The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Office of Community Service Programs has been supporting students since 2002, working to increase and improve medical student service and civic engagement opportunities.

Community engagement and service-learning enhance medical education by bringing knowledge learned in the classroom to life, contributing to communities, and providing a solid foundation for professional altruism.

According to the Pew Health Professions Commission's 1998 report,"The nation and its health professionals will be best served when public service is a significant part of the typical path to professional practice. Educational institutions are the key to developing this value."

It is our hope that UW School of Medicine and Public Health students will take advantage of the various opportunities for service and engagement available to them as medical students, and that these experiences inform and enrich their education.

Over the past few years, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of service and engagement in medical education. Both the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME, the accrediting body for medical schools) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have spoken directly to this issue.