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!
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 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 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 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 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.
4th year, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major
BASC Peer Advisor