Changing the Conversation Around Health - 2019 MMS Annual Oration

Health is a product of the social and economic conditions in which we live, work, and play. Simply put, we cannot improve our health without creating a world that generates health.  While medicine, curative care, will always have a role to play in restoring us to health when we are sick, it also has an important role to play in changing the conversation about health, in creating a healthier world.

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are a major influence with patients and their care which ultimately affects patients’ outcomes. Research has shown a patient’s health is driven by social, economic, and environmental factors. Social barriers, patient engagement and beliefs contribute to how a patient responds to clinical information and decision-making. Clinicians should develop a broader understanding of how SDOH affects a patient’s ability to follow their care-plan, take medications, opt out of testing and following their physician’s advice. Screening for SDOH is not inherent of a typical illness or wellness visit.

History of the Oration
The MMS Annual Oration dates back to 1804 when Dr. Isaac Rand delivered his dissertation entitled, On Phthisis Pulmonalis, and the Use of the Warm Bath.  For more than 200 years, MMS orators have addressed a wide spectrum of topics germane to the evolving practice of medicine

Target Audience

Physicians of all specialties, other healthcare professionals, and medical educators who are interested in learning more about social determinants of health.

Learning Objectives

  • To describe how social and economic forces influence health
  • To assess the role that medicine can play in generating the conditions that create a healthier world
  • To initiate and engage in a national conversation that generates health and defines the next steps

Additional Information

Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS)
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 MOC II
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Nonmember cost:
Member cost:
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Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH
Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean of Boston University School of Public Health 

Accreditation and Credit Information
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

MOC Approval Statement 
Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Maintenance of Certification ("MOC") Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory , this activity has met the requirements as an MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:

Allergy and Immunology
Family Medicine
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Nuclear Medicine
Plastic Surgery
Preventive Medicine
Psychiatry and Neurology
Thoracic Surgery

National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA).
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.00 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. 

You must complete the exam at the end of the course to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 MOC II
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit


Nonmember cost:
Member cost:
Student or Resident cost:
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This course is offered through Massachusetts Medical Society. 

To take this course you will be redirected to Massachusetts Medical Society's website. You must login or create an account with Massachusetts Medical Society in order to complete this activity. 

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