Cincinnati--For 15 years, students from the University of Cincinnati
(UC) College of Medicine have had an opportunity to learn valuable
lessons working with patient populations who are medically underserved.
The Urban Health Project, a student-run summer program, is celebrating
its 15th anniversary and its largest year of student participation this
Twenty-six medical students are devoting 8 weeks of their
summer as interns at nonprofit social service and clinical agencies in
Cincinnati. The Urban Health Project is comprised of students who have
completed their first year of medical school and are interested in
gaining experience in a social service atmosphere.
more than just science," said Yvette Neirouz, student director of the
Urban Health Project. "By interacting with underserved populations, the
interns are learning how to work with people who come from many
different social situations."
Twenty-three local nonprofit
organizations, such as Crossroad Health Center, Joseph House and
LightHouse Crisis Center, gain free assistance from medical student
interns in exchange for the opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge in a
social service or clinical agency. For example, Thomas Hair, first-year
medical student and career army officer, works at Joseph House with
homeless veterans. Hair has learned about pharmacology and drug
response through his internship. Amanda Kalan, an intern at Welcome
House Shelter, has gained an understanding of how social security and
Medicare affect the women and children who come to Welcome House. At
Crossroad Health Center, a medical clinic serving low-income and
uninsured people, interns work as medical assistants who check vital
signs and assist with patient follow-up.
"Every year the Urban
Health Project has given us the opportunity to continue serving the
community," said Sally Stewart, executive director of Crossroad Health
Center. "We have been able to establish relationships with UC medical
students, and two of the previous interns have even come back to
volunteer." She said Crossroad has been involved with the Urban Health
Project for the past five years and continues to look forward to UC
medical students to help keep their center running smoothly.
are compensated with a summer stipend from the Urban Health Project
grant funded by contributions and donations from public and private
As the director, Neirouz is planning to raise at
least $60,000 for next summer's program and will arrange an Urban
Health Project lecture series throughout the upcoming school year,
which will include lunchtime speakers and possible workshops.
hope this experience influences the interns throughout medical school
and their entire medical careers," Neirouz said of the valuable
learning experience gained by participating in the Urban Health Project.