The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted medical education worldwide, leading medical students to organize response initiatives. This paper summarizes the Washington University Medical Student COVID-19 Response (WUMS-CR) and shares lessons to guide future initiatives. We used a three-principle framework of community needs assessment, faculty mentorship, and partnership with pre-existing organizations to address needs in St. Louis, including contact tracing and childcare. In total, over 12,000 h were volunteered across 15+ projects. Overall, student response initiatives should use appropriate frameworks to guide projects and should capitalize on volunteer participation, speed and flexibility, and the diversity of student interests and skills for maximal impact.
- Community Service
- Medical Student Response