Pathways in Community Volunteerism
Medical Post-baccalaureate students will complete volunteer work at multiple venues in Palm Beach County - focusing on a variety of wellness and disability centers. Genesis Health Services serving underserved minorities and transient workers; Boca Helping Hands serving the community with food packages plus employment and financial assistance; TrustBridge (Hospice location) as well as Twin Palms for the Mentally Disabled and the Louis and Anne Green Memory and Wellness Center will provide meaningful opportunities to learn empathy, pathos and altruism. These elements are the hallmarks of character that medical schools covet.
Students will be exposed to various clinical experiences with children, pregnant women, adults and senior patients who receive medical care at these locations. Students will be trained as medical assistants, and acquire experience dealing with a population from a limited socioeconomic status, with decreased literacy level and/or limited English-proficiency, all of which may create barriers of access to adequate medical care. As a result, students will be able recognize the importance of good communication and disease prevention, which will result in better health outcomes. The students participating at Genesis Health will receive training to prepare them to become Care Coordinators, following up with patients whom have hypertension and diabetes. The students will be asked to keep a personal journal, recording thoughts and impressions as they reflect on their experiences. Debriefings will occur at the end of all sessions, summarizing how the experiences have altered our biases, or enriched our understandings of the difficulties that effect people with disabilities or socioeconomic issues. These experiences will be incorporated into personal statements and will also be used to prepare for interview questions.