Service Learning Program

Where academic study and community service unite in the spirit of social accountability


CACMS (6.6)

Dalhousie Medicine encourages and supports undergraduate medical education students to participate in service learning activities as an opportunity to gain knowledge of community and patient needs.

Service learning is defined as “A structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection(CACMS, 2015)

Through its social accountability mandate, Dalhousie Medicine offers an optional Service Learning Program (aligned with Professional Competencies 1 and 2) available to pre-clerkship Undergraduate Medical Education students in both Halifax and DMNB campuses. The Service Learning Program includes preparation, orientation, community-based service learning experiences (minimum of 20 hours – includes participation in orientation, completion of a project based on community-identified needs, self and group reflection), student assessment and program evaluation. Service Learning is a learning enrichment program integrated into the established UGME curriculum and facilitated in partnership through the Global Health Office. 

The goals of the Service Learning Program include: 

  1. Enhance students’ learning by enabling them to practice skills and test classroom knowledge through related service experiences in the community 
  2. Enable students to provide needed assistance to community organizations and to the people they serve 
  3. Ensure students contribute to the Faculty of Medicine’s commitment to social accountability 
  4. Assist faculty in their role as facilitators of service learning and in their engagement with the community 
  5. Provide leadership training and scholarly activity to advance service learning in the Faculty of Medicine with our community organizations 

On completion of the Service Learning Program, the student will be able to: 

  1. Describe the social determinants of health encountered and develop a critical analysis of how these determinants affected the health of individuals;
    (Professional 1, 4; Community Contributor 1; Skilled Clinician 1c)
  2. Identify the availability of and access to resources for the community or population served by a community organization;
    (Community Contributor 3, 4; Skilled Clinician 1d)
  3. Demonstrate the ability to learn through experience and reflection;
    (Professional 3, 6; Lifelong Learner 3, 6; Skilled Clinician 1c)
  4. Demonstrate the integration of learning in the classroom and community organization context; (Community Contributor 3, Lifelong Learner 3)

Important Dates

Applications close: August 23rd 2019

Orientation (DMNB)    Fri, September 6th, 2019
1:30-3:00pm LRC 245
Orientation (DMNS) Thurs, September 5th, 2019 
12:00pm-1:30pm, Theatre A
Service Learning Experience Proposal Submission Fri, September 27th, 2019
Lunch and Learn with the Faculty leads November post-Neuro exam - TBD
Mid-Unit Critical Reflection & (Formative) Assessment Fri, December 13th, 2019
Mid-Unit Experience Gathering (VC with DMNB)

Wed, January 8th, 2020 
10:30 – 12:00 theatre A/102

Final Critical Reflection (Summative) Assessment Fri, April 24th, 2020
Final Project Fri, April 24th, 2020
Year-End celebration and experience presentations TBD - early May 2020

Additional Information

Service Learning Syllabus 2019 - 20

Service Learning manual with FAQs for students & community partners

Available service learning experiences (by campus for 2019 - 20)

Student application form and worksheet 2019 - 20

Service Learning Launch and Learn Information Session PPT

For more information contact:

Sarah Peddle

Program Manager, Service Learning | 902-494-8054