Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Isenberg


This research study employed a mixed method sequential approach and investigated the number of Schools of Medicine within the United States that offer health literacy as a component of their curriculum and a course of study within the academic setting. Data were gathered from medical school surveys and personal interviews. Curriculum content, learning objective, subject matter sequence, assessment, course schedule, and other relevant elements were evaluated as comparison components of the data collected from these two methods. This study focused solely on 71 of the 154 Schools of Medicine in the United States, inclusive of 126 of those awarding a Doctor of Medicine degree and 28 which offer a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. The study evaluated the status of the nation’s effort to promote health literacy by adding courses in health literacy to medical school curriculum. Surveys indicated evidence of a health literacy component in medical school curriculum, that the promotion of health literacy curriculum was being introduced to medical students during the first year of training, and a requirement for medical students years one through four, data revealed health literacy as a major concern within the U.S., and that both students and administrators were aware of the importance of the promotion of health literacy within medical school training. Use of telephonic interview for the qualitative portion of this research was employed to obtain factual information and to pursue in-depth information regarding the integration of health literacy curriculum in medical school training. Results from this segment of the research interview were used to facilitate both comparison and analysis points. Positive responses for this segment supported the findings of the descriptive quantitative results, yielding similar responses. iii Medical schools, or other health care training institutes considering implementing or expanding their curriculum, would benefit from this research in their efforts to address health literacy concerns.


Copyright 2012