South Florida Hospital News
Sunday October 13, 2019

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June 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 12



FAU Joins PROPEL to Build a Community of Compassion Among Next Generation of Physicians

Just how do new doctors “learn” bedside manner, or the compassion necessary to be an empathetic medical provider?

For the students of Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the answer is by getting to know the people they may treat one day – face-to-face and right now. This summer, beginning in August, a class of FAU medical students will conduct a Service Learning Project at PROPEL (People Reaching Out to Provide Education & Leadership), which works with local teenagers and pre-teens.
The Service Learning Project will be a ‘win-win’ for both groups. The medical students will learn what issues are affecting the health and well-being of local teenagers, be it stress from school and home to poor nutritional choices or lack of sleep. The students of PROPEL, who range in age from 12 to 19, will learn what it takes to become a doctor or professional caregiver and what kind of dedication is required to achieve success in the medical field.
PROPEL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth from south Lantana to Boca Raton achieve academic success through leadership training, tutoring and life-skills programs. Located in east Boca Raton, PROPEL successfully works with more than 100 students through its after-school and weekend programs, focusing on literacy enhancement, SAT/ACT Prep, STEM programs, healthy living initiatives and post- secondary career planning.
Since so much of PROPEL’s mission is focused on helping students achieve in the classroom and in life, getting to know other students who are exceling in their field is an important motivator, said PROPEL CEO Gregg Francis.
“This Service Learning Project benefits our kids by giving them access to other young people who are working just as hard as they are, if not harder, to make their goals a reality,” Francis said. “We hope our students learn that one, if they want to be a doctor, that it’s achievable; and two, if they want to be healthier, here’s how.”
For FAU students, connecting to the community they may serve one day is crucial to understanding the factors that affect health and wellness.

To learn more about PROPEL, visit or call (561) 955-8553. 

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