The Albuquerque Opportunity Center (AOC) is an emergency shelter run by the local non-profit Heading Home. It temporarily provides a safe place for men experiencing homelessness to sleep at night and store their belongings during the day, as well as access to wrap-around services. UNM Health Science students from the medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and physician assistant programs run a weekly, free clinic for the residents of AOC. This interprofessional student-run clinic allows students the opportunity to learn from each other and treat patients as a cohesive team. Student-run organizations face the perennial challenge of maintaining institutional knowledge and consistency given that leadership is constantly changing as students move on to their next phase of training. This is uniquely challenging when the goal of the organization is to provide high-quality medical care for a marginalized patient population. The AOC clinic’s collaborative leadership model that includes student coordinators from each participating program and students at various stages within each program meets this challenge by fostering stability and involving students with diverse skill sets in clinic operational management. Additionally, interprofessional faculty provide guidance and mentorship to the student leadership team and weekly student volunteers. The AOC clinic continues to endure obstacles such as limited resources, difficulty finding preceptors, and uncertain staffing from student volunteers.
Bouquin, Sarah; Mary Blasl; Eleazar Torres; and Lindsay Fox. "How to Achieve Sustainability at an Interprofessional Student-Run Free Clinic." (2023). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/130
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