Nearly 45 Foster School of Medicine students are ready to do their part to help during the COVID-19 pandemic in El Paso.
The group of students have volunteered to assist the City of El Paso Department of Public Health by calling or texting medium- and high-priority individuals in the community who have a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19 due to preexisting health conditions. They will keep in touch with these individuals, checking by phone or by text if they develop any symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection. The volunteers range from first- to fourth-year medical students.
The health department organized the outreach effort, and the students began their work with the health department recently.
“We are truly proud of our students volunteering to help our community,” said Linda Ellis, M.D., M.J., M.A., FACP, associate dean of student affairs at the Foster School of Medicine. “This is an excellent opportunity for our students to apply their knowledge in epidemiology with instruction and collaboration with the Department of Public Health. While not receiving academic credit, they are experiencing hands-on learning that will benefit their practice of medicine throughout their careers.”
Foster School of Medicine students gain experience working with the health department as part of their regular first-year curriculum. The medical school is unique in that its students gain clinical experience within the first two years of their medical education. In a traditional, four-year medical school curriculum, students typically begin clinical work in their third year.