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Golisano Children's Hospital / Community Pediatrics Training / Medical Student Opportunities

Medical Student Opportunities

Medical Student Courses

Since 2013 medical students can take PLC or CARE Block as electives.

Peds 661 – Child Advocacy Elective (CARE Block)

– Advanced 2-week elective to enhance skills in community health practice and advocacy. Takes place once a year in the summer.

Peds 662 – Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC)

– 2-week elective that enhances knowledge about community-oriented and community-based health care. Sessions occur repeatedly throughout the school year.

CHIC – The Community Health Improvement Course

– 4th year medical students can spend the 4 week CHIC block working on a project.

Year-Out Student Fellowship

Medical students have the opportunity to pursue a year-out student fellowship experience with the Hoekelman Center. Funding for the year-out experience can be obtained through the Office of Medical Student Inclusion and Enrichment Programs. Students who participate in the Medical Student Research Fellowship have the opportunity to apply for the MD with Distinction in Research in their fourth year of medical school. 

Driving Exploration Photo

As part of the pediatric portion of the Skills in Complete Patient Evaluation (SCOPE) curriculum, all first-year medical students at the University of Rochester participate in the City of Rochester Exploration. In groups of four, medical students drive through various areas within the City of Rochester and its adjacent suburbs, guided by a heavily-annotated and curated Google map created by Marc Lavender, MD. This innovative experience allows students to see social determinants of health in real time – Where do their patients live? Where do they shop for food? Where do they play and be active?  Where do they access medical care? Where do they go to school? The experience is eye-opening, at times jarring, and always an opportunity for medical students to bond over a unique shared experience. Such an experience generates more questions than it answers, allowing plenty of room for discussion during the subsequent debriefing session. Most importantly during the debriefing session, medical students are introduced to ways in which they can address these social determinants of health from day one of their clinical rotations.

Physicians as Advocates Electives Course

Mentored by Dr. Marc Lavender, medical student Howard Lanney developed a Physicians as Advocates electives course in which Dr. Lavender delivered the first session.

Housing First for the Homeless: The Development of a Tiny Home Community

Presented by: Kiera Hayes, MSc
Fourth year medical student Kiera Hayes presented her project on Housing First for The Homeless: the development of a Tiny Home Community which focuses on housing first as an evidence based solution to decrease homelessness. The results for clients who have been placed in housing have been linked with an increase in overall health as well as a decreased cost to taxpayers and hospitals.

Medical students on CARE Block

Medical student Dhanushka Vitharana, a student from Morehouse School of Medicine, participated in the Strong Children's Research Center 2018 Summer Program and presented:
Assessment of Feasibility of Socioeconomic Integration of Rochester City School District Schools through Reversal of Middle-Class Flight.

Reflections PLC collage 2017

Participants in PLC (Peds 662 elective) are asked to submit reflections on what they experienced. One example is this collage illustrating how PLC teaches about connecting patients to community-based non-medical resources, created by medical student Grace Kim in 2017.
Read more PLC Reflections


Students can work longitudinally on community health research projects in the Hoekelman Center. Some have spent the summer doing so.

Rochester medical students Nina Piazza and Beatriz Malibiran participated in a study at the start of the LARC Initiative and that has been published: Greenberg KB, Jenks SC, Piazza N, Malibiran BR, Aligne CA. A Snapshot of Urban Adolescent Women’s Contraceptive Knowledge at the Onset of a Community Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive Promotion Initiative. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2017 Aug; 30 (4): 474-478.

Sarah Korones 2017 poster
Sarah Korones and Dr. Aligne at the 2017 Medical Student Research poster session.

Sarah Korones presents her work on the evaluation of the LARC Initiative at the 2017 Medical Student Research poster session at URMC.

Public Health Interest Group (PHIG)

In 2013, UR medical students formed a Public Health Interest Group to promote opportunities for learning and practicing community health. Dr. Aligne was the founding faculty adviser to the group. One of the group's successful activities has been to organize an annual Community Health Engagement Week for first year medical students.

Medical Students Testimonials