Before learning where they’d be placed for medical residency, 80 students from ECU’s Brody School of Medicine spent a Day of Service giving back to the place they’ve called home for the last four years.
“Brody is built on a commitment of service to eastern North Carolina in gratitude for the opportunity to learn the art of medicine from its citizens,” said medical student Lindsey Fix, class president for 2014. “So much of our training emphasizes how our role as physicians will be to care for and improve the health of the community in which we live and work.
“Going to school in a rural part of the country gives us countless opportunities to help people in need. The act of service is simply integral to the Brody experience and the culture of our medical school.”
The fourth-year medical students participated in varied projects Friday, March 14. Some related directly to their involvement in medicine, such as service to the student-run Grimesland Clinic or performing maintenance at the Ronald McDonald House, which offers a place to stay for families of children receiving care at Vidant Medical Center.
Students prepared for the upcoming St. Baldrick’s Day event – the third one sponsored by the class of 2014 – which raises money and awareness for pediatric cancer research by shaving volunteers’ heads. The Greenville Community Shelter clinic was also renovated, cleaned and stocked during the service day.
Others projects were simply about meeting a need. Students hosted a pancake breakfast for the families and patients at the Hope Lodge who are receiving cancer therapy at Vidant and live too far away to commute. Others worked with students at the Little Willie Center and helped clean and update the facilities.
Habitat for Humanity and the Center for Domestic Violence also both received help from Brody students during the Day of Service.
The class of 2014 gift to the Brody School of Medicine was to update and renovate the student lending library for pre-clinical and clinical students. This involved collecting book donations, organizing resources and relocating the library to within the med school.
Each project was chosen by the students based on experiences and long-term commitments to service made previously with these organizations, Fix said. Many students have been working with these groups for their entire four years of medical school – some even as undergraduates at ECU.
“For most of us, it was a way to thank these groups for being a part of our lives over the past few years,” Fix said. “The class of 2014 is proud of Brody and proud of our community. Before we officially become doctors and scatter to residencies across the nation, we wanted this opportunity to try and repay some of the generosity that has allowed us to reach this amazing point in our lives.”