Document Type


Publication Date



School of Public Health


Health Policy, Management & Leadership


Medical practitioners, trained to isolate health within and upon the body of the individual, are now challenged to negotiate research and population health theories that link health status to geographic location as evidence suggests a connection between place and health. This paper builds an integrated place-health model and structural competency analytical framework with nine domains and four levels of proficiency that is utilized to assess a community-based photovoice project’s ability to shift the practice of medicine by medical students from the surface of the body to the body within a place. Analysis of the medical student’s photovoice data demonstrated that the students achieved structural competency level 1 proficiency and came to understand how health might be connected to place represented by six of the nine domains of the structural competency framework. Results suggest that medical student’s engagement with place-health systemic, institutional and structural forces deepens when they co-create narratives of their lived experiences in a place with patients as community members during a community-based photovoice project. Given the importance of place-health theories to explain population health outcomes, a place-health model and structural competency analytical framework utilized during a community-based photovoice project could help medical students merge the image of patients as singular bodies into bodies set within a context.

Source Citation

Andress L, Purtill MP (2020) Shifting the gaze of the physician from the body to the body in a place: A qualitative analysis of a communitybased photovoice approach to teaching placehealth concepts to medical students. PLoS ONE 15 (2): e0228640.


Copyright: © 2020 Andress, Purtill. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. (5071 kB)
Supplementary files



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.