There are a number of opportunities for you to volunteer throughout the year. COM Clubs and Organizations sponsor a myriad of events in which you can participate — regardless of whether or not you are a member. These events provide educational opportunities to the public and, in turn, help UNE COM students become better physicians and people. The holistic approach of osteopathic medicine lends itself to a culture of giving that is reciprocally beneficial. Part of what defines UNE COM is the commitment to provide high-touch community service to underserved populations of people both within our own community and abroad. Because of this, the number of community events is infinite and changes from year to year. Below are some standard commitments in which UNE COM students are involved and which demonstrate the level of dedication and compassion that exudes from these future physicians.
Blood Pressure and Vaccination Clinics
UNE COM students benefit from being part of an urban environment and having access to a community that is able and willing to engage in community outreach events, such as the Blood Pressure and Vaccination Clinics. With these programs, you have the ability to practice critical clinical skills while providing services to the greater Biddeford community. Blood pressure screenings open up dialogue around finding and utilizing a PCP, behavior modification, and other health-related topics. Dispensing vaccines to those in need protects a wider range of patients and promotes an overall healthier community. These clinics enable you to gain real-world experience by applying what you have learned in the classroom, and using those skills to benefit the community.
Public Health Fair
The Public Health Fair is organized by various student groups interested in providing health education to the community in fun, interactive, and informative ways. The different student organizations offer flu shots and a variety of screenings and have included activities such as CPR demonstrations, physical challenges, and emergency preparedness. The Health Fair is not only a fun event, but it also provides free education to the community and helps you direct your medical knowledge and clinical skills in an arena where you can share what you have learned and make a real impact in the lives of others.
Habitat for Humanity
Service and UNE COM go hand-in-hand, so it is no surprise that our student groups choose to participate in something as widespread and successful as Habitat for Humanity. In the past, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations have organized Habitat for Humanity events with great success. You raise money to participate in builds both nationally and locally. Here you have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of deserving families and at the same time are developing valuable life skills that will serve you on both a personal and professional level.
Medical Service Trips
The Global Health Club offers medical students the opportunity to participate in a number of fundraising events to sponsor a service trip to a global community in need of free medical care. In 2017, 28 students and 10 doctors participated in a service trip to Nicaragua. Past years have included trips to Peru and Panama. The students not only gain valuable knowledge from the hands-on experience, but they also impact hundreds, if not a thousand, suffering people by providing treatments that are considered in the U.S. to be basic medical care. The experience also teaches students to practice their ingenuity and ability to problem solve given limited resources.
The medical service trips provide opportunities for you to put the osteopathic principles into practice and to give of yourself in drastically underserved areas in need of your services and expertise. In addition to practicing your medical Spanish, you expose more people to the value of osteopathic manipulative medicine and can teach them how to better their personal health for the future.
Every year, you have the opportunity to provide osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) for Maine Marathon participants. With the support of OMM faculty, you will practice osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) through a real-life application of your classroom experience. The hands-on experience allows you to fine tune your technical skills, exercise your professionalism, and, at the same time, build rapport with the local community.
Clubs and Organizations Fundraising
To give back to their communities and positively impact our world, many UNE COM Clubs and Organizations raise money for local and national non-profits and charities. Some of these have included: Baton Rouge Flood, Hands Together (Student Emergency Fund), National Cervical Cancer Coalition, Camp Sunshine, Dysautonomia International, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network, Covenant House, Toys for Tots, Gosnell Memorial Hospice Home, York County Homeless Shelter, the Movember Foundation, Goodwill, American Heart Association, Autism Society, Ronald McDonald House, the Food Pantry, and more.
The Student Government Association (SGA) sends out weekly announcements regarding upcoming volunteer opportunities. Individual clubs and organizations will also advertise and provide sign-ups for other volunteer possibilities.