COE Program

Rodney M Coe Program

Program Description

The MD with Distinction in Community Service is awarded upon graduation following the completion of a four-year program of community service, faculty-guided reflection and integrative workshops at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. The program is designed to promote a reciprocal, beneficial relationship between the student and the community that results in both professional character development and increased community health. The Coe Program provides service learning opportunities for you to develop a familiarity with the context of and interventions applied to communities and community health issues in order to acquire skills, compassion and understanding, and thereby developing leadership abilities necessary for successful work in the community.

Applications can be made through the Department of Community and Family Medicine within the first year of medical studies. The Coe Committee screens and accepts applicants based upon your desire and commitment to participate in community service as well as upon space availability in the Program.

Once accepted into the Coe Program, you will meet with Fred Rottnek, David Pole, Kelly Everard, or Rupal Trivedi, one of whom will be your mentor for the first year of the program. After the first year he will assign you to a faculty mentor from the Department of Community and Family Medicine or the Family Practice Program based on your area of interest. Mentors will follow your progress, approve all qualifying experiences, and provide guidance for your final community service project.

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Who is Coe?

Dr. Rodney Coe began his career as a criminologist for the Illinois prison system. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology fromWashington University in St. Louis. Dr. Coe continued research in the area of medical sociology and long-term care facilities, which lead to a career path of gerontology. In 1970, Dr. Coe began his career as Associate Professor of the Department of Community Medicine at SLU. In 1972, he earned the rank of Professor, and in 1982 he was appointed as Chairperson of the department, a position which he held for 10 years. Dr. Coe is an accomplished scholar and researcher who published numerous articles and books covering gerontology and medical sociology issues.

The Rodney M. Coe Distinction in Community Service award was established based upon the desire and passion of medical students who Dr. Coe worked with at that time and his advocacy efforts within the School of Medicine. The medical students had a desire to expand and include their medical training to include service within the community. This philosophy of service, strongly held by Dr. Coe from his research and work, was something he wanted to support and cultivate in current and future medical students. Dr. Coe developed the initial guidelines of a four-year faculty mentored program that encouraged and supported not only the service component but the development of leadership skills and qualities of reflection on how these experiences could shape or influence the future practice of medical students, regardless of their eventual discipline within the medical profession. The Class of 1995 had the first four medical students to graduate with an MD with Distinction in Community Service.

Dr. Coe retired from SLU in 1999, after 29 years of service, where upon he was awarded title of Professor Emeritus for the Department of Community and Family Medicine and his name was added to the Distinction in Community Service award, which he had advocated to have established.


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