Dal Alert!

Receive alerts from Dalhousie by text message.


Service Learning

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

What is Service Learning?

“a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Medical students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens and professionals” (LCME 2013)

At Dalhousie’s Medical School, Med 1 students are introduced to the program and related concepts during ProComp I. In Med 2, students in both campuses (Halifax and DMNB) have the option to take part in the non-clinical community-based experience and reflective components. For those who opt to take part in the program, they will complete a minimum of 20 hours in their service learning experience settings contributing to a project based on community-identified needs (October – April). The program appears on the students’ official transcript as MEDI 2612.

Why Participate?

  • Practice skills and test classroom knowledge through experiences in the community
  • Be able to describe the social determinants of health encountered and develop a critical analysis of how these determinants affect the health of individuals
  • Provide needed assistance to community organizations and to the people they serve

Service Learning Syllabus [PDF 819 KB]

To view available Service Learning opportunities please review the Experience Summaries [PDF 556 KB]

Important Dates

Application launch: August 26th, 2016
Application closes: September 14th, 2016
Orientation: September 26th – 30th 2016
Experiences Begin: October 3rd, 2016
Mid-unit reflections and formative assessments due: December 12th, 2016
Final unit reflections and summative assessments due: April 21st, 2017 

Additional Information

Service Learning Leadership Team

Faculty Leads

  • Dan Boudreau is the Service Learning Faculty Co-Lead, Halifax, and is an emergency physician in Dartmouth with a keen interest in local global health work through his support of students, community organizations and various initiatives in the Global Health Office.
  • Sarah Gander is the Service Learning Faculty Co-Lead, DMNB, and is a paediatrician based in Saint John who has led work with medical students to create a social paediatrics electives.  

Administrative Leads

  • Sarah Peddle is the Program Manager for Service Learning and a psychologist by training who has been working at Dalhousie leading and facilitating research teams focusing on HIV/AIDS and Hep C over the last five + years.
  • Pam Bourque the Chief Operating Officer, DMNB, and is the administrative lead for the DMNB component of service learning and will be building service learning experiences with community partners and students.

Student Leads

  • Kit Moran is a Med 1 student (soon to be Med 2) who was assigned this role through his participation in the DMSS. Kit has a strong background in climate change, student leadership and an avoid swimmer and coach. Kit has been elected as the Halifax Med 2 rep so he will be with us for a second year.
  • Andy Hong is a Med 1 student (soon to be Med 2) who was recently elected as the Med 2 rep for DMNB over the next year.

Med 1 student representatives for 2016-2017 will be elected when the fall term begins.

Additional Supports

  • Shawna O’Hearn is the Director of the Global Health Office and has been the main driving force and common thread for all of the service learning planning over the past two years.
  • Christy Simpson is the Department Head and Associate Professor in the Department of Bioethics and currently serves as the main link to ProComp, including further integration of service learning into this unit.

Service Learning manual with FAQs (in development)

Information for community-partners (current and potential)

Are you a part of or know a community-based organization that would be interested in participating in the program as a community partner? Please contact the Program Manager, Sarah Peddle at sarah.peddle@dal.ca or 902-494-8054 for more information.

For more information contact:

Sarah Peddle
Program Manager, Service Learning sarah.peddle@dal.ca | 902-494-8054 

For more information contact:

Sarah Peddle
Program Manager, Service Learning sarah.peddle@dal.ca | 902-494-8054