The UM Student Run Free Clinic was featured in the Atlantic for the work they’re doing in Pickney, Mi. Every Saturday, three clinical and three pre-clinical med students (along with three UMMS physicians) head a decommissioned branch of the Pickney Community Public Library to staff the entirely student run free clinic.
The clinic promises to alleviate the negative impact of health disparities in rural south east Michigan. Additionally, it gives students an opportunity to get hands on experience on tasks like physical exams, health histories and schedule appointments. Many medical schools in the U.S. have at least one free clinic associated with their institution.
In article in the Atlantic did address some of the concerns with the student run clinic model. Some experts believe that the quality of care is compromised since, while others struggle with the morality of students practicing people who happen to be impoverished. However, the anecdotal evidence in favor of student run free clinics is strong. Chelsea Reighard, a student director, was quoted in the Atlantic saying:
“I feel like medical school can be really about yourself- how much I can learn, how much I can do. I really want to serve people and work with them to improve their health”