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FSU Medical Students to Spend Next Three Weeks Working in Local Community Service Agencies

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by Nancy Kinnally
Dec. 3, 2003

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State University's third-year medical students will be spending the next three weeks working with local community service agencies in Orlando, Pensacola and Tallahassee as part of a community medicine rotation designed to broaden their understanding of the role the agencies play in health promotion and disease prevention.

Among the agencies to which the students are assigned Dec. 3-19 are county health departments, area agencies on aging, indigent care clinics, and home health and Hospice organizations. "Community medicine is a part of any medical school curriculum, but we feel it's important enough to be the focus of a separate three-week rotation with clearly defined objectives," said Dr. Alma Littles, associate dean for academic affairs.

"By working in a community agency for three weeks, students will develop a thorough understanding of how to access community resources that can benefit their patients and how to participate in a team approach to healthcare delivery."

During the three-week assignment, students will observe and assist agency personnel as they provide services to their clients/patients. "Community service agencies play a critical but often overlooked role in ensuring that patients are able to comply with medical treatment plans, that they receive both medical and non-medical interventions that can improve their quality of life, and that they are able to live and die with dignity and according to their wishes," Littles said. "That's why it's vital for physicians to understand and utilize these organizations to the fullest extent."

The third-year medical students participating in the community medicine rotations are based at the FSU College of Medicine's regional campuses in Orlando, Pensacola and Tallahassee.