It Could Be You
Emma Lo, a third-year student at SMD, has spent a lot of time in city parks, under bridges and wandering city streets, settings not usually recommended for students. But the neighborhoods and the people there hold great interest for her and are the target of SMD’s UR Street Outreach program, which she helped launch to improve access to quality health care for Rochester’s homeless population. “You realize that these people, who superficially seem so different, could really be you,” said Lo.
“They are some of the most challenging patients, which makes every small success so rewarding,” said Lo. “Our goals are two-fold: improve access to health care and resources for the street homeless, and break down barriers between the medical world and this very misunderstood population. This project embodies the values of the biopsychosocial model and is necessary for my education as a physician.”
“Students learn a valuable lesson by working with a population that’s so marginalized and has very few resources,” said Adrienne Morgan, senior director of SMD’s Center for Advocacy, Community Health, Education and Diversity, which oversees UR Street Outreach. “It gives them an opportunity to figure out how they can solve a complex problem that’s not just physical, but also very socially and psychologically oriented. It gives students a chance to help people transform their lives, if that’s something they want to do.”