On Saturday Nov. 2, medical students showed up en masse to lend a helping hand to community organizations in need. More than 150 students signed up for the Day of Community Service – known as DOCS for short.
In the School of Medicine, M.D. students are assigned to one of four medical societies according to their career and specialty interests, learning styles and proficiencies. The societies are designed to maintain the medical school’s close-knit camaraderie, and DOCS 2013 provided an opportunity to serve four community non-profits together.
The non-profit organizations were selected by the society leaders based on the history of their societies.
The Baughman Society worked with Safe Harbor Shelter to assemble toiletry packages for the men and women residing at the shelter. The Society is named for Mary Baughman, who was among MCV’s first female graduates.
Students in the Benacerraf Society built a jogging and walking track at Bellwood Elementary School with Fit4Kids. The Society carries the name of Baruj Benacerraf, an alumnus of the medical school who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology.
The Harris Society assembled welcoming baskets for children who participate in programs with SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now). The baskets included healthy snacks, school supplies and toys. The Society is named for Jean Harris, the first African-American student admitted to the medical school.
Students in the Warner Society worked with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Richmond to clean-up a stream near the James River. The Society is named for Augustus L. Warner, the medical school’s first dean.
One of the event’s organizers was the Class of 2016’s Miki Nishitani, VP of Community Service for the Medical Student Government. She says that “One goal is that the students in these societies will maintain long-term relationships with these non-profits through their commitment to service over the years. This way, the event will continue on annually and perhaps even bi-annually.”
For a closer look at the four medical school societies and their DOCS experience, click any of their images above to enlarge, or view a photo gallery capturing their day.