During my undergraduate work I was very involved in both the community and the university — it was what made life enjoyable. I thought coming to medical school would all but put an end to most of those activities due to time constraints and limitations on activities/service events available. I also figured that any service events would most likely be medically-oriented (which is by no means a problem, but everyone likes a little diversity). I could not have been more incorrect in my assumptions.
During the few months I have been a student at DMU, I have had the chance to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and an even more broad range of community service events.
There are organizations at DMU for every walk of life. Of course you have your medicine- and college-based organizations such as the surgery club (SOSA), the internal medicine club (SOIMA), the military medicine club and a variety of others for D.O.s, D.P.M.s, Pas and members of the College of Health Sciences. In addition there are specialty organizations just like there was in undergraduate, in addition to several intramural sports open to all students.
The real diversity, however, comes in the community service events done by the students on campus (which, not surprisingly, almost all of the students are ready and willing to participate in). There are several events and health fairs where students are able to hone their skills as doctors. Every year DMU hosts the senior health fair in which students and staff provide free healthcare and testing to several hundred local seniors. This year DMU participated in the “I’ll make me a world” event and provided free healthcare and testing for local residents of downtown Des Moines. Every year DMU also hosts a night of free OMT for the local residents. Health fairs and medical screenings are not the only way DMU students give back. Many students participate in Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Iowa or help tutor students at nearby schools. Many organizations host clothing and book drives and some even organize work days for the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. One community service event is to take our doctor bags to elementary schools to show young children what medical equipment is used for and why they should not be afraid to go to the doctor.
There really is no limit to the range of activities and service events on this campus, which is just one more reason I am glad I chose to attend Des Moines University.Photo of the recent Girls In Science Day – DMU students invited 5th & 6th graders to campus. Photo by Courtney Tompkins.