UC Davis Student-Run Clinics – How do I join?

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Are you looking for a fun clinical experience? Do you want to give back to the community? Are you looking to build relationships with patients, medical students, and healthcare professionals?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above, the UC Davis Student-Run Clinics may be just for you!

For more than 35 years, the UC Davis student-run clinics have provided free health care services to the uninsured, low-income, and underserved populations within the Sacramento community. Each clinic was established by UC Davis undergraduate and medical students who sought to provide culturally sensitive care to community members who lacked access to basic healthcare. This program serves thousands of patients every year and gives medical students and undergraduates the unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges and rewards of patient care and community medicine.

I joined the Bayanihan Clinic back in the winter of 2014. As a young and naive freshman, I was anxious but eager to get involved on campus. I didn’t know where to get started, but then I saw a flyer for the Bayanihan Clinic’s information session posted on the Wellman Hall bulletin board. “Why not apply? What do I have to lose?” I thought. Four years later, I can easily say that joining the Bayanihan Clinic was the most rewarding experience of my undergraduate career. I learned how to accurately take vitals, to read lab results, and to present a patient case to the precepting physician. I also built strong relationships with peers and patients and received helpful advice from medical students and physicians about the medical school application process.

So, what are the clinics looking for in potential applicants?
Each clinic is unique and has certain qualities that it values most in its volunteers. However, all the clinics look for the following traits in potential applicants:
1) Interest in their specific community – There are 10 different clinics that you could potentially apply for. So, why do you prefer Clinic A over Clinic B? Do you have a genuine interest in serving this clinic’s patient population? It is important to show in your application and interview that you understand WHO the clinic serves and why you are personally invested in working with this group.
2) Desire to be a patient advocate – Our patients come first. We strive to provide culturally and linguistically sensitive care to individuals who lack access to basic healthcare. We want our patients to feel comfortable coming to us for help. In your application/interview, you want to convince the committee that you will be a passionate advocate for its patients.
3) Leadership – Every clinic wants to ensure that their doors remain open for many years. Therefore, the application/interview committee looks for applicants that they believe are capable of filling future leadership roles (i.e. coordinator, officer, etc.). In addition, the clinics are constantly growing and pushing to improve patient care by providing more specialized services to their patients. Can you lead a new program? Do you have a vision that you hope to see implemented in a clinic?
4) Teamwork – Every clinic functions as a team. Each week, you will work with a team of undergraduate and medical students, and health professionals to provide quality care to patients. Can you work efficiently as a member of this team? Are you willing to listen to your peers and mentors and accept constructive criticism? Are you willing to contribute to new projects and programs that the clinic implements?

I highly encourage all students to apply for the clinics. It doesn’t matter if you are interested in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, etc., there is a perfect match for you! I found my home at the Bayanihan Clinic. Where will you find yours?

Here is a list of all 10 UC Davis Student-Run Clinics. Follow the links to learn more about how you can get involved!

Bayanihan Clinic
The Bayanihan Clinic serves the underserved and uninsured Filipino population in the Greater Sacramento area, specifically the Filipino WWII veterans and immigrants. They provide women’s health and dermatology services, and diabetes education through their Diabetes Empowerment Program.  Their next application cycle will open in January 2017.

Clinica Tepatí
Clinica Tepati provides primary care services to the underserved Latino community in Sacramento. Their new Diabetes Interest Group is designed to educate patients about diabetes and how best to manage their care.  Their next application cycle will open in Spring 2017.

Imani Clinic
Imani Clinic provides basic healthcare services to the underserved Oak Park community with the target population being African Americans within the community. It’s goal is to provide culturally sensitive care and to foster early and lasting relationships between students, healthcare professionals, and the community. Their next application cycle will open in Spring 2017.

Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic (JVMC)
JVMC serves the healthcare needs of uninsured IV drug users, sex workers, transsexuals and their families in the Sacramento county. JVMC acts as an intervention service, reaching out to patients before their conditions drain limited ER resources, pose a public health hazard, or become fatal to the patient. Their next application cycle will open in April 2017.

Knight’s Landing One-Health Clinic
Knight’s Landing One-Health Clinic provides linguistically competent and culturally sensitive health care services to the rural underserved, particularly women, adolescents and farmworkers. In partnership with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, veterinary services are available at the clinic on the third Sunday of each month. Their application cycle is open now and applications are due in April 2017.

Paul Hom Asian Clinic
The Paul Hom Asian Clinic primarily serves the uninsured and immigrant Southeast Asian communities in Sacramento. This clinic provides offers free primary care services and hosts specialty clinics that include: psychiatry, dermatology, ophthalmology, cardiopulmonary, and musculoskeletal. Their next application cycle opens in Spring 2017.

VN Cares
VN CARES is a student-run clinic that promotes cancer awareness and provides free cancer screenings to the underserved Vietnamese population. The clinic’s long term goal is to reduce cancer-related disparities in the Vietnamese community. This clinic has two internship positions available to undergraduate students: (1) Clinical Internship and (2) Research and Education Internship. Their application cycle is currently closed. 

Hmong Lifting Underserved Barriers (HLUB)
The HLUB Clinic aims to provide free culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services to the Hmong community. They provide chronic disease management and screenings for cancer: breast, cervical, colon and prostate cancer, in addition to Hepatitis B. Their next application cycle will open in Summer 2017.

Shifa Clinic
Shifa Clinic strives to understand, serve, and promote the health and wellness needs of a multilingual, ethnically diverse community. It primarily serve patients from the South Asian and Muslim communities. It provides interpretive services and hosts specialty clinics such as dermatology, cardiology, women’s health and pediatrics. Their next application cycle will open in Spring 2017.

The Willow Clinic
The Willow Clinic primarily serves the homeless population in Sacramento. Willow Clinic has a well-established dental and pharmacy program. In addition, they host Wellness Nights on Fridays where students can make crafts, do yoga, or sing karaoke with patients. Their next application cycle will open in Spring 2017.

Victoria Nugent
4th year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
Sociology Minor
BASC Peer Advisor







Resource Spotlight: Student Community Center


The UC Davis campus has a vast variety of campus resources readily available to students. One such resource is the Student Community Center (SCC) which provides academic services and other diverse organizations that create an all-inclusive environment for our students. Located in the center of the main UCD campus, the SCC is home to organizations such as: the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center (LGBTQIARC), Student Recruitment and Retention Center (SRRC), Cross Cultural Center (CCC), McNair Scholars Program, Women’s Resources and Research Center (WRRC), AB540 and Undocumented Student Center, and Undergraduate Research Center (URC). The SCC also has a few meeting and study rooms available for reservations.

A little on what each of these centers is about:

LGBTQIA Resource Center– The LQBTQIA Resource Center is open to all students. One of the center’s main focuses is to provide students with resources in the areas of programming, advising, and education. There are many resources and programs available for student involvement as well as events throughout the year that anyone can attend. For example: LGBTQIARC hosts Wii Wednesdays and Crafternoons so stop by for some fun! The center is open Monday – Thursday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Fridays 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; drop by for questions or if you simply need a place to study.


Student Recruitment and Retention Center- The SRCC is a student resource center that stands for educational equity. Some services include peer mentoring, academic support, transfer student support, leadership development, and more. The SRCC also has great opportunities for students to get involved whether through their programs, events, volunteer and internship programs, or jobs. For example, are you a transfer student? If so you may wish to attend the SRRC’s weekly Transfer Hour every Wednesday from 2-4pm in their SCC conference room.

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Cross Cultural Center- Interested in learning about people? How about cultures other than your own? If so, pay a visit to the CCC. Like all other centers the CCC has programs and volunteer and job opportunities for students to get involved. The CCC has a goal of creating a campus community in which all individuals share a harmonious environment free of sexism, racism, xenophobia, or any other form of oppression. One unique aspect of the CCC is the Culture Days that it puts together for communities within our campus. This is a time for students to express their culture to others and in turn learn about others’ culture as well.

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McNair Scholars Program- The McNair Scholar Program serves to encourage students in graduate programs from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue doctoral degrees. For more information visit the McNair Scholar Program website.

Women’s Resources and Research Center- The WRRC works to promote gender equality through intersectional feminist approaches. This center welcomes people of all genders and provides all with a variety of involvement opportunities ranging from leadership program positions to gender research. The WRRC also provides students with an extensive list of resources that are essential for any situation in need of advise or involving distress.  One unique aspect of the WRRC is their Joy Fergoda Library. Located in North Hall, the Joy Fergoda Library houses over 12,000 books and films promoting feminist research and scholarship at UC Davis; a Forum on Disabilities Collection is also available.

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The WRRC extends to both North Hall and the SCC. Available at the SCC is the WRRC Community Office

AB540 and Undocumented Student Center-  This center seeks to help students reach their academic goals while helping students overcome any legal and financial obstacles. The goal of this center is to create a safe and welcoming environment in which resources like mentoring are available, and also academic guidance and financial opportunities.

Undergraduate Research Center- Looking for research experience but do not know where to begin? Visiting the Undergraduate Research Center may be a good start. The URC works to help students develop skills necessary for research positions. It also provides students with resources needed to find research opportunities. Every year, the URC hosts an annual Undergraduate Research Conference where students are given the opportunity for present their research. For more information about programs, their Genius 5K run/walk, conference, and awards visit the Undergraduate Research Center website or visit the center on the second floor of the SCC.

With its bright colors, murals, and lively environment, the SCC is an inviting place for students. Even studying becomes appealing with the comfortable chairs in the study lounge. The SCC is a convenient center which hosts what seems to be a plethora of resources located all in one area. Connected to the SCC there is also the CoHo South Cafe. Coffee + Resources + Study Area = Happy Students. Pay the SCC a visit; it is a great campus resource!

SCC study loungeAlejandra Villa
Academic Peer Adviser
3rd Year Genetics and Genomics Major

Benefits of an Internship

Have you been thIntern-1inking about joining an internship? What are you waiting for? UC Davis offers many internships (i.e. business, design, health, government, law, etc.) so there is always something for everyone. However, if you are interested in an internship that we do not offer, the staff at the Internship and Career Center (ICC) will try their best to get you an internship you like. Some ask “will an internship be worth my time”? To make life easier, I listed four reasons (even though there are many more) why internships are beneficial and why you should participate in an internship!

First: The Experience! Wouldn’t  it be nice to have an inside look into your future career before fully committing to that career? Internships help you find the right career fit, and allow you to test drive before investing your time and money into a career you may not even enjoy. For example, let’s say you want to become a physician. If you do an internship at a hospital or clinic, you will be able to observe and work alongside a physician, which allows to you see an in-depth look of what really goes on outside of the classroom.

Second: Networking!  Internships provide network opportunities. You get the opportunity to form close bonds between your colleagues and superunrvisors, who can eventually become your mentors or write you letters of recommendation. Because of this networking opportunity, the supervisor is more likely to hire you versus someone they have never met. The internship will also look great on your application because it will show that you have experience and are therefore highly qualified for the position.

Third: Develop New Skills! Everyone can benefit from building new skills. Internships teach you many things, not only in and outs of the company you are interning for but also personal skills such as better communication, working in a team, or building empathy. Also, internships let you sharpen the skills you already have and you are able to put all that academic knowledge you learned over the years to use.

Fourth: Earn Course Credits and/or Transcript Notation! Yes, you heard right, not only do you get to earn experience, opportunities and new skills from internships but you may also earn UNITS and the internship appears on your transcript. It is a win-win for everyone. Many students take advantage of this opportunity during the summer because to be considered a full-time student and to be qualified for financial aid a student must be enrolled in a minimum of six units.

I have been involved in many internships and can say that I learned something from each one. Each internship was a wonderful experience that provided a different view on my future career. Through the internships, I learned what I am passionate about as well as things that I knew were not a right fit for me. Remember if you are applying to an internship you have to start the process the quarter before you get involved. Step out of your comfort zone and get involved as soon as you can! What are you waiting for? Visit the Internship and Career Center in South Hall or check out their website: icc.ucdavis.edu

Rufa Pazyuk
BASC Peer Adviser
Second Year, Biological Sciences

Finding a Balance

It’s not uncommon for me to have a date with Peter J. Shields that lasts five hours. Sometimes during midterm weeks, we go on many dates. Do we get tired of each other? Of course we do. However, our relationship is important. Without the countless hours I have spent at our campus library, my knowledge and my grades would be suffering.


To ensure that I maintain a strong relationship with Peter J. Shields, I have learned to balance my schoolwork with extracurricular activities. It is important to avoid overwhelming yourself in schoolwork to the point that you no longer find your courses rewarding. Instead, find opportunities to get involved in clubs and activities that give your eyes a break from studying.

When I’m not at Peter J. Shields, I’m at the ARC playing intramural sports or listening to guest speakers at Pre-Dental Society meetings. There are hundreds of extracurricular activities at UC Davis. I’ve decided to highlight a few opportunities that may interest students in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS).

1. Interested in a volunteering abroad? There are multiple groups on campus dedicated to improving health in impoverished countries. I recently traveled to Liberia, Costa Rica with Spreading Smiles, a student-run organization unique to UC Davis. In Liberia, we traveled to churches, promoting oral hygiene techniques and providing non-invasive dental cleanings. Through out the school year, we fundraise through car washes and bake sales. Check out other awesome volunteering groups such as Project Rishi, Global Medical Brigades, and Global Dental Brigades.

2. Interested in getting to know your classmates outside of lecture? Join a club related to your major! It’s awesome surrounding yourself with people of similar interests and career paths. Our very own peer adviser, Wilson, is a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) at UC Davis. ASM organizes guest speakers, field trips, and other group activities relevant to microbiology. There are other major clubs for CBS students such as the EXB Club, NPB Club, Bio Boosters (a great opportunity for biology majors), Genetics Club, and MCB Club.

3. Interested in applying your scientific knowledge to broader societal issues? Join the Environmental Science and Policy Club at UC Davis. This club gives CBS students the opportunity to diversify their knowledge through exposing members to topics related to social sciences and politics. If environmental issues are not your strongest interest, browse other clubs like Student Reproductive Coalition, Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, and Team HBV.

4. Interested in applying your scientific knowledge to something revolutionary? Explore the numerous undergraduate research opportunities available at UC Davis. Research gives students hands-on scientific experience and helps students develop relationships with renowned faculty members.

Becoming involved in extracurricular activities helps you meet new people, diversify your knowledge and experiences, and strengthen your resume. While I’ve only highlighted a select few of the extracurricular activities available at UC Davis, check out the Center for Student Involvement webpage to find an activity that fits you!

Jennifer Hofmann


Exercise Biology

BASC Peer Adviser

Why Major in NPB?

Human neuroanatomy diagram

What is NPB?

While some might think that NPB means “no peanut butter,” “no paper bills,” or “no problem, Bob,” ask any NPB student and they will tell you its true meaning – Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior.

With a yearly average of over 966 students, NPB is the third largest major in the College of Biological Sciences1. So why is this elaborately named major so popular?

N = Neurobiology

This aspect of the major focuses on the lovely gray matter in your skull and how this singular organ coordinates perception, sensory and motor function, cognition, learning, memory, and basic reflex pathways. Did you know that about 50% of your brain is dedicated to vision? Do you ever wonder how a pain in your toe – the furthest body part away from your brain – can almost instantaneously transmit sensory information up into your nervous system? This occurs through various neural circuits that integrate information in the brain from environmental signals at different parts of the body. You will learn more about this circuitry in NPB 100 (Neurobiology), which is a required course for the major.

P = Physiology

This aspect of the major focuses on the physiological mechanisms that regulate basic functions, such as growth, reproduction, movement, response to stimuli, and the maintenance of homeostasis. These functional mechanisms occur at the level of the cell, organ system, and whole organism and are common to all animals. There is also an emphasis on human physiology and the systematic functions of major organ systems. The amount of interconnection within the human body may surprise you! For example, nerve impulses to and from the brain can travel as fast as 170 miles per hour and the human body is estimated to have up to 60,000 miles of blood vessels! This intricate and extensive circuitry is essential for overall physiological function. You will learn more about the human body in NPB101 (Systemic Physiology), which is a required course for the major.

Human body systems diagram

B = Behavior

This aspect of the major focuses on how the nervous system (neurobiology) and the endocrine system (physiology) integrate to determine behavior and the interaction between organisms and their environments – both physical and social. Wouldn’t you be curious to find out how nerve impulses can release specific hormones that can influence your mood or behavior? For example, do you ever wonder why you might feel pain from a sports injury hours after you’ve stopped exercising? This is due to a “runner’s high” which is a secretion of endorphins that may inhibit pain during physical activity..

N + P + B = NPB

As a whole, the NPB major provides a multifaceted approach to how organisms regulate basic and complex functions, the mechanisms underlying these functions, and how neural and physiological information is integrated to influence behavior. Continue reading “Why Major in NPB?”