A new community medicine program at Earlham College will offer students clinical training and hands-on experiences treating chronically ill patients in the local community.
Beginning this fall, Earlham students enrolled in pre-health programs can become certified health coaches, working with patients in their homes on weekly rotations to promote wellness. The program is the result of an expanded partnership between Earlham’s Center for Global Health and Reid Health.
“This is a win-win-win for Earlham students, Reid Health, and the Richmond and Wayne County area,” says Peter Blair, co-director of Earlham’s Center for Global Health. “Our students will receive additional training and clinical experience while building relationships with our neighbors. The community will benefit from well-trained and energetic students who will serve and engage with local citizens to improve health outcomes while working to reduce costly hospital visits.”
Eligible students will enroll in a pre-program seminar course led by Reid physicians and Earlham faculty. Each week a new topic will be explored, ranging from nutrition, CPR training, chronic illnesses, medical ethics, hospice services and compliance. A subsequent two-semester practicum will then allow students to directly serve as a health coach with an individual in the Richmond community, in consultation with Reid. Students who participate in the program can earn up to three course credits.
“These kinds of experiences are critically important for students as they discern future careers, build a strong portfolio, and prepare for admission into graduate and medical school programs,” says Michael Deibel, co-director of Earlham’s Center for Global Health. “This program also supports the Center for Global Health’s mission of producing students and graduates who see themselves as change agents in their local community and the world. We’re grateful for the opportunity to expand our partnership with Reid and the surrounding community.”
This initiative is just the latest opportunity for pre-health students at Earlham. The Center for Global Health also offers students access to dozens of paid collaborative research experiences, international travel, and a robust externship and funded internship program with local, national and international placement opportunities, including at some of the nation’s top medical schools.
“We are thrilled to be working with Earlham students and the Center for Global Health on this important initiative,” says Dr. Emily Kraft, Reid’s EMS medical director.
“Earlham students already receive exceptional classroom instruction and access to clinical training that make them ideally suited to work with our patients,” she says. “We are confident that this program can make a real difference in improving patient outcomes and promoting quality of life for our most chronically ill patients. We can’t wait to get started.”
Earlham is in the top two percent of the nation for the percentage of graduates who earn doctoral degrees, including the Ph.D., according to a recent report from the Higher Education Data Sharing consortium.
A hallmark of the liberal arts experience at Earlham is the Epic Advantage — a funded funded internship, research experience or project worth up to $5,000 — a level of support that few institutions in the nation can offer.