Volunteer Opportunities in Medical Education

When students graduate from Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) with a medical degree, they leave with a first-rate education and the tools for becoming physicians who are skilled and caring. The instructors who prepare our students for the rigors of practicing medicine are tops in their fields, and many of them are alumni. Most will agree they are driven by the time-honored tradition that physicians train the next generation.

Maybe you are at a point in your career that allows freedom to explore volunteer opportunities, or maybe you are looking to share your knowledge and experience. Whatever your reasons, we have a variety of options that we hope will match your interests and fit your schedule.

Medical Education in the Classroom

HOST Program — Through the HOST program, alumni volunteers can help offset the financial burden of traveling for residency interviews by offering students free housing and meals.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) — PBL provides the tools for medical students to experience their first encounter with virtual patient clinical cases. Students work in groups to develop learning and communication skills, including problem-based and self-directed learning, critical reasoning, teaching, and teamwork. Facilitators are needed to guide these small groups during two-hour sessions each week.

Ethics and Professionalism — We have a responsibility to graduate morally discerning physicians whose interactions with patients, colleagues, and the public are guided by the highest standards of professional conduct. Physicians need to have the capacity to recognize ethical conflicts when they arise and the skills to make decisions to resolve them. We seek facilitators who do not necessarily have expertise in ethics but who can engage small groups of students in discussions on topics such as death and dying, conception and birth, patient rights, and human research.

Global Health Teaching, Advising, and Mentoring — We have programs at several global health sites, including India, Panama, Ghana, and Haiti, and we invite volunteers who are interested in serving as advisors and mentors for students planning an experience in global health, or volunteers who have projects (either domestic or international) where students can participate.

Teachers and High School Students Program (TAHSS) — The TAHSS program provides high school students with mentorship, access to laboratory experiments, seminars, and classes in gross anatomy. Mentors fill an important role by offering a hands-on experience in their research labs and hospital sites. We seek volunteers who have a passion for increasing awareness about careers in medicine and research and for motivating students to meet their education and career goals.

Clinical Skills

Competency-Based Apprenticeship in Primary Care (CAP) — How to room patients, take vitals, medication reconciliation, nutrition/exercise counseling, the neurological exam—these are all tangible skills that will help future physicians integrate more effectively into the clinical setting and care for patients on a team. We are looking for primary care practices in the Greater Boston area that are willing to have a student shadow a physician one day a week.

Gross Anatomy — Career interests can be diverse, but anatomy is a core course for all first-year students. We invite clinical volunteers to assist in lab dissections involving the extremities, thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and head and neck regions while relating the basic anatomy to practical situations.

Medical Interviewing and the Doctor-Patient Relationship (MIDPR) — The medical interview is considered an art form, and volunteers are needed to lead small groups on topics such as interviewing and history taking techniques; increasing awareness about difficult topics (e.g., nutrition, sex, drugs, spirituality, death); how to talk with children, the elderly, and the dying; and how to write up and present the clinical experience.

Selectives Program — The Selectives Program allows students to sample a wide range of experiences starting in their first semester of medical school. We are looking for preceptors to offer clinical, laboratory, or community health opportunities while overseeing learning objectives and goals.

Sharewood Project — TUSM’s proud tradition, and one popular with both students and alumni, continues on Tuesdays in Malden with the Sharewood Project. We need alumni to return as mentors and to step into the free student-run health-care program. Students gain invaluable knowledge about the challenges that face the medically underserved, and volunteers provide guidance while also reliving the fulfillment of assisting those who don’t have access to health care.

Community Service Learning (CSL) — The CSL initiative stems from TUSM’s belief that the role of a physician extends beyond the clinic and hospital walls, and that future physicians will benefit from experience working in the community. We need volunteer faculty reviewers to mentor students in their CSL activity and to review each student’s final report about their completed projects.

Contact Us

For more information on volunteer opportunities in medical education at TUSM, please contact Kara Ray, Senior Associate Director of Development & Alumni Relations at kara.ray@tufts.edu or 617-636-6594.

“I volunteer for Tufts because the medical school prepared me so well for my profession as a pediatrician. In a sense I am paying it forward, and I am rewarded by meeting the new classes of medical students and seeing their enthusiasm, capabilities, and commitment.”

Carol E. Allen, MD, M71
Tufts Medical Alumni Association President

“I get to work with some of the smartest students on earth, who are so enthusiastic for medicine. They have to synthesize a lot of information and think clinically to diagnose and treat the patient. Each student brings different strengths to the process. As they come to appreciate each other’s different approaches and personalities, they learn to work as a team and trust one another.”

Jack Tsai, MD, M06
Tufts Medical Alumni Association Executive Council Member and volunteer teacher in Tufts’ PBL Program

Tufts Affiliated Opportunities

Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network (The MAVEN Project) — The MAVEN Project is a national corps of volunteer physicians who are committed to the healthcare needs of underserved populations while utilizing telemedicine technology. This opportunity is suited for specialists and primary care physicians who are newly retired or semi-retired, or who work part time and are willing to contribute their expertise to providers and patients in safety-net clinics.

Seed Global Health — Tufts partners with Seed to address the need for medical training in resource-limited countries. We recruit medical professionals with clinical and technical skills, combined with a desire to go abroad, to provide managerial guidance to foreign health-care workers. In order to ensure that the most qualified can serve, Seed offers loan repayment.