Student-Run Free Clinics Stand at a Critical Junction Between Undergraduate Medical Education, Clinical Care, and Advocacy
Student-run free clinics (SRFCs) act as primary care providers that bring health care to populations in need and are an important source of undergraduate medical education (UME), guiding trainees through the art of history taking and physical examination. However, they are also social justice and advocacy initiatives-addressing disparity in access to care and educating medical trainees with firsthand exposure to socioeconomic determinants of health as well as language and medical illiteracy barriers. Here, the authors review academic literature examining the impact of SRFCs in their 3 roles: as medical care providers, as components of medical education, and as advocacy organizations. Based on the evidence of that literature and decades of direct SRFC leadership experience, the authors make the case that SRFCs are an undersupported means by which UME institutions contribute to correcting health care disparities and to serving social justice reform.
Rupert, D. D., Alvarez, G. V., Burdge, E. J., Nahvi, R. J., Schell, S. M., & Faustino, F. L. (2022). Student-Run Free Clinics Stand at a Critical Junction Between Undergraduate Medical Education, Clinical Care, and Advocacy. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000004542