Longitudinal Community Care Practicum (LCCP)

Student Leading Science Experiment.There are strong data demonstrating that first and second year medical students can make a real difference in the lives of patients. Here at Drexel we have seen that year after year in our service-learning courses and also in the student run Health Outreach Project. Medical students can be effective health advocates and health coaches. In this course, you will develop skills that complement and extend the clinical skills taught in Foundations of Patient Care. You will learn about the lived experiences of illness and resilience and the profound interaction between individual health behaviors and profound social determinants of health and disease. You’ll start your first third-year clerkship as an experienced patient-centered health advocate, ready to contribute to the medical team.

LCCP is a core course in the first and second years of medical school. Students receive didactics in social determinants of health, health disparities, and trauma responsive care. The major focus of the course is a community-based practicum experience, through which students learn from the lived experiences of their community partners, and develop and apply basic health coaching and health advocacy skills.

Year 1: The community practicum takes place over 2-3 afternoons/month, from October to June. Students work with any of the following populations: housing insecure/homeless; youth at risk; elderly at risk; refugees; medical disability impacted by high social need. Settings include residential, school, community, medical and other organizational sites.
Year 2: Students participate in a practicum experience over 10 afternoons between September and February. Some may continue at their year 1 placement. While the focus of Year 1 is the cultivation of longitudinal relationships, Year 2 is geared more toward episodic experiences that allow exposure to wider advocacy initiatives. Many students will be engaging with health advocacy organizations and institutions. Students complete a didactic component and also a capstone project related to their practicum site.


LCCP has 3 major components:

Learning about Social Determinants of Health and Disparities:
You will be learning about the powerful impact of social factors on health and disease, such as: income, social class, race/ethnicity, language discordance, migration, cultural disruption, and psychological and social trauma. Learning is done in the classroom and in the field with your community health partner. The Bioethics thread of the course features topics of Social Justice; Bias and Discrimination; and Ethics of Care across lines of social difference.

2. Practicum in Health Advocacy:
Most weeks of the course will be devoted to spending time with a member of the
community, serving as a health advocate and also learning from the lived experience of that person. Depending on your placement, you will be engaged in one of the following models:

  1. One student paired with one patient
  2. Two med students paired with one patient
  3. A small group of students working in a community setting

Students work with one of many kinds of patient populations, including: youth, elderly, people with housing insecurity, immigrants, chronic disability, chronic illness. The common denominator of all these groups is that all have some social vulnerability and are particularly impacted by social determinants of health and health disparities.

3. Professional
In Medicine, the term professional formation means forming oneself into the kind of person able to provide the best and most compassionate care for patients. LCCP involves learning how to work as a medical professional (not just being a volunteer), building professional communication skills, establishing wholesome boundaries, upholding the ethical principles of Medicine. It also involves bumping up against personal limits and limitations; finding ways to reach beyond personal bias; learning to be compassionate even in the presence of problems and suffering that can’t be fixed. Professional formation is supported through structured reflection and peer-group inquiry.