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Community Service Learning

Brian Schmidtberg, M16, puts a cast on Cathedral High School junior’s arm during a field trip to the School of Medicine

Community engagement and public service are defining qualities of Tufts University. The School of Medicine partners with Tufts’ Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, a national leader in civic education, to provide the Community Service Learning (CSL) program. Through this program, all medical students spend at least 50 hours working directly in the community as collaborators, mentors, and educators. These first-hand experiences enable students to understand health disparities while honing the clinical, communication, and teamwork skills that are essential to their work as physicians.

CSL experiences address a range of health issues and patient populations. The Sharewood Project, a free health care organization that is managed primarily by first- and second-year students, is just one example of the ways students can volunteer their time while also developing their clinical skills. Each CSL project provides students with the tools to identify and address the complex factors that influence health inequities.

In addition to the CSL program, students committed to working with the medically underserved can apply for the Sam W. Ho Health Justice Scholars Program, which develops physician-leaders and scholars who are trained to transform healthcare in partnership with communities. Additionally, the Tisch Summer Fellows program provides paid summer internships in community health centers and local nonprofits focused on addressing health disparities. The Active Citizenship Concentration Program (ACP) enables students with clinical experience to interrupt their regular curriculum to pursue full-time volunteer work either abroad or in the U.S.

Community Service Partnerships

Our Community Service Learning partnerships reflect a range of communities, health, and social issues, as well as the diverse interests and skills of our students and faculty.  Explore the themes below to learn about the many ways our students are involved in the community.

  • Chinatown Partnerships

    Get involved right in Tufts School of Medicine's host community through one of many partnerships.
    Boston's Chinatown gate
  • Medically Underserved Populations

    Students have a direct impact addressing health disparities through our programs that focus on medically underserved populations.
    Rebecca Lee, M16, and Dr. David Munson, M09 reach out to homeless people on the streets of Boston.
  • Patient Support and Advocacy Initiatives

    Volunteer in a non-clinical way through play, reading, patient advocacy, animal-assisted therapy, or simple companionship through one of our hospital-based volunteer programs.
    Connor O’Boyle, MG17, M21, and his golden retriever visit pediatric patients at the Floating Hospital for Children.
  • Youth Science and Health Education Programs

    Our students work with kids from Kindergarten to young adulthood to support their health, wellness, and science education while encouraging an interest in health science careers.
    Seventh graders learn the fundamentals of CPR in the Simulation Learning Center
  • Opportunities in Maine

    The Maine Track’s immersive, community-based curriculum includes many opportunities to be involved.

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Program Directors & Staff

The program is led by Course Co-Directors Dr. Mark D. Pearlmutter, M84, Carolyn Rubin, Ed.D., and CSL Coordinator, Jen Greer-Morrissey.