MACON – Mercer University will host its second annual Service Leadership Conference Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. in the Medical School Auditorium on the Macon campus. The event will feature presentations by undergraduate and medical students exhibiting their commitment to community engagement.
More than 15 projects, many of which were implemented through the School of Medicine's Distinction in Service to the Community (DISC) program, will be represented.
The DISC program seeks to address various health, educational and socioeconomic disparities in and around Mercer's medical school locations in Macon, Savannah and Columbus. Examples of these projects include providing health care to the indigent population, increasing the number of underrepresented health professionals through mentoring, career exposure and leadership development in elementary and middle schools, and offering health screenings at farmer's markets.
“As future doctors, it's medical students' responsibility to not only learn to treat our patients' medical problems, but also any identified problems in community at large. For that reason, Mercer students take great pride in our community service projects. We view DISC as both a professional responsibility and an exciting opportunity to make a positive impact in the neighborhoods surrounding our school,” said second-year medical student Ryan Guibault.
“At Mercer University School of Medicine, we're encouraged to become community-responsive physicians, who, in addition to caring for our patients, are aware of and willing to address the specific needs of our local populations. The DISC program provides a unique opportunity for Mercer students to apply both our creativity and commitment to service in a manner that benefits our communities,” added third-year student Channing Bowers.
“We would like to invite members of the community to attend this conference, not only to learn about ongoing community partnerships with Mercer medical students, but also to learn how their organizations might become involved in a partnership with Mercer medical students.”
Refreshments will be served and poster presentations will be available for viewing from 10-10:30 a.m., followed by presentations from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. This year's conference is generously sponsored by John Wesley Villas Retirement Center.
About the DISC Program
Mercer University's Distinction in Service to the Community (DISC) program was established to encourage students to participate in service-learning through creating partnerships with local organizations and providing programs that will enrich and benefit the community. The DISC program adds an academic component and allows Mercer University School of Medicine students to be recognized for their commitment to community service. For more information, visit medicine.mercer.edu/outreach/disc.
About the Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)
Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School's primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master's degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences.