Healthcare in the Community
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
It was fun to apply everything we've learned in class while volunteering in the health fair. I previously worked in ENT watching doctors check patients and it was enjoyable to actually be able to conduct the exam ourselves.
Kimberly Phan, PA-S
Class of 2019
What are USC Health Fairs?
Primary Care Physician Assistant Program students participate in a variety of activities outside the classroom, including health fairs. Our goal is two-fold: 1) to offer free healthcare for the public to promote early detection of diseases and to provide lifestyle modification education, and 2) to provide students with additional opportunities to practice their skills. We strive to create the most opportunities for our students via hosting our own annual health fair in addition to collaborating with the USC School of Pharmacy as well as with PA Program alumni.
In Partnership with Pharmacy Students
The USC PA program is constantly striving to build relationships with sister programs within USC. The School of Pharmacy is composed of several student-run organizations, many of which also host annual health fairs. Student leaders within both the PA program and pharmacy program collaborate together to create opportunities for students to build and strengthen interprofessional relationships while honing clinical skills and serving local communities. One example of an event included nine PA students who volunteered at the “Script Your Future” Health Fair held at a Walgreens in East Los Angeles. We performed eye, ear, nose, and throat exams to supplement the pharmacy school’s blood pressure and cholesterol screening booths. PA students served 41 patients within 4 hours, approximately 90% of which were Spanish-speaking only.
Want USC PA Students at YOUR Health Fair?
USC PA Students are always looking for more opportunities to reach out to their surrounding community. If you are looking for students to come and volunteer their time at your event, please contact us!
Annual Health Fair by PA Students
Each year, the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program produces an annual free health fair geared towards treating the local underserved populations of Los Angeles. The health fairs have traditionally been held each November, so it is often the first time 1st year students interact with patients and also a chance for 2nd year students to serve the community just before beginning their rotations. We collaborate with the medical, pharmacy, and occupational therapy schools to provide a wider range of health services for our patients than we could alone, as well as to develop and strengthen interprofessional relationships. The fair offers flu shots, BMI screenings, cholesterol screenings, diabetes screening, eye exams, ENT exams, lung exams, and diabetic foot exams, in addition to patient education about smoking cessation, healthy eating, stress management, and skin safety. Furthermore, the comprehensive fair provides booths for residents to speak to representatives from several outside organizations such as the local fire department and Planned Parenthood, along with a bounce house, face painting, and other fun activities for children.
In Partnership with Alumni
USC PA students collaborate with PA program alumni to bring unique experiences to the student body. One such example is through volunteering at health fairs. Eight PA students recently volunteered their Saturday morning to serve at a fair located at the Alignment Covenant in East Los Angeles with recent alumnus Katherine Irvin, PA-C, and her supervising physicians. Students were given a chance to work one-on-one with a doctor to take patients’ histories and vitals, and perform physical exams, honing their skills through the invaluable opportunity of working closely with an attending during their first year of PA school.