In community after community, "pro bono" and student-run health
clinics have sprung up over the past 30 years, providing critically
needed care to medically underserved populations. "Free Clinics" is
a mosaic formed by accounts of such clinics around the United
States. These wide-ranging narratives--from urban to rural, from
primary care to behavioral health care--provide examples that will
assist other communities seeking to find the model that best fits
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has improved
access to health care for many Americans, but millions remain and
will remain uninsured or underinsured. Free clinics provide
non-emergency care to those in need. Nationwide, professionals can
be found offering volunteer services at these clinics.
Contributors to this volume--typically people with personal
familiarity (as clinicians or area residents) with the clinics they
write about--cover a variety of topics, including a review of the
literature, data-driven accounts of clinic usage, and ethical
guidelines for student-run clinics. They describe the motivations
of clinic staff, the day-to-day work of a family nurse practitioner
working in clinics and teaching at a university, the challenges and
rewards of providing health care for homeless people, and more.
Student-run clinics are the topic of the second section: in
addition to providing care to a small subset of those in need,
student-run clinics are an important venue for training future
clinicians and helping the seeds of altruism with which many enter
their professions to germinate.
"Free Clinics" will be useful to policymakers, students and
faculty in public health and health policy programs, and clinicians
and students who are embarking on launching new clinics.
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