Medical education in the united states: A new frontier for social marketing?

Ronald W. Gimbel, Christy J.W. Ledford, Mark B. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Social marketing has a long and robust history in health education and public health. Social marketing strategies are designed to promote desired behaviors in high-priority health-related areas. Most prior initiatives have utilized an "orientation to consumer needs" in program design and delivery. Traditional social marketing campaigns have targeted patients or specific segments of the public, rather than physicians and other healthcare providers, to deliver health-related messages. This commentary explores an emerging opportunity for the social marketing and medical education communities to collaborate and influence social change of medical students, interns, and residents-an "undiscovered" but influential consumer market. The authors offer a primer on the medical education environment as it relates to social marketing strategies for healthcare providers. Key themes and emerging needs in medical education are outlined. In particular, four major areas for collaboration with the social marketing community are highlighted. These include: emphasis on social accountability, use of technology in education and medical practice, alignment with changes in health care delivery, and future directions in the health care workforce. In addition, four practical strategies for meaningful colla-borations between medical education and social marketing leadership are presented. The medical education environment is an ideal platform for social marketing techniques to influence the behavior of developing physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-302
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Best practices
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Medical education
  • New technologies
  • Partnerships
  • Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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