The Service Learning Scholars program is a voluntary course at Wake Forest School of Medicine for medical students interested in expanding their medical education by incorporating service learning. SLS is a longitudinal certificate program beginning in your first year of medical school and concluding at graduation. The program is meant to help develop service tools and to distinguish students who develop these skills and cultivate a passion for service. The mission of the Service Learning Scholars program is to foster long-term, sustainable, and developmental volunteer opportunities for our students to build relationships and improve the health and lives of people in our community. The program emphasizes serving underserved populations, specifically low-income individuals with limited access to healthcare.


  1. Community service hours: Students who participate in SLS are required to complete service hours for each year of programming. Hours requirements are posted on each class Canvas page.
  2. Engagement in the local community: Service hours are completed by working with community-based volunteer organizations or causes. We aim to help students identify an area of service which they are passionate about and thereby garner long-term, meaningful community engagement throughout all 4 years of medical school.
  3. Self-reflection: In-person meetings/events and/or reflection assignments are used to encourage students to think about the role of service in their development as physicians and in their future careers.

Curriculum Overview

SLS programming runs all 4 years of medical school. Primary requirements for program completion include meeting service hour requirements, attending mandatory meetings, or completing mandatory reflection assignments. Additional details and specifics can be found on each class SLS Canvas page or through contacting your class SLS co-chairs.

Value of the program

We believe service is at the heart of what it means to be a physician and thereby we believe service learning contributes to student development into well-rounded, compassionate caregivers.