Deepening Understandings of Social Accountability Using the Arts and Storytelling

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Amy Clithero-Eridon
Pauline Sameshima
Erin Cameron
Jill Allison
Julia Martinez
Tashya Orasi
Connie Hu
Roger Strasser


Background: This project aimed to build an understanding of the lived realities of social accountability. The COVID-19 era offered acontextual lens and time marker. Social accountability is gaining importance as an educational concept. To maximize the value, it is essential to know how the concept is interpreted from multiple stakeholder perspectives. Methods: An arts-integrated methodology called Parallaxic Praxis was used to examine the values, meanings, contexts, and lived experiences of social accountability. Participants made art to express and discuss their conceptions of social accountability, viewing and discussing the subtleties and themes that arose from their own and others’ creations. Individual interviews, focus groups, and postworkshop surveys were utilized to identify themes. Results: Due to the timing of the data collection during the COVID-19 pandemic, interpretations of social accountability centered primarily on the pandemic’s effects on perceptions of daily life as well as core personal beliefs. Most individuals viewed medical schools as a place of opportunity to start learning about social accountability, and the majority of individuals answered “yes” when asked if exploring the idea and action of social accountability through arts-integrated methods was valuable to them. Discussion: If the ultimate goal of medical education is creating physicians who are fit-for-purpose, then social accountability needs to be emphasized and reinforced as an important part of their professional identity. Integrating the arts in data collection is a creative means to conduct this study, as the arts allow for diverse audiences to access active and reflective engagement among participants. As a method of expression, it provided additional unique perspectives on one’s own beliefs regarding social accountability and how it is practiced—and what is expected of a socially accountable health system.


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Clithero-Eridon, A., Sameshima, P., Cameron, E., Allison, J., Martinez, J., Orasi, T., … Strasser, R. (2024). Deepening Understandings of Social Accountability Using the Arts and Storytelling. Education for Health, 37(1), 39–49.
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