Using community service to promote awareness of health care-related resources, volunteerism, and teamwork in an incoming medical school class

Tex Med. 2013 Dec 1;109(12):e1.


Community service has a documented correlation with improved medical school performance. To promote community service and awareness of community resources, a Community Service Day was integrated into orientation for incoming first-year students at Baylor College of Medicine. One hundred seventy-five first-year medical students and 31 second-year leaders volunteered at 11 community sites. We hoped this early introduction to community service would make students more aware of community resources and motivate them to continue volunteering throughout their medical training. Students were surveyed about their experiences. Seventy percent of responding students reported the service day helped them learn about the community's resources related to health care, and 92% reported it helped them get to know their classmates. We concluded that integrating a Community Service Day into medical student orientation is a successful way to expose students to community resources, while simultaneously encouraging camaraderie and teamwork among classmates.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Health Resources*
  • Schools, Medical
  • Social Welfare*
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Volunteers*