Prabhjot Singh: America’s Neighborhoods are the Future of Healthcare


Much is made of the transition from physician-centric models of healthcare delivery to increasingly interprofessional, collaborative teams — with nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other support staff working together to improve clinical outcomes. To be sure, it’s a long-overdue transition that’s making important strides in patient care.

But while healthcare delivery may be transforming to become more inclusive, most of that delivery is still taking place in institutional settings. And that, according to Dr. Prahjot Singh, fails to take into account the source of most of our decisions about health. It’s not about the exam room; it’s about the living room.

Dr. Singh, Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and author of Dying and Living in America: A Street Level View of America’s Healthcare Promise, believes that for us to really move the needle in care transformation, it’s time to bring care into the community.

In this episode of Relational Rounds, Dr. Singh shares a glimpse of his efforts to build community health systems outside of the U.S., and how community health workers could be trained and equipped to make a difference in America’s more complex healthcare networks.

Dr. Singh has traveled the world to engage people who are often marginalized. Drawing on his experience in medicine, economics, and sociology — from refugee camps in Sub-Saharan Africa to the streets of East Harlem — he asserts that neighborhood-based health is the necessary future of American healthcare. The work Dr. Singh and others have done to establish community health workforces in low and middle-income countries around the world reveals an essential path forward to creating a more equitable and higher-performing health system.

Listen to the entire episode to learn what makes a great community health worker, advice for young physicians on the growing crisis of burnout, and why healthcare should be viewed as a social movement.

Subscribe to Relational Rounds on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play and Stitcher, and follow Dr. Singh’s work here.

Elizabeth Métraux

Senior Advisor for Thought Leadership at PCP, Elizabeth regularly speaks and writes on the art, science, and power of language, as well as performs as a storyteller in the Boston area.

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