Summer Service-Learning Assistantship Program


Coordinated in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the MassAHEC Network, the Summer Service-Learning Assistantship Program offers rising second-year medical students the opportunity to work in a wide variety of community-based health, educational and human service organizations throughout the Commonwealth during the summer months.

The main goals of the program are to provide unique service-learning experiences for future physicians, help students understand the connection between an individual’s health and a community’s health, enhance students’ understanding of community health care problems and needs of underserved populations, and provide community based organizations with needed staffing and services. For the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the program establishes and strengthens relationships with community-based health, education and human service organizations that work with underserved populations across the state.

Click here for the Summer Assistantship information sheet for students. This sheet explains the structure of the program and the expectations we hold for student participants, which include particiaption in regular reflective discussion sessions, completion of a reflection journal and creation of an informational poster, to be displayed at the Summer Student Poster Session along with those completed by students in the University's other summer student programs.

The 2014 Summer Service Learning Assistantship Posters are available for viewing online (see sidebar on the left) to give you a sense of the types of placements and projects that are possible.  Questions to guide reflection for essays can be found here. Student directions for completing posters can be found here.

We are hoping to address several community-identified needs in 2015, so among our opportunities are these pre-defined positions (described further here):

Edward M Kennedy Family Health Center – assist with community health worker training kit
Family Health Center Worcester – hypertension project assistant
Mosaic Cultural Complex and Hector Reyes House – develop IT capacity for health education
Worc. Div of Public Health - safe prescribing project assistant
Worc. Div of Public Health - overdose prevention project assistant
Worcester Refugee Assistance Project - summer youth program assistant coordinator

You can complete an application online at Completed applications are due March 6, 2015.  Questions and conversations are welcome - contact either Heather-Lyn Haley or Suzanne Cashman to discuss options in greater detail.

Past placement sites include:   AIDS Project Worcester, Elder Services of Worcester, Pernet Family Health Services, the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project, Family Health Center Worcester, the YWCA of Central MA, the Worcester Department of Public Health, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, and many others. 

 Funding for this program in 2015 comes from the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, the MassAHEC Network and a HRSA Predoctoral Education grant. 

The exact 2015 Schedule will be determined in the coming months. To get a sense of the organization of the summer, here is the general Summer Assistantship schedule:



Mtg 1-Required: Orientation/logistics

First week of May

Learning goals due

End of May

Mtg 2:Organizational mission

Early June

Mtg 3: Lessons learned

Late June

Mtg 4: Looking forward


Mtg 5 Required: Final reflection w/ potluck

Early August

Poster files due (24”x36”)

Early August

Required: Poster Session




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