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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Practitioner attitudes about low-income patients may impact clinical care and outcomes. Poverty simulation, employing low-income community volunteers, is an effective teaching tool in improving attitudes toward poverty among health professions students. This study explores the experiences of these essential simulation volunteers who share their stories with student participants. Focus groups were conducted with low-income community members who staff resource tables during poverty simulations. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a grounded theoretical approach. Participants spoke of the systemic nature of poverty and identified multiple barriers to healthcare access. Perceived lower quality of care, mistrust in health professionals, and a lack of continuity of care were discussed. In regards to the simulation, participants were empowered through sharing their stories with students, and offered suggestions for program improvement. Simulation provides a forum for community members to educate the future healthcare workforce on systemic barriers faced by low-income populations.

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