Community-Engaged Learning at EVMS is integrating meaningful community service‌ with structured learning and reflection experiences to enhance our student physicians’ overall ‌learning experience. It strengthens foundational science knowledge, clinical skills and problem-solving skills in the context of real-world experience.

Our community-engaged learning initiatives give students opportunities for learning that cannot be experienced in a classroom alone.

Report your service hours or explore detailed information on Community-Engaged Learning:

We aim to effectively address our community's high-priority health needs through these pathways:

First Response

Aimed primarily at cardiac and stroke challenges in Eastern Virginia, these initiatives focus on first response. 

  • Bystander CPR: Students research our region's difficulties surrounding cardiac arrest and teach Bystander CPR classes in the community.
  • Community Stroke Awareness: Students research the regional challenges and teach Stroke Awareness and Response in the community, primarily in geriatric settings.
  • Stop the Bleed: Students learn and teach the public lifesaving responses to bleeding emergencies.

Nutrition and Exercise

Diabetes and obesity are two prevalent issues in our region. Initiatives in this service pathway focus on nutrition and exercise.

Health Equity

Unfortunately, there are people in every region of our nation who have a difficult time accessing healthcare. Initiatives in this pathway focus on those who do not readily have access to healthcare.

  • Environmental Health: Students research potential environmental sources of illness, such as harmful agents in air, water, food and soil, and propose solutions.
  • HOPES Student Run Free Clinic: Students work in various capacities at this free clinic run by EVMS students.
  • Mothers and Baby Mermaids: Students become navigators with young mothers to help them journey through the pregnancy experience.
  • Telehealth Access for All: Students work to build capacity and expand teleservices for residents across public housing communities in Eastern Virginia.
  • Street Health: Students work with Norfolk's Office to End Homelessness to find and conduct initial health screening for the community's unsheltered homeless population.
  • #757 WeCare Clinic: Student will lead interprofessiona teams to create and implement a pop-up clinic in the public housing communities of Norfolk, Va to educate, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

The Elderly and Chronically Ill

The elderly represent a rapidly growing demographic in Eastern Virginia. Initiatives in this pathway focus on the elderly, chronically ill or disabled.

  • Beyond Clinic Walls: Students work with Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia and visit elderly residents, identifying and responding to their needs.
  • Hospice: Students explore the role of interdisciplinary teams in the treatment of hospice patients and Advance Care Planning procedures.

Mental Health

Virginia has a population of approximately 8.3 million people with close to 20% of adults in Virginia having been diagnosed with some type of mential and illness and approximately 5% living with serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, biopolar disorder, and/or major depression. 

  • Beat of My Heart: Students lead music and dance enrichment sessions for patients at the CHKD Cancer and Blood Disorders Center to facilitate human and social connection.
  • Health and Justice: Students will learn about the various pathways from criminal justice involvement and the different healthcare services available through pre- and post-release.
  • REVIVE!: Students will lead REVIVE! trainings to increase community awareness and readiness as well as lead research projects to better define Hampton Roads opioid’s crisis and barriers to care.

Global Health Equity

Global health inequities become local health issues quickly. This service pathway places students in the context of some of these locally-felt global issues. 

  • Medical French: Students work with French-speaking patients and earn a French Clinician Certification through Alliance Française.
  • Medical Spanish: Students work with Spanish-speaking patients and earn a Spanish Bilingual Clinician Certification.
  • Refugee Health: Students work with local refugees and refugee service organizations.

We will change our community

Through their service, our students will make a tangible difference in the priority needs of our community. 

Our students will grow

After participating in our service learning experiences, our graduates will exemplify:

  • Community obligation and responsibility. They will live out a well-defined sense of community understanding, community responsibility and community leadership reflected in their choices, future plans and stated values.
  • Human compassion. They will demonstrate humanistic compassion for the people with whom they interact.
  • A value for interdisciplinary problem solving. They will value and demonstrate skills in interdisciplinary approaches to solving the health challenges of their communities.
  • Skills to investigate and meaningfully address problems. They will be skilled at investigating, meaningfully engaging and responding to the health needs of their communities.

Our students' residency applications will be stronger

Through the pathway-specific instruction and qualifications, our students will gain expertise in the disciplines associated with the pathway, and in most cases receive formal qualifications or certifications.

Students remain with their Community-Engaged Learning initiative for four years. This allows for both a cumulative impact that students can see, and a depth of expertise in the area that would not otherwise be practical.

  • In M1 and M2 years, students serve for about 15 hours each year.
  • In the M1 year, students complete two hours of eLearning in Followership, Leadership and Systems Thinking.
  • Typically, in M2 year, students have training that focuses on their service pathway. For example, in nutrition and exercise, there is an eLearning curriculum that is part of a nutrition certification.
  • Students are mentored by both faculty and more senior students. We often find M2 students leading M1 students in projects, which makes sense because they know the ropes.
  • The demanding requirements of clerkships often result in limited participation for M3s, but M3s have opportunities to mentor M1 and M2 students on their projects.
  • In M4 year, students focus on Capstone research, presenting on that research in April.