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Service Learning

Service Learning Project

The purpose of the NYMC SOM Service Learning programs is to help students build new aptitudes through hands-on experiences at community sites that will live beyond his/her time in medical school and prepare them to be better physicians in the future. Unlike typical formal learning situations, service learning is akin to situational rather than linear learning, and so is richer in its complexity, connections and impact. Students work directly with the doctors and health professionals at community sites. Working collaboratively with health care professionals at these sites, students create a tangible product that these institutions truly need but do not have. Student reflections about the process are critical to the learning process. 

View the latest NYMC-SOM Summer Service Learning Preceptorship catalogue (pdf).

The Doctoral Project: An Opportunity for Professional Specialization

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree at New York Medical College is a clinical doctorate. As such, students are expected to carry out a culminating doctoral project. Students may choose to work on a clinical research project, may choose to complete a public health project, or may take part in a mentored teaching practicum. The model for the doctoral project process is one of apprenticeship and mentorship. In the spring of the first year, students are provided a list of doctoral project offerings by School of Health Sciences and Practice faculty. In some cases, external clinical faculty may co-advise. Students work in small teams of students, submit a group generated Doctoral manuscript, and present their work in a poster or platform format at our Doctor Of Physical Therapy Doctoral Project Presentation Day in the last semester of study.

The type of Doctoral Project the student carries out will fall into one of three areas: Clinical Research, Education, or Public Health Service. For some projects, the primary information and activity will be a clinical research question that involves the collection and analysis of primary data. For others, the activity and outcomes analyzed will focus on the educational experience of a mentored teaching practicum. A third potential area is the identification of a public health issue and the generation of a program or mechanism for addressing that issue. Activities in this domain may include the gathering of data associated with a public health issue; the development of an educational program to address a public health issue, activities carried out in collaboration with a public health organization or public institution, or the analysis of national data sets or previously collected data. The expectation is for the eventual publication and/or presentation of many of these projects in a professional forum.

Doctor of Physical Therapy Community Service Project

Beginning in the Spring semester of the first year and running through the Fall semester of year two, students work in small groups to plan and carry out a community service project. Each project is one in which students provide a physical therapy related service that attempts to meet a need within the community. Students make contact with a community agency or organization, and, in collaboration with that agency, identify a need, develop a formal proposal for a program, provide necessary instruction and follow-up, and evaluate their results. They write up a summary of their project, and at the end of the Fall semester, they present the project to the college community in a poster format.

This project is included in the physical therapy curriculum to help students to develop the skills required to initiate, plan, and participate in community service activities. This task is also consistent with the charter of New York Medical College, which includes the goal of 'serving the underserved'. The purpose of this project is for students to develop skills and demonstrate their commitment to the professional goal of community service through a meaningful experience.