AHEC Medical Student Programs

First, second and third year medical students at Rowan University, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford campus, participate in community learning experiences in the Garden AHEC service area.

First and Second Year Students:
On Doctoring is a new program initiated in 2014 by the Department of Family Medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. The two-semester course introduces first and second year students to the role of the primary care physician in the delivery of healthcare to underserved communities in South Jersey.  Garden AHEC arranges for approximately 50 students to volunteer one or two days at the Cumberland Family Shelter, Hispanic Family Success Center in Gloucester County or with our STEPS for Kids program.  Students provide basic medical assistance such as screenings and health education as well as non-medical volunteer services.  These placements provide students with a greater understanding of the barriers that patients sometimes face in meeting their healthcare needs.

Rowan SOM 3rd year medical students
help out at Vineland health department


Cumberland Family Shelter- I just wanted to let you know that E. the Medical Intern that just completed his hours at our facility was GREAT!! He helped many of our clients, was very pleasant and a pleasure to have here.  I am sure he will be successful in the medical field. He indicated that he plans to go into research, but if he changes his mind and decides to open a practice and we required his service, we would all feel confident to have him as our doctor. If he does go into the research field, I am sure we will all benefit from his discoveries. Thank you again for thinking of our agency for this program.

Hispanic Family Success Center- They were amazing and I cannot thank you and them enough!! Please pass on to any and all interested parties how grateful the Woodbury Family Success Center staff and families are for their dedication and kindness.

SW facilitated a wonderful workshop on Healthy Eating Habits!

Cumberland County Health Department- I wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed having JS as our student. Our nursing division cannot say enough nice things about JS.   He helped them at clinics, screenings and immunization audits. He also helped our preparedness division by writing and reviewing standing orders for our medical needs shelter.  

Third Year Students: 
Students in the third year of medical school participate in a ten-day Community Service Learning Experience.  Students work at sites in the Garden AHEC service area providing health education and medical assistance to a variety of medically underserved populations.  Placements include hospice services; PACE day program for those who meet the nursing home level of care; continuing care retirement community; residential program for youth; wound center; addiction treatment center; family shelter, emergency services; health departments; and federally qualified health center. Some placements are at Inspira Health. 
This program gives students an opportunity to interact with underserved populations, practice in underserved areas (lacking sufficient medical services) and to encourage students to pursue careers in medically underserved communities.
I learned the economic and vast health disparities that exist in Cumberland County. When I did my meals on wheels rotation, I saw how in rural areas people are really struggling with little access to food and healthcare. This is an issue that we as future physicians should address.

I learned that the underserved includes our veterans as well as the impoverished.
I believe that working with underserved communities, especially as a student, is extremely important. Understanding the roles of all of those who work in the community and how we can collaborate and make healthcare better not only helps the community, but gives students a good foundation on which to start caring for and treating different populations we may encounter.

 Rowan medical student assists with the Southern
New Jersey's Mobile Tobacco Prevention Program

I learned a lot about Hospice and Palliative Care and what they do for both patients and families. I learned that it´s not all about end of life care and that it´s about connecting the dots for them so that they can better understand the medical conditions of the patient and what they mean for the patient. I also learned about the services they provide not just to the patient, but to their families as well even after their loved one has passed.

I think my time with the AHEC site was a great extension of my family medicine rotation. I was able to apply the skills I had learned to a different population and expand my skills with this population.

This experience turned out to be a lot more fun than I had expected. Ranch Hope was a wonderful site that provided me the opportunity to partake in various aspects of not only providing clinical care to teens with special needs but I also got to learn about the specifics of funding such healthcare. The staff was welcoming and helpful which was truly great too.