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Community Engagement Curriculum

Why Do We Teach Community Engagement?

Our residency program’s mission includes a strong emphasis on serving the North Philadelphia community where we reside. To complement the excellent care our residents provide inside the hospital and clinic, we have created a novel community engagement curriculum that occurs during the ambulatory clinic blocks to educate residents on culturally competent approaches to effective community engagement outside of the hospital. We believe that to serve the community effectively, we must understand the community and its history, including North Philadelphians’ interactions with the healthcare system and Temple itself.

PGY-1 Curriculum: Theory and Practice

During the intern year, all categorical interns have a half-day session each ambulatory block dedicated to self-guided community engagement assignments, after which they attend a small-group, facilitator-led discussion during their Ambulatory Academic Half-Day. The first half of the year’s curriculum provides a solid grounding in the theory of community engagement and the history of the North Philadelphia community, while the second half of the year focuses on practical skills like navigating the mental health system and addressing food insecurity. Near the end of the PGY-1 year, interns start to venture out into the community to participate in the experiential Community Engagement curriculum, which is the focus of the PGY-2 year.

PGY-2 Curriculum: Community Experiences

During the PGY-2 year, residents spend one day during each ambulatory block engaging in experiential community engagement learning in the Philadelphia community. Current experiences include:

  • Assisting new immigrants in navigating the healthcare and legal-financial system
  • Participating in a needle exchange program
  • Working on Temple’s mobile buprenorphine van
  • Participating in mobile homeless outreach
  • Preparing and serving food to food-insecure members of the community
  • Supervising medical students at their free student-run clinic at a local homeless shelter
  • Accompanying community health workers on their home visits.

PGY-3 Curriculum: Advocacy

The culmination of the Community Engagement curriculum is in the PGY-3 year, when residents work in small groups with a mentor on a longitudinal project focused on advocacy. This project is selected by the group and may target changes at the institutional, local, or national level. The goal is to use the skills learned in the Quality Improvement curriculum as well as the theory and experiences learned in the Community Engagement curriculum to make real change in our local or national community.