GENERAL FAQ

WHAT IS STREET MEDICINE OAKLAND (SMO)?

SMO is a student-led street medicine program, based out of Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine. We aim to bridge the gap between the homeless and unsheltered members of our community and healthcare providers, while providing quality, reality-based, low barrier medical care and resources.

WHO CAN VOLUNTEER WITH SMO?

  1. OUWB medical students are able to volunteer with SMO. Second semester M1 through M4 students are able to sign up through the sign-up sheet sent monthly.

  2. OUWB and Beaumont employed or affiliated physicians can also volunteer to be our supervising physicians. 

HOW OFTEN DOES SMO HOST VOLUNTEER EVENTS?

SMO has outreach events once a week. Every other Friday, we hold drop-in clinics at HOPE Adult Shelter. Every other Saturday, we are providing care directly on the streets of Pontiac (known as a “Street Run”).

DO I HAVE TO ATTEND AN ORIENTATION TO VOLUNTEER WITH SMO?

  1. We hold an annual orientation in October or November of every academic year. This is to introduce new M1s (and any other students that may not have attended an orientation in previous years) to what street medicine is and what SMO offers to patients.

  2. It is highly encouraged that students attend at least one of our orientation sessions. However, it is not required. We send out a copy of our orientation powerpoint before every outreach to the students that are volunteering that week, so they have an opportunity to review it prior to volunteering.

HOW DO I GET ON THE SMO MAILING LIST?

We are so happy you are interested in volunteering with us! Please send an email to streetmedicine@oakland.edu or any leadership team member to get your name put on our mailing list. 

CAN I BECOME MORE INVOLVED WITH SMO OR THE LEADERSHIP TEAM?

  1. Yes! Every year, we add two M1 students to our leadership team, with the intention that they will serve as a member of the leadership team through at least the end of their M3 year (many choose to be involved through the end of their M4 year).

  2. Applications are sent out during November/December so be on the lookout!

ARE THERE ANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS THAT I CAN JOIN TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STREET MEDICINE IN GENERAL?

  1. YES! We encourage all interested students to sign up for the Street Medicine Institute (SMI - https://www.streetmedicine.org/) and the Street Medicine Institute Student Coalition (SMISC - https://www.streetmedicine.org/smisc-about-us). These organizations have an abundance of resources and knowledge about Street Medicine and best practices. Become a member and sign up for their mailing list! 

 

VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP FAQ

I AM AN OUWB MEDICAL STUDENT INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING. HOW DO I SIGN UP?

At 12pm on the 1st of every month, a sign-up sheet is sent to our mailing list with that month’s volunteer opportunities.

CAN I SIGN UP FOR MORE THAN ONE OUTREACH EVENT?

  1. Students may only sign up for 1 outreach event per month. 

  2. If you sign up for an outreach event and get a volunteer spot - please DO NOT sign up for other dates. You have a guaranteed spot and doing this takes away opportunities for other students who also want to volunteer. 

  3. If you have availability for other outreach days and you are already signed up for another, you can try to get on the waitlist for other days. 

I VOLUNTEERED WITH SMO LAST MONTH. CAN I VOLUNTEER AGAIN THIS MONTH?

In an effort to provide opportunities for everyone to volunteer, we ask that you do not sign-up to volunteer if you went last month. You may, however, put your name down on the waiting list.

WHY CAN’T I VOLUNTEER 1ST SEMESTER AS AN M1?

Although we understand that many M1 students come to OUWB with varying degrees of medical exposure, our number one priority is to provide exceptional care to our patients. Because of this, we want to make sure M1s have gone through the basics of the Art and Practice of Medicine (APM) course and are able to confidently take a history and collect vital signs on each patient. After M1s have completed their first semester (and APM 1), they are eligible to sign up for our volunteer events.

WHY AREN’T THERE MORE VOLUNTEER SPOTS AVAILABLE?

  1. While we wish we could offer more opportunities for students, the number of volunteer spots per outreach is designed to provide optimal and exceptional care to our patients.

  2. HOPE Adult Shelter - We have 3 areas at the shelter where we can see patients and give them the privacy they deserve. Therefore, we have 3 teams of 2 volunteers. An underclassman (M1 or M2) and an upperclassman (M3 or M4) are paired together on each team, totaling 6 volunteers. There is also always a leadership team member at HOPE to assist volunteer students and physicians.

  3. Street Runs - We must be very acutely aware of the fact that when we are on street runs, we are approaching individuals that may not know who we are or that we have the best of intentions. We do not want large groups of people approaching individuals, as this may be seen as threatening. For this reason, we allow 1 underclassman (M1 or M2) and 1 upperclassman (M3 or M4) to volunteer, totaling 2 volunteers. Again, there is always a leadership team member on Street Runs to navigate our designated route and assist volunteer students and physicians. 

I AM A BEAUMONT AFFILIATED PHYSICIAN OR RESIDENT. HOW DO I SIGN UP TO SUPERVISE VOLUNTEER EVENTS?

  1. Physicians: Thank you so much for your interest! If you would like to volunteer with us, please send an email to streetmedicinepontiac@gmail.com. We would love to connect with you and provide you information about what being an SMO supervising physician entails.

  2. Residents: Thank you so much for your interest! We are working on ways to incorporate resident physicians into our events, while still maintaining our student-led nature. Please send an email to streetmedicinepontiac@gmail.com so that we can chat about potential opportunities for you.

 

PRE-OUTREACH FAQ

I GOT A SPOT! SHOULD I LOOK OVER ANYTHING BEFORE I VOLUNTEER?

Yes! Before every outreach, an SMO leadership team member will send out an email (usually on Monday or Tuesday) with details for that week’s event. Please review the informational powerpoint and forms that are sent to you in this email.

DO I NEED TO BRING MY OWN N-95 MASK?

Due to the persistence of COVID-19, we are asking that all volunteers wear an N-95 mask and a surgical/cloth mask. We have a limited supply of N-95s, so if you have one, please bring it. M3’s and M4’s can bring the N-95’s given to them during rotations.

I SIGNED UP FOR A SPOT AND AM NO LONGER ABLE TO ATTEND THE OUTREACH. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  1. If you are no longer able to attend an outreach day, please send an email to the SMO leadership team member that is listed for that event to let them know. They will contact someone from the waitlist to fill the spot. 

  2. We ask that you try to give us at least 48 hours notice of any cancellation. However, we completely understand that life happens and this is not always possible. Please always reach out to that week’s leadership team member with any questions or concerns!

 

DAY OF OUTREACH FAQ

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?

Please bring your personal stethoscope and a signed student waiver (if you didn’t email an electronic version of it to us already). You only need to fill this out once.

WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Please wear your SMO shirt with jeans and comfortable shoes. If you do not have an SMO shirt, you can wear an OUWB shirt/sweater.