Civic Engagement | Community Service | Service-Learning
Community Health Course
The community focus at Morehosue School of Medicine begins in the first year of the undergraduate medical curriculum with a required course in Community Health that is taught entirely within the community. Introductory lectures expose students to the principles of community health, community-based participatory research and public health policy. Students are then divided into around 10 teams, and meet weekly with faculty at assigned community sites. Our community partners have graciously hosted our students for many years. Partners include:
Students collaborate with our community partners to conduct a community-needs assessment, using methods presented during lecture, including wind-shield surveys, focus groups and key informant interviews. At the end of the semester, student teams present their findings to their respective communities and MSM faculty and identify a major health concern through the needs assessment.
Based on the findings of each teams' community-needs assessment, students plan, implement and evaluate a health promotion intervention to address a health concern identified by the community. Past health promotion interventions include:
- operating a produce stand at an elementary school
- conducting violence prevention workshops at Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- hosting nutrition and fitness classes at an after-school program
- providing tutoring and mentoring to elementary- and middle-school students
- building a computer room with Internet access at a homeless facility for young men
As part of their culminating experience, each team participates in our annual mock legislative testimony. This is an educational experience where students are given the opportunity to share the results of their intervention to legislators from Georgia, the city of Atlanta and Fulton County. Invited legislators act as panelists and are asked to give feedback on student presentations. Testimonies are usually held on the MSM campus or at state legislative offices.
Service-learning is also being integrated in the clinical years through the third-year clerkships for the departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine.