Community Orientation and Walking Tours
In the summer of 2003, the first walking tour took place during orientation week for the incoming class. The tour was designed to give students a first-hand perspective to the historical and cultural richness of East Harlem, better known as Spanish Harlem, and become familiar with the community they would be trained in for the next four years.
Known as the East Harlem Walking Tour, this activity has become an official medical school orientation event. Over 120 students and approximately 20 upperclassmen, faculty, and a handful of East Harlem community partners who participate as tour guides venture off for an afternoon on a hot summer day in August to walk the neighborhood, nosh along the way, and have a discussion about the historical and present-day transformation of the community. The tour has evolved into providing incoming first-year students a social cultural experience of East Harlem in which they can begin to develop knowledge and awareness of community health and cultural diversity, be exposed to a medically underserved community, as well as become informed about health disparity issues through community interaction and engagement.
At the end of the tour, students, with the facilitation of faculty and staff, debrief and reflect on their experience. They have become aware of the impact of community on individual health and illness and begin to gain an understanding of the social determinants of health, especially for East Harlem residents. This tour marks the beginning of a long walk they will take over the next four years of their training and education as physicians who will be able to know what it means to treat patient as community.
East Harlem Walking Tour Map (Updated 2009) [PDF]
For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Andria Reyes at 212-241-2884
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