Student Community Engagement

A mobile health clinic called the Family Van outside on a sunny day


HMS encourages, fosters and supports medical students' participation in community engagement, whether as a scholarly project or as an independent activity. The Office for Community-Centered Medical Education (OCCME) and the Office of Scholarly Engagement (OSE) promote community engagement as an integral part of medical education. This is accomplished through:

  • Giving students the knowledge and skills necessary to engage and work with communities by providing information, training, mentoring and other resources
  • Providing funding for students who help sustain existing or new community-based projects
  • Deepening students' knowledge and understanding of community and civic engagement, social justice, health equity and advocacy

Guiding Principles

A. The acknowledgment of the importance of understanding the community's and patient's perspective, experience and culture

B. Creating collaborative, sustainable partnerships with community agencies

C. The belief that community engagement and learning can be part of a larger agenda at health professional schools to reduce/eliminate health disparities. We believe that it is the obligation of institutions of higher education and health care institutions to engage with their surrounding communities.



    Opportunities for medical and dental students to engage with local communities in the Boston area and elsewhere are plentiful. Students have a range of options for short-term service, longer-term engagement, clinical training and scholarly work.

    Students can...

    HMS/HSDM Community Service

    Learn about student groups, community organizations and scholarly projects.


    Students can request funding for student community engagement.