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Student Educational Programs

Population Health Clerkship

This is a two-week immersion course (with several preparatory meetings) required of all second year medical and first year graduate nursing students. Its aim is to introduce students to public health concepts and to communities as a unit of care. As a result of this Population Health Clerkship experience, students from the medical school and graduate school of nursing will: 
• Learn to work collaboratively 
• Appreciate the value of looking at populations and communities as units of care rather than just individual patients 
• Become aware of available and needed resources for the population 
• Become aware of the need to work in teams and collaborate with different professions and disciplines providing care and services and value the role of provider as population advocate

Rural Health Scholars

Begun in 2000, the Rural Health Scholars Program fosters participating medical and nursing students’ interests in rural health while equipping and encouraging them to practice in rural or small town areas. Through placements in rural communities and small towns, students gain an understanding of the challenges and rewards of practice in these less densely populated areas. In addition, they have an opportunity to network with other health care professionals who practice in these locales.  Click here to view the Rural Health Scholars Program in more detail. 

Optional Enrichment Electives

The Bigger Picture:  Health Issues Facing the Community of Worcester

The goal of the optional enrichment course, The Bigger Picture: Health Issues Facing the Community of Worcester, is to expose UMMS medical, nursing, and biomedical science students to the health needs and issues of the community in which they live, study, and train. Worcester’s underserved communities are the focus of the course. In traditional medical training, students see only individual patients, and have limited exposure to the broader community context. Through this optional enrichment elective, students have an opportunity to continue conversations with community members and others knowledgeable about selected issues. For each topic, a visit is planned to a community organization that works to address it; visits include discussions with interprofessional teams and an introduction to the community resources available.  Topics/issues may change from year to year, and have included: Infant mortality, Homelessness, Environmental Health, Domestic Violence, Immigration, Food Insecurity, Health Equity and the Effects of Racism, and Drug Addiction.  There are opoprtunities for student leadership in the planning and execution of this OEE; contact Heather-Lyn Haley or Suzanne Cashman for more information. 

Understanding and Improving Our Health Care System

The Understanding and Improving Our Health Care System elective results from a collaborative effort between faculty and students to address several important issues that affect health care providers. The main objective of the course is to provide health profession students with an understanding of the U.S. and Massachusetts health care systems so that as future clinicians they can be more effective in delivering appropriate health care to individual patients as well as in improving the health care system overall. The elective couples lectures and clinical correlations with interactive discussions that provide students opportunities to explore how the system works. Access to health care, rising costs, public health, current events, policy, other countries’ systems, and advocacy are among the topics covered in the course.