Burnett School of Medicine at TCU Students Help Local Communities Embrace Healthier Lifestyles Through Community Impact Projects

The Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University's Preparation for Practice (P4P) curriculum partners with local communities where medical students  gain knowledge of health care issues and develop plans to tackle those problems. 

By Lewis Jackson

Photo Credit: Burnett School of Medicine at TCU


FORT WORTH – On a pleasant Sunday morning, a long line formed outside the Greater Rising Star Baptist Church in Fort Worth’s Como neighborhood where church members put down their Bibles and picked up blood pressure cuffs.

Sofia Olsson, MS-3 at the Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at Texas Christian University, was one of the medical students providing blood pressure screenings and checking patients for diabetes outside the church. 

With no pharmacy close by to get blood pressure readings, the services really helped this neighborhood.  “It also gave them some inspiration on how to better care for their health,” Olsson said.  

This kind of community interaction is all by design.   

It’s a part of the Preparation for Practice (P4P) curriculum that medical students at the Burnett School of Medicine at TCU begin from the moment they start medical school.  In their first year, students are partnered with local communities that include Eastside/Stop 6, Northside/Diamond Hill, and Como.  

Throughout their time in medical school, they volunteer and interact with community members to learn what issues affect them the most.  During their third year, students present a Community Impact Project that highlights an issue community members deem important.  

“Joining these communities and helping create a plan, then helping bring that plan to fruition is very special and very fun,” Olsson said.    

Mental health, sports physicals, and cancer awareness are just a few issues students have tackled alongside community leaders over the years. Thanks to generous donors more of the projects will become reality. 

“This really shows us who we are serving in the community and it really brings out our passion and empathy,” Olsson said.