Expose students with an interest in medicine to the perspective of the patient in hopes of creating more compassionate clinicians.
Ø Extensive and personal volunteer experience
Ø Letter of Recommendation (Pending completion of requirements)
Ø Activity to include in professional school applications
Ø Clinical/Patient exposure (Advocate for elder patients)
Ø Encounters with elder patients that speak various languages
Ø Medical Escorts (Accompanying patients during medical visits)
Ø Attendance to medically related talks and workshops
Ø Team activities to continue program development/success
Ø Involvement in other FriendshipWorks programs
- Friendly Visiting (visit an elder and provide companionship)
- PetPals (Observe pet visits to elder homes)
- Strong for Life (walking visits and exercise groups)
Ø Commit to 8-12 months (or to 300 hours) and one day a week
Ø One-page typed reflection of your experience
- What you learned
- How your experience relates to medicine
- How you will incorporate your experience into future endeavors
Ø Meet once a month
- Provide program feedback (debriefing)
- Discuss experiences
- Promote patient advocacy (George Annas - The Rights of Patients)
- Medical Escort Case Studies Problem/Solutions
FriendshipWorks’ ongoing mission is to reduce social isolation, enhance the quality of life, and preserve the dignity of elders and adults with disabilities in Boston and Brookline. We have over 25 years experience recruiting, training, and placing volunteers for this purpose.
The goal of the Patient Advocacy Program is to provide participants a wide array of experiences with elders to foster compassion and understanding in future clinicians. The major component will be comprised of medical escorts, accompanying elders to their medical appointments while providing emotional and physical support as an advocate. Participants will commit one day of the week to medical escorts (with some flexibility). There will be further opportunities to engage in both medical and non-medical aspects of elder care, including talks, workshops and other programs within FriendshipWorks. Over the course of several months, the participant will observe elders during their medical appointments, attend monthly meetings discussing their experiences, and at the completion of the program will write a commentary on the program and their personal outcomes. For their dedication, FriendshipWorks will provide the participants with a letter of recommendation in addition to the actual volunteer experience to discuss in-depth in applications and during interviews.
"As an applicant to medical school, ultimately accepted to an allopathic program, I benefited in tremendous and unexpected ways. I directly applied my experience with FriendshipWorks as the foundation for my Personal Statement and activities. On a personal level, I gained an understanding through the eyes of the patient, witnessed multiple medical procedures including electro-cardioversion, cardiac stress tests, skin biopsies, ophthalmologic exams, dental extractions, and many others. I was able to see doctors of different specialties practice medicine. I now have a greater comprehension of Spanish (through working with non-English-speaking individuals), increased understanding of elder populations, and had a meaningful volunteer experience."
- Patrick Aranda, FriendshipWorks volunteer (Sept. ’09-present), Medical College of Wisconsin class of 2015.