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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 07/30/99
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Medical School Students Help Underserved Cincinnatians

Cincinnati—About 21 medical students from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine are spending their summer working with medical underserved residents from the area in a special student-run program called the Urban Health Project.

The Urban Health Project hires second-year medical students to work 40 hours a week for eight weeks as interns at 19 nonprofit agencies around the area. Job assignments range from providing medical care to homeless individuals, assisting in the OB/GYN departments at Bethesda and University Hospital, and performing social work duties at a battered women's shelter. The agencies receive the intern free of charge. The student's salaries are paid by donations to the project.

"The project enables medical students to experience the art of medicine while also giving back to the community," says Allison Howell, second-year medical school students and director of the Urban Health Project. "Students are exposed to many different underserved patient populations and can see firsthand what these people are going through. These opportunities will help students later in life as they become physicians who treat these patients."

Second-year medical school student Jason Valent is spending his summer interning on the Homeless Health Care Van. "I've learned that people 's health care belief systems are different, " says Valent. "While some people may strictly follow their doctor 's orders, others may not. Physicians have to listen their patients and try new treatment options that fit the patient 's lifestyles. "

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