COM Office of Community Engagement

About Us

MUSC College of Medicine was founded in 1824 and is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, the College of Medicine is home to approximately 740 medical students completing their training, the foundation of which serves to propel them into their professional lives that bring unlimited reach and scope. Their education encompasses not only didactics but experiences, research, mentoring, service and leadership. The Office of Community Engagement has a strong focus on student education where it is seen both as a foundation for actions in the current time as well as an investment into paths of our trainees far into their professional careers.

Our aim is to shift the common expectation or understanding of community engagement from the typical unidirectional approaches, where “something good” is “done” by a well-meaning individual or group, to a true bidirectional relationship where communities are equal partners in the decision-making and execution of any and all plans affecting them and their environments. For professional students, this can sometimes be a true paradigm shift and the COM Office of Community Engagement seeks to educate and support our students in this process.

Our Initiatives

Education

In charting the COM’s path in engaging with our communities, education takes a center stage for our professional students as they work towards their future roles in healthcare settings and beyond. One of the primary goals of the Office of CE is to strengthen current didactics at the College and move beyond prior understanding of what community engagement involves. Through sponsored discussions, invited speakers and support of external educational initiatives including conferences, the Office will nourish the fertile ground that educational experiences have in fostering growth and change in this realm for our students, staff and faculty.

Service

photo of volunteers painting

At MUSC our students have long played important roles in community service. Over 95% of our graduating students report high levels of satisfaction in their exposure to community service experiences. The recent incorporation of service learning into the curriculum highlighted the importance of a culture of service in our students’ training. Through the Office of Community Engagement we will further elevate this important aspect of professional and personal development by recognizing students, faculty and community members who forge partnerships that encourage deeper understanding and engagement.

Research

Our research efforts affect all of us in the long run, but for many it is not intuitive to involve our community partners in research early on, even when they are an integral part of projects or products being developed. We support equal involvement between our research teams and community agencies or members who may be primary, secondary or even tertiary stakeholders.

Innovation

All ideas are worth hearing, and we want to encourage innovative thinking and development of programs big and “small.” Professional students and trainees especially are often limited not by the scope of their ideas but by the funding and support they receive. Our Office of Community Engagement aims to provide funding support to nurture seedling ideas that can blossom into larger ones to benefit many in future.

photo of vaccination clinic

Funding Opportunities

The COM Office of Community Engagement seeks to support community engagement through a number of funding opportunities. Please visit our Funding Opportunities page for upcoming events and opportunities. 

Awardees & Recognition

The student recipients of our Excellence in Community Engagement award for 2022 are Gabrielle Young and Brielle Smith.

We are pleased to announce the inaugural winning team from Innovation Week 2022 for the COM Community Engagement start up grant! Led by Jessica Tarleton, M.D., MPH, the team will implement a new program called the Lowcountry Doula Initiative.

Congratulations!