Day of Service Introduces Medical Students to their New Community

As part of their orientation, more than 100 first-year Albany Medical College students joined college faculty at numerous sites across the Capital Region to participate in a Day of Service and Engagement.

The Day of Service was launched in 2010 by a student from Colorado who wanted to learn more about the Albany community. The single-day event kicks off a year of service learning that is part of the students’ medical school curriculum. Service Learning educates students about the social determinants of health, which are socioeconomic issues that may affect physical and mental health outcomes in a community. The program brings students right into the region’s neighborhoods to meet and work with the people the Medical Center serves.

More than 40 percent of providers in our area got their start at Albany Medical College. Community connections reinforce patient-centered care.

“The annual Day of Service and Engagement offers incoming medical students the opportunity to better understand the communities they will be working with over the next four years as they earn their medical degrees,” said Marva Richards, MPH, associate director of Community Outreach and Service Learning in the Division of Community Outreach and Medical Education at Albany Medical College. “Being ‘present’ and serving alongside community members helps students appreciate the issues residents face that impact their health. Students also learn about the many amazing organizations working to make life better for people in our region.”