Medical students often do not gain significant exposure to the field of psychiatry during their medical school education. The purpose of Project Homestart is to give medical student an early, hands-on, and mentored shadowing experience while concurrently providing mental health services to the homeless women, adolescents, and children of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Project Homestart is a volunteer driven initiative that takes place at a local women's homeless shelter in Chapel Hill, NC on a weekly basis. University North Carolina medical students shadow UNC psychiatry residents, fellows and attending level physicians while they are treating patients at the shelter. In addition, medical students and physicians attend monthly debriefing meetings to discuss their experiences at the shelter and to give the students an opportunity to learn more about the field of psychiatry.