Spirit of Service Award

IMG_0093This week we are excited to spotlight one of our physician volunteers, Dr. Magalie Bruneus! She is being honored at the WCCC’s annual fundraiser – Without A Safety Net – this Thursday evening.

At our celebration, the directors of WCCC will present Dr. Bruneus with the WCCC Spirit of Service Award, which annually recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond in their dedication to the clinic, our patients, and our mission. As a core member of our volunteer attending team, Dr. Bruneus truly embodies the ethos of the WCCC through her dedication to providing our patients with comprehensive, thorough care while prioritizing teaching and mentoring our student leaders.

We got to know Dr. Bruneus better and learn more about her involvement with the clinic as we prepare to honor her later this week.

Tell us more about yourself

As a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, I took part in a voluntary evening course in social medicine offered to pre-clinical students where we learned a great deal about the social determinants of health and its impact on the community. I actively participated in the free clinic at the school and community health fairs as the community service liaison for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).
During my medical training, my experiences in working overseas in Guatemala and Haiti have taught me the value of providing care to those in need in a community. I have had involvement in the global health delivery online community and with Boston based organization that focuses mostly on educating medical providers via an online platform. Most recently, my involvement in the community have been on a local level.
I have volunteered with Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Program, another WCM student-run organization and I am very pleased to continue to provide outpatient services to patients through the Weill Cornell Community Clinic at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell campus, becoming part of its mission while I am currently a practicing Internal Medicine Hospitalist. Overall, I enjoy providing proficient, patient-centered clinical care in a way that fosters the patients’ sense of empowerment and engagement in their own personal care.

How do you believe the clinic impacts our patients/community?
The clinic greatly impacts the patients and the community by providing services to people on a longitudinal basis who otherwise would not be able to have access to healthcare. During my four years of volunteering, we have helped diagnose patients with new malignancies, suicide crises, need for surgical procedures, and a myriad of common medical issues, including prevention. In cases where the clinic is unable to help, we facilitate referral to safety net hospitals. This clinic is a haven to the patients in the community who have no where to go and facilitate the provision of care in a compassionate and supportive environment.

Why do you chose to volunteer?
I feel grateful for all my teachers and mentors who have given me so much and enjoy giving back by contributing to the community at large by precepting the medical students and providing care in a unique way while addressing the medical needs of some of the hardest working New Yorkers in the area – people who serve as the back bone of our busy community and greatly contribute to our working environment, yet can not afford basic medical care.I chose to volunteer because the experience allows me the opportunity to interact with people of different backgrounds, cultures, walks of life, journeys, and stories, who are unable to have access to clinical care due to cost.

How do you think WCCC adds to the medical school curriculum/experience?
I believe that WCCC not only adds to the academic value of the medical school curriculum by allowing students to hone-in their communication and clinical skills, it also fosters an environment for them to truly learn the practice of modern medicine in its actual contemporary form and achieve the domain of practice-based learning.

The clinic allows the students to function in various critical roles such as: being a team member in an interdisciplinary team of social workers, pharmacy students, medical assistants; acting as a patient navigator or patient advocate. For some of the participating senior students who serve as executive clinical board members, they become more familiar with some of the administrative skills required to run a clinic, as a result of active involvement in the function of the clinic, the logistics of following up on a sick and uninsured patient, the focused outreach to challenging patients, and acting as a mentor/guide to their fellow junior clinicians in the clinic. It has also been very rewarding to see the incredible growth of the student from a junior clinician at the clinic to poised and professional house staff.

Thank you so much Dr. Bruneus for all your time and dedication to the Weill Cornell Community Clinic and congratulations on your award!


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