Cincinnati--Medical students at the University of Cincinnati (UC)
College of Medicine respond to local medical needs in Cincinnati this
The Urban Health Project, a student-run summer program,
is an opportunity for second-year medical students to gain experience
in a social service atmosphere and learn valuable lessons working with
patient populations who are medically underserved.
UC medical students dedicate eight weeks of summer as interns for
nonprofit social service and clinical agencies in Cincinnati.
to Andi Funderburg, student director of the Urban Health Project, the
mission of the 16-year-old project is to expose medical students to the
cultural and environmental dynamics of urban healthcare needs and offer
public assistance in Cincinnati.
A previous intern, Karen Hover,
referred to the experience as "social learning rather than scientific
learning. It is a chance to start appreciating the many factors which
contribute to health and disease."
The 25 local nonprofit
organizations, such as Crossroad Health Center, Tender Mercies and
Lighthouse Youth Crisis Center, gain free assistance from medical
student interns. In exchange for their service, students have the
opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge in a social service or clinical
agency. This year, three new sites, Elm Street Clinic, Stepping Stones
and the UC Family Practice, have partnered with the UC Urban Health
Project to provide additional community assistance.
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." According to Stewart, Crossroad has been
involved with the Urban Health Project for the past six years and
continues to look to UC medical students to help keep their center
Interns are compensated with a summer stipend
from the Urban Health Project grant, funded by contributions and
donations from public and private organizations.
As the director,
Funderburg is planning to raise funds to match the $80,000 available
for this summer's program and will arrange an Urban Health Project
lecture series throughout the upcoming school year, including lunchtime
speakers and possible workshops.
"I hope students walk away from
this experience with an improved sense of compassion and understanding
to become better healthcare providers," Funderburg said.