A team of 10 medical students and two faculty members from Campbell Medicine partnered with the North Carolina Baptists on Mission to provide health screenings and osteopathic manipulative medicine in Kennebec, N.C., in February.
Campbell University photo
Charlotte Paolini, associate professor of family medicine at Campbell University, with Aakash Patel, Sheena Coffey and a North Carolina Baptist volunteer at the Kennebec Baptist Church mobile clinic day.
A semesterly tradition, students and faculty look forward serving members of the Harnett County community in partnership with Baptists on Mission, also known as N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM).
“It was a wonderful experience for all in attendance,” said Chip Smutney, assistant professor of osteopathic manipulative medicine at Campbell. “What we witnessed was a community of people willing and able to serve all those who came to the best of our abilities – this was an opportunity for each and every one of us to share of the gifts we were given, our time, talents and treasure to help others in need.”
As part of the NCBM Mobile Fleet, the mission of the medical bus is to provide a facility for volunteers to meet the basic healthcare needs of patients targeted through this ministry including people without insurance, the financially challenged, ethnic groups, migrant workers, fair workers, the homeless, the elderly and more.
The basic health assessments provided by Campbell Medicine volunteers included screenings for diabetes and heart disease, cholesterol checks, depression assessments and hands-on osteopathic manipulative treatment.
“These experiences help students connect what they learn in the classroom to application in a clinical setting with real patients and real problems – they shift from academic understanding to successful usage in real time,” Smutney said. “Positive experiences in the delivery of real health care allow them to trust in their education, develop their verbal skills in interview, practice good non-verbal communication in the administration of [Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment] between patients’ bodies and their hands and trust in the ‘information’ they were receiving. They are truly well-prepared, and they worked together like a real interprofessional team is supposed to work. All I had to do was get them started; they did the rest. It truly was a beautiful day.”
For the students, the experience is meaningful and educational.
“Every time I volunteer with the … medical bus I know that I am making a meaningful impact on our community,” said second-year medical student Aakash Patel. “Under the guidance of an attending physician, we provide advice and guidance on how to improve patients’ health outcomes. We were able to make a tangible difference in patients’ lives with osteopathic treatments. Outreach activities are great for medical students because it gives us insight into the needs of the community and provides us an opportunity to address those needs.”