Community-Engaged Learning: Bridging Medical Education and Community-Based Strategies to Leverage Health Sciences, Social Initiatives, and Evidence-Based Knowledge

Carolina Restini, College of Osteopathic Medicine
Chippewa High School Coalition for Youth and Families
Chippewa Valley High School
Dakota High School

Dr. Carolina Restini and her community partners work with high schools surrounding the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) campuses at the Macomb University Center and Detroit Medical Center to enrich the educational experiences of high school students while allowing medical students to serve as educators. Fostering this relationship enhances the objective of constructing a sustainable program that empowers high schoolers to utilize their newfound knowledge to make informed decisions. Under MSUCOM faculty mentorship, Osteopathic Medical Students (OMS) learn from and serve their community to strengthen connections between MSU and communities in southeast Michigan. This project was converted into a program, and is founded on three community-engaged strategies, including:
  • OMS sharing their experiences and pathways to becoming medical students, and promoting healthcare to inspire high school students
  • Teaching basic sciences surrounding clinical case discussions and research protocols for students taking advanced placement courses
  • Offering instruction for substance use awareness and prevention 
Through these approaches, Restini and her partners have successfully developed an inclusive and socially responsible program empowering both high school and medical students to take an active role in their education, while also promoting health and wellness in communities typically underserved by the healthcare system.