Community Health Partners
For the past five years, the Medical Partnership has developed relationships with a number of local agencies to deliver a community health curriculum to all first year students. Early in the year, students are introduced to core concepts through a series of interactive sessions. Then, teams of eight students work with a community supervisor and two faculty advisors on year-long projects. In the Fall, they investigate a community health problem of concern to partners and their clients. This involves a literature review, exploration of public health data, and interviews with patients, clients and other stakeholders. Based on this, each team develops an approach to addressing the problem and submits a proposal and budget.
In the Spring, the teams actually implement the strategy and plan how to evaluate and improve the project in the future. The culmination of all this hard work is an academic poster session held on the UGA Health Sciences campus and an oral presentation at the partner site. Throughout the year, students reflect on these activities through required but ungraded essays.
Through these projects, students may build awareness of the resources that our community can offer patients. They may improve their skills in working as part of a team, in communicating with others, and in solving real world problems. The experience also strengthens the idealism and civic responsibility that typically accompanies students when they enter medical school. Beyond these inherent benefits, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education accreditation standards specify that medical schools create sufficient opportunities for service-learning.
Through these projects, students may build awareness of the resources that our community can offer patients. They may improve their skills in working as a part of a team, in communicating with others, and in solving real-world problems.