SMI Philly

June 23-July 14, 2018

During this unique three-week, urban immersion program, Christian health professions students learn to address health needs of the largely low-income, urban community in Hispanic North Philadelphia and integrate their faith and the medical practice. Through service to the community, students are discipled, develop their relationship with God and examine their role as Christians in healthcare. The program partners with Esperanza Health Center, a Christian, federally qualified low-income health center with three locations in North Philadelphia. Students from all levels are welcome.

The application for SMI 2018 is located on the link  here.

The student support for participating in the SMI is $1400, which is tax deductible if donors itemize deductions. Many students choose to raise support to cover this cost. If you choose to support raise, we can provide sample letters, forms and guidelines to help you, and will provide support and information throughout the process.

SMI Albania: In July, 2018, SMI will be taking a group of four students to Albania immediately following SMI Philly to provide health screens to the urban community while working in conjunction with Christian Albanian health professionals and students. This is the second year we have participated in the program in Albania, and the program will take place July 15-28. Costs for the two weeks are estimated at approximately $1850 (including airfare) and may be support raised. Participants will have ideally participated in SMI Philadelphia in 2018 or in previous years. For more information and the application, contact the SMI director at

SMI Philadelphia offers:

  • Urban medical outreach: Students live and work together in the dense urban environment, daily providing door-to-door health screens for diabetes and blood pressure, as well as providing information about HIV, asthma and nutrition while sharing the love of Christ through conversation and prayer with those they meet. Through immersion in the community and personal interaction with people in the neighborhoods, students learn first-hand the impact of social, cultural, spiritual, and economic factors on health.
  • Education: Students can each shadow health care providers at Esperanza and observe an effective model of Christian primary care. Third and fourth year medical students may participate in SMI as an academic rotation, pending school approval and availability.
  • Mentoring: Christian clinicians from all fields volunteer to work alongside the students during the outreaches, as well as share meals and even some downtime activities. They will also teach students on topics relevant to medical practitioners during orientation, breakout teaching sessions (“Institute Days”), and the final “Return Training.”
  • Discipleship: Small group Bible study, daily debriefing, twice-weekly teaching on biblical foundations, and daily prayer and worship are integrated throughout the program. Through this, students are able to develop their relationship with God, learn to process and respond to the issues they encounter, and help develop a vision for their own career in health care.
  • Community: As one participant said, "There are many layers of community in SMI!"  Participants live, work and fellowship together during SMI and often develop close relationships. Students also learn to know the local community, and work in partnership with area churches, who provide follow up to those who request it. SMI participants come to know people in the community by meeting them in the churches, in their homes, in the clinic, and on the streets.

To read the student blog,  visit Also watch our SMI Philly informational video.