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Community Volunteers are Teaching Our Medical Students to be Better Doctors

April 01, 2019
Baystate Community Faculty teaching medical students

A Unique Academic/Community Partnership

An unusual group of men and women—individual residents and representatives of local community organizations—are directly involved in teaching medical students at the Baystate campus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS-Baystate).

These community members facilitate discussions where they share their personal health care experiences, collaborate on learning activities, roleplay patients in simulated office visits—even help interview applicants as part of the Admissions Committee.

They are our Baystate Community Faculty.

PURCH Medical Education Track: Ongoing Community Collaboration

In 2017, UMMS-Baystate launched PURCH (Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health)—an innovative approach to medical education that gets students out into the community.

PURCH, developed with continuing input from the community, focuses on health issues common to western Massachusetts' urban and rural populations and the complex social and environmental factors that affect them.

This is where Baystate Community Faculty make key contributions to the PURCH goal of developing culturally humble physicians who are community advocates.

Are You Interested in Teaching Future Clinicians?

UMMS-Baystate is seeking people within its service area who would like to make an impact on training future healthcare providers.

Potential opportunities include:

Standardized Patient

Standardized Patients are trained to role-play patients with specific medical conditions and allow students to interview or examine them in a simulated office visit. They provide constructive feedback to the students and evaluate their medical interviewing skills and physical examination techniques.

Poverty Simulation Participant/Facilitator

In this interactive learning experience, students role-play members of families living in poverty—performing activities of daily life with limited resources. Volunteers are trained to staff stations representing various community and government organizations, such as social services, pawn shops, employers, grocers, law enforcement.

> This is Not a Game: Poverty Simulation Opens Trainees' Eyes

Baystate Community Faculty Member

BCF members participate in monthly meetings with Healthcare Education Office staff, participate in professional development sessions, help recruit new members, and may elect to participate in the standardized patient program, poverty simulations, admissions committee, education sessions with learners, and other activities.

To be contacted about your interest in these opportunities, please email Justin Ayala