Street Medicine: Creating a “Classroom Without Walls” for Teaching Population Health

  • Noemi C. Doohan
  • Ranit MishoriEmail author


“Street Medicine” programs provide medical care to homeless populations outside of traditional healthcare institutions, literally on the street and in transitional settings where unsheltered homeless people live. Such programs are emerging around the world often based at medical schools and primary care residency programs, and can provide ideal frameworks for twenty-first century “Classrooms Without Walls” aimed at improving Population Health. We provide a 12-step blueprint for creating a Street Medicine program in the context of a medical teaching institution.


Street medicine Homeless healthcare Population health Marginalized populations Medical education Complex care 



The authors wish to express our gratitude to Dr. Jim Withers, for his careful review of this manuscript and for his invaluable feedback. We also wish to acknowledge Dr. Dave Deci, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at University of Wisconsin and board member of the Street Medicine Institute (SMI), who has been a mentor to numerous student and resident-led Street Medicine initiatives and provided feedback for this manuscript. We are grateful for the SMI’s ongoing efforts to support the start-up of new Street Medicine programs in the USA and around the world. We also are indebted to the many medical learners and teachers who continuously pioneer the Street Medicine movement and the ever-expanding Classroom Without Walls.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval


Informed consent



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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency Program, - Chula VistaChula VistaUSA
  2. 2.Global Health InitiativesGeorgetown University School of MedicineWashingtonUSA

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