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Health in Community

Health in Community is longitudinal curriculum for all medical students. Faculty members (physicians/allied health professionals) are paired with community agencies to deliver a challenging and immersive curriculum. Through in-class sessions, reflective assignments and community-based experiences, students participate, observe, contribute and explore advocacy as they investigate three key questions: what is community? Where is community? and Why are some people healthier than others?

Health in Community Profile Image

On site at Music Box Children's Charity (Photo courtesy of MusicBox Children's Charity)

Division:

Faculty of Medicine

Instructor / Program Coordinator

Dr. Fok-Han Leung, MD, MHSc, Assistant Professor, Department of Commuity and Family Medicine and Roxanne Wright, Experiential Learning Lead, MD Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Typologies

Community-Based Project, Placement, or Partnership; Curricular Community-Engaged Learning

Information for Interested Students

Medical students interested in learning more about Health in Community can contact their Registrar’s office or connect with Dr. Fok-Han Leung.

Benefits to Students

Students have supported opportunities to build relationships with staff and community members at a wide range of partner organizations. Reflective discussions and assignments help to make meaning of experience, and they are invited to contribute their skills and ideas in ways that are truly meaningful.

Benefits to External Partners and the Community

Community partners are full co-educators for Health in Community, working closely with medical students and faculty to deliver an experiential curriculum, supervising at their agency and co-teaching in our classrooms. Their input shapes what we do, and their work with students makes them better doctors in the future.

Benefits to the University

The MD Program’s emphasis on integration and collaboration is brought to life in Health in Community. Community-engaged learning gives our students the tools to work with diverse and marginalized populations in an informed and empathetic way, and stands to positively impact patients from all walks of life in any kind of practice.

Advice for Faculty and Staff Interested in Creating a Similar Experiential Learning Opportunity

Community partners have so much expertise and so much to offer your students. Think of where you can build in time for your community partners to support you in the classroom, to consult on curriculum, and to contribute to your research and scholarship. Making time to visit their sites and getting to know your partners and their communities personally also goes a long way in creating solid relationships.