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Spotlight: Poverty Simulation

Spotlight: Poverty Simulation

Students wait in line to cash checks as part of the poverty simulation.

As part of their first year of medical school, CWRU students participate in poverty simulation where they are placed in a simulated low-income family and learn about living with stressors related to limited resources.

Depending on the family member role assigned, students complete various tasks including going to work every day, paying bills, cashing checks, caring for young and/or disabled family members, buying groceries and clothes, attending school, and applying for aid.

“The goal of the simulation is to sensitize students to what it’s like to live in generational poverty and to gain an understanding of what some of their patients might deal with,” says Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH, assistant professor, general medical sciences, family medicine and community health.

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