TOUCH Program

Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health

TOUCH (Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health) is a national initiative of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP). This program encourages osteopathic medical students to engage in service throughout their community, in order to impact those outside of osteopathic medical students and professionals, for the purpose of expanding the osteopathic ideals and principles to those unaware of our professional values.

In accordance with the osteopathic philosophy of treating the whole patient, service goes beyond mere health promotion and can include a wide array of involvement that has a strong positive impact on peoples’ lives.

The TOUCH year for 2016-2017 goes from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 at 11:59pm!

How will you be recognized?

*If you accumulate 50 TOUCH hours or more, you will receive a TOUCH Award recognition in your MPSE (Medical School Performance Evaluation) Letter from the Dean. This letter is sent to all Residency Program Directors as part of your residency application. You’ll also get a certificate and lapel pin.

Platinum Level Recognition: TCOM Student with the most service hours

Gold Level Recognition: At least 100 hours of service

Silver Level Recognition: At least 50 hours of service

How do you participate?

  1. Set up an account: Go to and create your profile with your school email address
  2. Submit hours for approval: Start logging service hours by selecting “Create TOUCH Point Request” and filling in the event description fields. You can save a submission as a draft and return later or submit for approval by the School Coordinator
  3. Get TOUCH points for approved hours: You will receive e-mail confirmation once your hours are approved or denied by the School Coordinator. Log into your account and use the dashboard tab to view all Approved, Denied, Draft, and Pending submissions and your TOUCH point total
  4. Keep a backup copy for your records: Use the “Export My Data” (accessible from the profile tab) to save an extra record of your hours on a local drive

Further information found here will provide a quick summary of the website for future reference. It works best using Google Chrome!

If a submission is more than 10 hours for one event, don’t forget to send a supplemental form to your TCOM TOUCH coordinator: Rachael Price, OMS-III:

You may claim only half the hours spent organizing/planning a community service event. You may find the protocols and standards here. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR HOURS WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE ACTIVITY OR DATE OF SERVICE.

Why should you participate?

This is a great way of being recognized for the community service work you do! It is also an opportunity to record miscellaneous community service hours spent here and there for the course of the year so that you can have a lump sum at the end.

Frequently Asked Questions

What counts for TOUCH hours?

  • For the purposes of the TOUCH program, “community service” will be defined as an activity that works to improve the health and wellness of a community. This includes local, state, national, and international activities.
  • 1 hour of volunteering = 1 TOUCH point
  • Community service activities can be associated with both TCOM student organizations and external organizations.
  • Must be a specific event with a solidified date and time
  • Examples: Soup Kitchen, Health Fairs, Mission Arlington, Walks/Races such as Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Summer Camps, Medical Mission Trips, etc.
  • The following events have been determined to be ineligible for TOUCH hour credit per the 2015-2016 COSGP Council:
    •   Advocacy Days
      • Examples: DO Day on the Hill, COM Day on the Hill
    • Tutoring of classmates/peers
      • This includes mock practicals/tutoring sessions for students in lower classes
    • Shadowing a physician/healthcare professional
      • This includes participating in Ride-Along EMS activities where the student is not participating in patient care.
        • If the student is EMS trained and providing care, the hours may be approved.
    • Conference attendance

What counts for planning TOUCH points?

  • Communicating with off-campus organizations
  • Advertising for an event
  • Setting up for an event
  • Collecting materials for an event
  • Half a point per hour of planning/setting up for an event
  • Max. of 30 hours for a total of 15 planning TOUCH points per year
  • Administrative tasks that do not take place at the event will not count (i.e. paperwork, filing, organizational tasks).
  • Administrative tasks as part of the event (checking students in, registration) are valid for consideration.

What does NOT count for TOUCH points??

  • ›First 10 hours of required community service (first 10 ClinMed hours per TOUCH year)
  • ›Leadership responsibilities in a TCOM student organization unless those responsibilities involve participation in a specific community service activity
    • Normal student organization activities (such as meetings, bringing in speakers, etc.) are not considered community service.
  • Fundraising
  • ›School-related volunteering (ie. anything that is put on by our school for our school/students)
  • ›Volunteering in research
  • ›Any volunteering that took place before matriculation into medical school
  • Travel, Sleep, and other activities not directly related to the service
  • Examples: Orientation, filing paper work for the upcoming health fair, white coat ceremony, interview Q and A’s, shadowing, that summer camp you did right before you started medical school

Remember, TOUCH is meant to

encourage activity in the community.