nations, yet has some of the worst health outcomes.

These are just two of many sobering statistics that have convinced Greer that there is something very wrong with the current state of the medical establishment.

Greer explains that many of the factors leading to poor health in America are not scientific, but social – things like poverty, violence, racism and food deserts. These are factors most doctors are not trained to consider, yet would make a huge difference on patient outcomes. The business of medicine has placed a premium on treating symptoms, rather than preventing them in the first place.

The solution, Greer argues, begins in the medical school classroom, where aspiring physicians should be trained in social accountability alongside human anatomy.

A social mission is not just talk for Greer, but also practice and implementation at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Along with traditional training, Greer and his colleagues have another mission: To instill in their students an understanding of social determinants and a commitment to the communities where their patients live through interdisciplinary and hands-on experiences, such as NeighborhoodHELP.

fiu wertheim college of medicine neighborhood help mobile clinic

Watch the full talk below: