Student Run Clinic

 

The USC Student-Run Clinic is a partnership between medical, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant students at the University of Southern California to deliver quality patient care and enhance health professional education through a team-based approach to healthcare. We work together in inter-professional care teams to deliver high quality comprehensive care to the chronically ill and underserved population of Los Angeles. We provide a full range of primary care services including preventive health screening and patient education, comprehensive medical assessment, medication management, and lifestyle modification. The USC Student­-Run Clinic currently operates at the USC­+Eisner Family Medicine Center in Downtown Los Angeles and at the JWCH Center for Community Health in Los Angeles's Skid Row.

Impact of Student-Run Clinic

Mission

 

The USC Student-Run Clinic is a partnership between medical, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant students at the University of Southern California to deliver quality patient care and enhance health professional education through a team-based approach to healthcare.

 

 

Student-Run Clinic started in April 2011 and has grown since then to become one of the largest student organizations at the University of Southern California. Over 300 student volunteers from the four core health professional programs (Medicine, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant) all participate to provide patients with highly competent care. This care includes a full range of primary care services, including preventative screening, comprehensive medical interviews and physical exams, behavioral counseling, and wellness education. Services are provided to underserved areas in Los Angeles, allowing many patients access to the care they would otherwise not be able to afford. 

USC has the first inter-professional team-based Student-Run Clinic on the West Coast. Interacting with students from all disciplines while still attending school allows USC students to excel in communication, teamwork, case-based critical thinking, and clinical procedural skills. The experiences students gain at the Student-Run Clinic demonstrate what other health professions can offer as well as provides opportunities to understand how collaboration with colleagues can effectively reduce redundancy and inefficiency in our national healthcare system.

 

Not only do students benefit from the experience of interacting with other healthcare disciplines, patients are also thoroughly happy with the care they receive. Patient feedback is overwhelmingly positive on patient satisfaction surveys and are pleased with the level of care at the clinic. Students strive to not only furthur their education at the clinic, but also provide the best care possible to the patients they see. 

How Student-Run Clinic Works

The care team not only consists of different health professions, but also students at different levels of training.

 

What makes USC's Student-Run Clinic so unique is the innovative team-based approach to student learning. Student leadership developed clinic protocols using evidence-based elements of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model. The interdisciplinary students work together as clinical care teams under the supervision of USC attending physicians, pharmacists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, nurses, and residents. The scopes of practice of all team members are rigorously defined to avoid redundancy and confusion, but still retain enough flexibility for care teams to cater to individual patient needs.

All USC Student-Run Clinic projects are entirely student-driven. Protocols and charting system were designed by students; clinic partnerships were created by students, and clinic shifts and volunteer pool is coordinated by students. The Student-Run Clinic transforms typical student volunteers into exceptional future health professional leaders by exposing them to the challenges of operating a clinic business while ensuring quality patient care.

 

The Student-Run Clinic management mirrors the clinical hierarchy found in the patient care setting. The Clinic is led by a board of health professional students from each of the four participating disciplines: 2 students each from Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy and Physician Assistant, and 3 medical students. Each of the health professional programs also has independent faculty advisors.

Multiple layers of supervision are built into the care teams, where inexperienced students are supervised by experienced students, who are in turn supervised by mid-level providers, who ultimately report to an attending physician. This means even first-year pre-clinical students can participate in the model without sacrificing quality of patient care. This method allows more patients to be seen and decreases physician burden, but also allows students at every level of education to experience seeing patients in a clinical setting.

Student Testimonials

My experience at the Eisner clinic will be one that I remember for the rest of my life. It was my first hands-on experience at a clinic and what really stood out to me was the diversity of health care professionals working together for a common goal. On the national level health care is shifting to a team based approach and at Eisner I was able to work with other PAs, Medical students, Occupational Therapy students, and Pharmacy students. I spend most of my time in class with my fellow PA students but at clinic I got to see firsthand what the other fields are all about and how they affect the overall team approach. It was rewarding to see that people in underserved communities were able to find a place to get efficient care from people who were eager and willing to help them. It was a small taste for what is to come in my upcoming endeavors and I look forward to bettering my medical skills with my future teammates.

 

- Dane Arispe 

Class of 2017

 

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Volunteering at the Eisner Clinic was one of the most rewarding educational experiences I have ever had. As students, I feel we sometimes get caught up in learning for the tests coming around the corner, but volunteering at Student Run Clinic brought me out of my “student bubble”. I was reminded why I wanted to become a PA in the first place when I met the patients from the local downtown Los Angeles area and learned about their struggles with healthcare. It was also exciting to witness how an interdisciplinary team of medical, physician assistant, pharmacy, and occupational therapy students could elevate patient care. I will carry what I learned through this experience while a student and long after I graduate.

 

- Jennifer Stambaugh 

Class of 2017

 

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I didn't know what to expect when I was selected to volunteer at the Skid Row Student Run Clinic, but after volunteering I can say that it was one of the most rewarding educational experience I have ever had. It sparked my passion for the Skid Row area and has motivated me to find other ways to help out the people in this community. The clinic was organized extremely well and allowed true collaboration between different fields of medicine, which was an experience that many people never have and was extremely beneficial. I have volunteered hundreds of hours and had even more experience with patients but nothing compares to the patients that I saw at clinic that day. It was an eye opening experience and something that I recommend to anyone who has the opportunity and I would love to find more ways for me to become involved with the clinic and the skid row area.

 

- Brandon Porter 

Class of 2017

 

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My experience at the student-run clinic in Skid Row was one I will never forget. Having the opportunity to work with medical students, pharmacy students, and OT students on real patients was an amazing experience. The team approach we used to tackle each patient case allowed each of us to use our own strengths to give each patient the best outcome possible. It gave me a glimpse of what my future will look like and I am more excited than ever to join other healthcare professionals in serving populations that are medically underserved.

 

- Jackie Aldana

Class of 2017

 

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Volunteering at the Eisner Clinic provided me with a great learning experience. I was impressed by the organization of the clinic and how each student from each profession had a clear role. Working on patient cases with students at different levels of training from the school of pharmacy, occupational therapy, and medicine allowed me opportunities to both teach and learn from my team members; I was reminded of the importance of teamwork and the interdisciplinary nature of medicine. In addition, being able to use what I've learned from the classroom and applying it in practice on actual patients was extremely rewarding and was a great way to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. The experience will definitely make me a better healthcare provider.

 

- Joseph Nguyen 

Class of 2017

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