Alumni perspectives on the role of medical school service learning experiences in their professional development and practice

Jane Hand, Alison Koransky, Jason Feinman, Maria B. Pellerano, Manuel E. Jimenez, Susan Giordano, Eric Jahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose. Understand how participation in service-learning activities in medical school influenced physicians’ early careers. Methods. Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with physicians who had completed residency training and held leadership positions within an established medical-student-run, service-learning initiative. The research team analyzed the interviews iteratively, using an editing coding strategy to identify categories, and identified themes by prolonged data immersion. The team sought disconfirming evidence and conducted member-checking. Researchers stopped interviews after no new themes emerged (saturation). Results. The research team identified four main themes: service-learning activities provided an outlet for individuals predisposed to service; participants reported actively seeking underserved populations in their practice; participants described increased sensitivity towards the underserved; and participants reported gaining leadership, organizational, and administrative skills. Conclusions. Physicians who partici- pated in medical school service-learning activities indicated these experiences influenced their professional development and approach to practice. Future studies may consider these outcomes when evaluating service- learning projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1399
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Academic- community partnerships
  • Community health
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Medical
  • Public health
  • Qualitative research
  • Service-learning
  • Students


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