Harrogate, Tennessee, March 28, 2019—Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine students have a full schedule between lectures, labs and other program commitments throughout the day, yet some are taking an extra hour to help children at Middlesboro (Kentucky) Middle School improve their math skills.
“Our focus is on showing the students that math can be a fun activity and not a chore,” said Evan Crawford, a first-year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM and the student coordinator of MathDOcs. “In the nearly two years that I’ve been involved, I’ve seen great improvement in the children’s academic abilities, but more importantly, those involved with MathDOcs have bonded with the children and have made a meaningful impact on their lives.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday after school, 10-15 medical students or students in the Master of Science program are paired one-on-one with a child to work together on their school work. Recently the program has expanded to include help with reading skills. Both math and reading assignments are mixed with games and activities both online and in group settings. MathDOcs is an opportunity for medical students to gain volunteer experience and help children with difficult topics like math and reading.
“I enjoy helping out students and encouraging them when they are frustrated or struggling with their homework. This tutoring program reminds me of all the people who have helped me with the topics I struggled with throughout my own personal education,” said Ashley Barnes, a first-year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM. “Who knows? These students could very well end up being my doctor one day.”
The medical students involved say the experience has served as a great reminder of their call as future doctors to serve the community around them. Crawford said the program has taught him that service goes far beyond medicine. All of the students have remarked that it has been mutually beneficial for both those receiving tutoring and those volunteering.
“Taking a break from the pressures of medical school and getting to know children of all walks of life has been very enriching and therapeutic,” said Pooya Zardoost, a first-year osteopathic medical student at LMU-DCOM. “As aspiring physicians, this experience reminds us that outreach doesn’t have to be limited to our specific skill set in the health field; lending an ear to a child’s everyday thoughts can be just as powerful.”
The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email [email protected], or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu.