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Service Learning Programs

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.

There is a voluntary service learning opportunity for students in the summer between the first and second year in which students are partnered with community agencies or local health centers. Students work on a project and participate in faculty facilitated weekly reflections for 4 to 6 weeks. Students present their work at a school-wide service learning exhibition in the fall.

In the Family Medicine Clerkship in third year, all students are required to participate in an interprofessional service learning activity at their practice site. Students engage in project development or implementation or participate in an ongoing project that serves the community by providing preventative services above and beyond the routine provision of office-based medical service. The project may involve a preventive intervention such as screening, education, counseling, disease management, reminder or recalls for patients or provider, developing standing orders, or improving access to preventive services. Afterwards students complete a guided reflection on the experience which explores how this experience impacted beliefs about civic responsibility, being a leader in a community effort, collaborating with other members of the healthcare team and the impact on the development of their professional identity. 

Click to view the latest NYMC-SOM Service Learning Poster Presentation.