There are a number of opportunities for you to volunteer throughout the year. Our 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 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 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 blood pressure clinics. With this program, 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. 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.
MECHANICS PARK CLEAN-UP
Sigma Sigma Phi (SSP) hosts the Mechanics Park Clean-Up during the peak outdoor season in Maine where COM students are encouraged to join SSP in landscaping and other necessary maintenance activities. These local projects are a great way to serve the Biddeford community while getting some time outside on the beautiful coast of Maine.
UNDERGRADUATE PRE-MED MENTORING PROGRAM
The mentoring program is designed to motivate UNE’s Pre-Med undergraduate population into realizing their own potential. COM students introduce the principles of osteopathic medicine and lead their mentees in role-playing taking heart rate, respiratory rate, and other basic medical techniques, including osteopathic manipulative medicine. In collaboration with the Student National Medical Association and the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, the program incorporates key initiatives that also recognize and celebrate our differences to better support our students of color through mentorship and by creating a positive, supportive environment for all to thrive.
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 for Maine Marathon participants. With the support of OMM faculty, you will practice osteopathic manipulative medicine (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 of our 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.