What is Student Run Homeless Clinic?

Several student-run homeless clinics are held by students and attendings from David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, each serving a distinct patient population. Clinic schedules vary but normally are scheduled for Tuesday mornings or Thursday and Saturday evenings, and these run all year-round, rain or shine.

Each clinic is coordinated by two medical student chiefs responsible for triaging patients, coordinating clinic volunteers, and assisting with medications and supplies. First and second year medical students are paired up with 3rd or 4th year students to take patient histories and conduct physical exams. Students then present their patients to a resident (if available) and attending physician. An educational session on a topic pertinent to the homeless patient population is given either prior to the start of clinic or at the end.

Students encounter a variety of acute and chronic diseases and these will vary, particularly among the different clinic locations. The most common problems we deal with include upper respiratory infections, skin infections, hypertension, asthma, and mental health issues.

For more about who we are and what we do, check out this video: 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Student-Run Homeless Clinics is to provide free and compassionate medical care and social services to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness throughout the Los Angeles area while providing a unique longitudinal learning experience in low-resource, high-need settings.

What is the difference between Student Run Homeless Clinic and Mobile Clinic Project?

SRHC and the Mobile Clinic Project (MCP) are sister organizations whose primary focus is to provide free health care to underserved and homeless populations of Los Angeles County. They provide an excellent firsthand experience in community-based primary care and a rich learning environment for students. There are, however, a few differences between the two organizations. First, MCP is primary supported be the UCLA Department of Public Health and the UCLA undergraduate community, whereas SRHC falls under the umbrella of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine. Second, the UCLA undergraduate community is a vital component to MCP activities. Undergraduates provide assistance with fundraising/grant writing, procuring supplies, organizing the Mobile Clinic truck, and serving as client case workers. On the other hand, SRHC is organized entirely by medical students. The experience is comparable to that of a third or fouth year ambulatory clerkship. As a result, SRHC students may receive course credit towards their medical degree by enrolling in an approved SRHC (s)elective.

How can I volunteer at the Student Run Homeless Clinic?

Sign up occurs during the Fall Student Organization Fair or you may contact the Director of Operations Chief.

All students must attend an orientation session, as well as a mid-year (January) and end-of-year (May) reflection. Students enrolled in the selective must attend a minimum of 6 clinics.

You may volunteer at any time, but priority is given to students enrolled in the selective/elective. Due to the popularity of the selective and limited number of seats, we advise students to sign up only if committed to this year-long experience. Students are chosen based on a lottery system. The Student Affairs Office will send out information on the selective enrollment process in August or September. If you are not able to get in the selective, but would still like to volunteer, please contact us. Most students attend the required number of clinics for the selective/elective, but there is no limit to the number of clinics you may attend. We encourage you to volunteer as much as possible to ensure patient continuity.

Students at all levels will benefit from the clinical experience. We aim to pair 1st/2nd year students with 3 rd/4 th year students to provide guidance in taking patient histories and conducting physical exams. The first/second year student will then present to a resident and/or attending who will provide teaching points while helping the student develop an appropriate assessment and plan for the patient.