Medical students team with others to provide care for Martinsville residents in need

LUCOM Medical Outreach

The volunteer sign-up list for the Martinsville Community Care Collaborative (MCCC) was filled with a hundred student-doctor signatures in just two hours.Rachel-Tanas

The MCCC, a one-day event on Nov. 4, is an opportunity for Martinsville, Va., residents to get free community and health services as well a plan for ongoing care.

Trained to make service a priority, student-doctors at the Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) were quick to respond to the need in Martinsville. And even those who couldn’t get on the sign-up list asked if they could help with set-up, teardown, and patient navigation during the clinics.

LUCOM’s student-doctors will assist residents who suffer from musculoskeletal pain. They will provide them with Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, a non-invasive, hands-on approach that is used to diagnose and treat illness and injury.

Rachel Tanas, a third-year medical student at LUCOM and past medical outreach volunteer, said that participating in events like this reminds her why she’s studying to be a doctor.

“In medical school, we can get so caught up with focusing on studying and what we have in front of us that we sometimes forget why we are doing this,” said Tanas who has helped in previous outreaches in both Lynchburg and Martinsville as well as in Guatemala. “But having the opportunity to actually spend time with people and help them even in a small way was an incredible reminder of why I chose to go into medicine.

The MCCC works with area nonprofit organizations in targeting the underserved and impoverished within the Martinsville community. LUCOM teams with many area organizations that are also committed to helping residents. Other types of services offered include dental, vision, and mental health. Resources are also available for housing and job search assistance.

“Over 620 patients have been seen in the clinics through the local medical outreach events,” said James Cook, LUCOM director of Medical Outreach and International Medicine. Many more, Cook said, have also received other types of service. “We are humbled to be part of a wonderful group of people focusing on making a difference.”

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