Health beyond healthcare: a conversation on medical solutions for social issues

June 15, 2023

June 15, 2023 (Thursday) | 12 – 1 pm EDT

Virchow famously said, “Medicine is a social science and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale”, but are there things we should consider when healthcare gets involved with social issues? Episode 3 of the Upstream Lab Speaker Series aims to help you understand all sides of this question. Our speakers shared their experiences in Canada and the US, discussing the context and considerations surrounding the medicalization of social determinants of health.



Dr. Arvin Garg is a Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair of Health Equity at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School and UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Garg’s research focuses on addressing adverse social determinants of health (SDoH) within the delivery of pediatric care, particularly for low-income families, and has been cited in professional guidelines.

Dr. Kate Mulligan is the Senior Director of the Canadian Institute for Social Prescribing and Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Mulligan is a health geographer and policy professional with a critical public health orientation and a strong interest in advancing healthier and more equitable communities. Her research and policy work has been supported by Toronto Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Health Canada, and the United Nations.

Dr. Ritika Goel is a family physician in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto working with the St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team. Dr. Goel has been engaged in health-related activism, medical education, public speaking and writing on issues at the intersection of health and social justice throughout her career. She has served as the Faculty Lead for Social Accountability at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and Chair of the Social Accountability Working Group at the College of Family Physicians of Canada.


Dr. Andrew Pinto is the Founder & Director of the Upstream Lab, a non-profit research lab tackling issues related to social determinants of health. He is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist and family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Pinto is a Scientist at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, appointed to the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and with status appointments at Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Institute for Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation.


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