Increasing Awareness on Health Care Access in Florida: A Community-Based Medical-Legal Practicum Project

Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2016 Spring;10(1):141-7. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2016.0007.


Problem: Service learning and experiential coursework has become a requirement for medical students and law students. Advocacy for the underinsured and uninsured is of ethical importance to both the practice of law and medicine, however engaging professional students in meaningful advocacy work with community partners can be challenging.

Purpose: The article describes a partnership between medical and law students in a community-based service learning project to promote health care access.

Key points: Law and medical students at Florida International University partnered with community members and Florida Legal Services to collect patient narratives, disseminate information on Medicaid expansion to community members, and present patient stories to state lawmakers.

Conclusions: The medical and law students learned about each other's professional roles and gained skills in interviewing, and legislative and policy advocacy through this service learning project by providing legislative testimony to key stakeholders and community education on Medicaid expansion.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness*
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Consumer Advocacy / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Florida
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Legal Services / education*
  • Legal Services / methods
  • Medicaid
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Students*
  • Students, Medical
  • United States