Medicine for the Greater Good, sometimes called a “medical peace corps,” was formally established in 2013 at Johns Hopkins Bayview (JHBMC). It is a formal curriculum that seeks to train and educate medical residents about the socioeconomic determinants of health. As physicians, these residents will be equipped to combat the barriers to healthcare faced by to those in need. Residents are trained by nearly two dozen faculty and also gain first hand experience through various projects and initiatives designed by both our organization and the residents themselves. During these projects, residents and volunteers bring the hospital to the community. Since the establishment of MGG, 82 residents and students have engaged in nearly 300 projects to benefit Baltimore city residents.
MGG volunteers and JHBMC residents work with schools, churches and community centers to promote good health practices, such as discussions about diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer screening, diet and exercise. Volunteers come from many schools of discipline including Peabody Institute, JHU Homewood, Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. MGG is a unique partnership between Johns Hopkins, the City of Baltimore and its citizens.
MGG is one of many organizations taking part in the “5 in 10” initiative started by the combined forces of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. This initiative aims to raise the estimated average life expectancy in Baltimore by five years in one decade (5 in 10). Low life expectancies are seen across Baltimore, but targets are aimed in 11 districts which have life expectancies below 75 years of age. Having a life expectancy below 75 is associated with cardiovascular disease, homicide, overdose, HIV and cancer.
The mission of Medicine for the Greater Good is formally “to promote the health and wellness beyond the confines of the hospital through an interactive and engaging partnership with the community as well as a strong emphasis on medical education”. Less formally, MGG aims to bring healthcare beyond the hospital walls and into the community in order to overcome the socioeconomic barriers to health. Projects and initiatives focus on asthma and diabetes as well as cardiovascular health and end of life care.