This blog is the first in a new series where participants in the Walk with a Future Doc program at City University of New York will share their experience and discuss the importance of walking in promoting health and wellness. 

This post is written by Tracey Akanbi. Tracey is a 2nd year medical student and co-founder of Walk With A Future Doc at CUNY School of Medicine

Imagine a space where people meet weekly to walk, talk about life, learn more about their health, all the while exploring beautiful parts of their neighborhood. These people range from high school students, to medical students, to professors, and the elderly. On occasion, some walks include a cute dog named Millie. The CUNY School of Medicine, a seven year BS/MD program in Harlem, New York has set out to create this space within the community and to join in on the fun, all you have to do is walk!

Walk with a Future Doc was started by a group of CUNY medical students with the hopes of building a connection between the medical school and the community they will serve. Patterned by the Walk with a Doc initiative founded by Dr. David Sabgir, the students set aside their white coats and textbooks to engage in real conversation with real people about real medical issues. Walks are held weekly all year round- yes we walk in the rain and snow, it’s actually better for your muscles and breathing! Each walk includes a health chat, a scheduled route, and of course healthy snacks!

Why Walk with a Future Doc? Well besides the fact that the students are not yet licensed medical professionals and it has a catchy acronym, WWAFD has established new community relationships. It meets the needs of the community organizations by supporting walking groups. It also gives us a chance to promote local businesses throughout the community. WWAFD provides faculty, staff and students with the opportunity to be physically active during the workday and it helps the medical students develop relationships that will benefit them as future physicians. Overall, Walk with a Future Doc walks with members of the community bridging the gap between medicine and patients through meaningful conversation and talks on increasing health by engaging partners that would not normally walk together.

Every month we will be talking about who we have encountered on our walks, our monthly goals, and some health tips. You’ll even get to meet some of our dedicated walkers! Until the next post, keep walking and bring a friend.