Michael Westerhaus

MD, MA University of Minnesota Medical School

Michael Westerhaus is an Assistant Professor of Global Medicine at the University of Minnesota. In this role, he utilizes experiential and action-based methods to teach social medicine that elevates the critical consciousness of health professionals. As a primary care clinician at the Center for International Health, he bears witness to and supports refugee efforts to draw on social and cultural assets to seek health. As co-founder of the Social Medicine Consortium, Dr. Westerhaus leads efforts with a global community of educators who merge transformative pedagogy with strategic community organizing to mobilize power for advancing health equity. He aims to understand and respond to structural forces that create social conditions leading to health inequities. 

As a Macy Faculty Scholar, Dr. Westerhaus will design, implement, institutionalize, and evaluate an experiential social medicine curriculum on the structural determination of health and how to lead social change for University of Minnesota learners who aspire to be health workers.  

Joia S. Mukherjee, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Health and Associate Professor in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital, serves as Dr. Westerhaus's mentor.

More from Michael Westerhaus


Teaching to Transform

Michael Westerhaus, MD, MA, 2019 Macy Faculty Scholar, shares how he is working to deepen our understanding of how teaching social medicine transforms teachers, students, and communities.