MED661SM.41 (Other)
Service Learning

Office of Medical Education

  • Course Name: Service Learning
  • Short Name: Service Learning
  • Course Number: MED661SM.41
  • Location: Other

Please contact the department to verify elective availability.

Description of Rotation

  • Location: Reno
  • Department: Office of Medical Education: Reno
  • Director: Kevin Facemyer, Ph. D.
  • Type: Clinical (.01) or Non-Clinical (.02) 
  • Length: 4 Weeks
  • Preceptors:
    • Kevin Facemyer, Ph.D.
    • Community Health Alliance- SL Preceptor
    • Catholic Health Charities & The St. Vincent's Programs - SL Preceptor


  • Provide a rigorous, in-depth scholarly experience
  • Gain experience in scholastic activity/research through the application of current medical education lessons in a community health setting
  • Provide experience/environment that fosters interest in service-learning and public health
  • Understand the health needs of the Reno and larger Nevada community
  • Establish relationships with community members and gain understanding of the needs and barriers to healthcare access facing the local community
  • Produce students who can function as independent investigators
  • Define and demonstrate principles of service-learning in order to address community-identified health problems
  • Conduct health needs assessments at both the individual and community level, including analysis of social, political and bureaucratic barriers that impede health promotion efforts
  • Describe a public health problem in terms of magnitude, person, time and place
  • Explain the influence of environmental factors on the health of the public
  • Interpret results of statistical analyses found in public health studies
  • Demonstrate a mastery of oral and written communication skills in a well-written report and presentation
  • Present structured reflective practices before, during, and after the community-centered experience

Description of RotationCommunity Health AllianceThere is some variation based on the location of the rotations. Generally, the rotations will consist of the student(s) working in interdisciplinary teams to provide services in a combination of under-served clinics, an oral health program, community outreach programs, and coordinated health screenings.
Within the under-served clinics, the student(s) will perform complete history-taking and physical exams on a variety of patients; assist in clinical assessment and management of patients, assist in patient education and community resource allocation, collaboration with interdisciplinary medical teams in vaccine administration, telephone triage assistance, in-house laboratory testing/ spirometry testing, and procedural assistance with preceptor.
In the oral health programs, the student will meet with juvenile patients and families who receive oral health services in an ambulatory surgical center. The student will work to understand the needs of this population, the rational/justification for such services and observe such services in the surgical setting.Available activities within the community health outreach programs vary by the program. Participating can be tailored by the student within the programs.
For health and eligibility services, the student(s) when possible will complete intake screenings and eligibility assistance with a Medicaid eligibility worker to aid in the understanding of the Medicaid program of Nevada and national level. Catholic Charities & The St. Vincent's Programs (CCSNN)Catholic Charities & The St. Vincent's Programs (CCSNN)The goal of the service-learning elective will be collaboration between CCSNN and the student, which may focus on any identified health, social, economic or environmental issue that affects the well being of Nevada citizens/communities. Based on student focus, programmatic availability and need there are variations in the rotation schedule among senior, homeless, and youth/teens populations. For example, students may rotate in interdisciplinary teams to provide services in the following programs: Crossroads/River House- support program for men and women transitioning out of homelessness, Kids to Senior Korner- outreach to low income areas providing support and immunizations, Resource Network- case management, Casa de Vida- housing and support services for pregnant young women, Food Pantry, Dining Room, Thrift Store, and events.Other Community Partners as AvailableOther Community Partners as AvailableService-Learning Elective options with additional community partners may be available on a term-by-term basis. Please contact the Director with inquiries regarding potential alternative community partners, or with a proposal for establishing a new community partner elective option.References/MaterialsAdditional references in program outline.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
  • National Clearinghouse:
  • Turnock, B. Public Health. What It Is and How It Works, 3rd ed. 2004
  • US Dept. of Health and Human Services website:
  • Healthy People 2020
  • US Health Resources and Services Administration:
  • Cultural competency resource guide for healthcare providers:
  • Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada

Evaluation Method

  • Attendance and participation in the Introductory Service-Learning Workshop is required prior to the initiation of the community project and 4-week elective.
  • Students will be evaluated based on community participation, appropriate completion of course requirements, and feedback/evaluations from UNR Med and community partner representatives. Community partner evaluations will include your ability to address the needs of the community, understanding of client needs, and contributions to larger institutional and partner missions.Student reflections in pre, during, and post experiences will be evaluated on completion and depth of reflection.
  • Elective participants will be required to submit a final report and presentation to the Service-Learning Committee, and are recommended to participate in the Service-Learning Showcase hosted by the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement with the University of Nevada, Reno.For the Scholarly Concentration program, student(s) will complete all requirements of the elective including weekly reflective assignments, scholarly project, all evaluations of the program and a poster presentation before the Scholarly Concentrations are granted.


  • Honors
  • High Pass
  • Pass
  • Fail

Special NotesThis course may be Clinical (section 1) or Non-Clinical (section 2). Discuss project with Director prior to registering to determine if it will be classified as Clinical or Non-Clinical and number of credits.


  • Honors: An exceptional performance which exceeds all course objectives
  • High Pass: A performance which exceeds most course objectives
  • Pass: A performance which meets the course objectives
  • Fail: A performance which does not meet the course objectives

Special Notes

Before requesting this course:

1. Confirm with the preceptor that they will precept you on your planned work, and whether it will be considered clinical or non-clinical.

2. After they have approved, include the preceptor's name in the notes on the Add/Change Form.