Social Issues in Medicine
All students at the University of Virginia School of Medicine enroll in the first-year Social Issues in Medicine course. Based on a service-learning model, this course introduces students to the social, cultural, economic, and political issues that impact patient care and the health care delivery system. Students attend content talks that inform them about various social issues in medicine, engage in follow-up discussions on themes raised by content talk presenters, complete written reflection assignments, and perform 30 hours of community service.
When possible and an appropriate site is available, Generalist Scholars students perform their community service assignment as a group. They work together as a team or in small groups at a community site to address a particular community need or challenge. In the past, students have done their service at the local shelter for women and at the regional jail. Sites vary from year to year depending on the capacity of a site to utilize student assistance and to supervise them. In some cases, students may work in pairs or teams at several different sites. Prior to the pandemic, students worked at the local Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail where they designed and implemented a health-related curriculum that focuses on health and making healthy life-style choices. Our students are currently working at UVA Children’s Fitness Clinic.
Outreach & Community Service
Providing Basic Health Screenings at The Haven:
GSP students participate with other medical students in a variety of health screening and education activities in the greater Charlottesville area. In the past, they have performed screenings in the Latino community at a Cinco de Mayo event, at an African-American fair in a local park, and at a local public housing site. Such activities permit students to deepen their understanding of the healthcare needs of area residents. Students are encouraged to seek out such opportunities for service throughout their academic career.
Local Community Engagement
UVA’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) sponsors a toy drive for the children of a local low-income community each year. GSP members Sasheenie, Morgan, and McKenna volunteered at the SNMA Annual Holiday Toy Drive and helped provide over 100 kids with holiday gift cards this year!
For the last several years, The Arc of the Piedmont hosts a Santa Fun Run. Runners dress up as Santa and run to raise money for the Arc which provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities in the Charlottesville community. This year, Mackenzi volunteered with a few of her fellow classmates to assist in the event and serve hot chocolate to runners, bystanders, and bring some holiday cheer to the Charlottesville area.