Student-Led Clinical Opportunities
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, compassion and service are essential components of being a doctor. The Perelman School of Medicine students' commitment to community service demonstrates this belief. Their service provides support to communities that too often are left out of the health care system, while allowing students to learn valuable skills.
Please click on each title to expand and find out more details about the student-led community clinics at Perelman.
Covenant House provides a full range of services to meet the complex needs of homeless and runaway youth. Medical students conduct history and physical examinations, and engage with the youth in non-clinical activities, such as board games and karaoke.
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) provides blood pressure screenings and information about the risks of hypertension, especially among Black males, every other Saturday in a barber shop in the heart of West Philadelphia.
Heart Health Bridge to Care (HHBC)
A branch of the United Community Clinic, Heart Health Bridge to Care Clinic provides long-term care to underinsured individuals in the Parkside section of Philadelphia. Medical students work with nursing, pharmacy, and social work students, as well as faculty to develop care plans for patients with heart disease.
First African Presbyterian Church, 4159 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia
Website: HHBC, United Community Clinic
2017 Medical Student Rep: Kate Hutchison, MS1
Homeless Health Initiative (HHI)
The Homeless Health Initiative provides free health services to women and children living in local emergency housing shelters. As part of a clinical team, medical student volunteers assist with history and physical exams, and medical counseling of patients. Volunteers also interact with patients and their families to gain exposure to and knowledge of the impact of homelessness on children’s lives and health.
Three emergency shelters in West Philadelphia:
Episcopal Community Services/St. Barnabas Mission
6006 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia
Lutheran Settlement House/Jane Addams Place
25 South 43rd Street, Philadelphia
The People’s Emergency Center
3902 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia
Penn Human Rights Clinic (PHRC)
PHRC coordinates medical evaluations for immigrants seeking asylum in the US to provide them with legal documentation to support their cases.Students observe the evaluation and assist physicians in drafting medical affidavits. There might also be a need for medical interpreters.
2017 Medical Student Rep: Joshua Ho, MS1
Project HOME Street Outreach Clinic
The Project HOME Street Outreach Clinic is a partnership between Perelman School of Medicine and Project HOME that promotes active engagement with the city's homeless population on the streets. Medical student volunteers work with outreach teams to provide triage and basic medical care, and engage people waiting for food and other social services around health and well-being. Project HOME strives to create a safe and respectful environment where we support each other in our struggles for self-esteem, recovery, and the confidence to move toward self-actualization.
2017 Medical Student Rep: Lilian Chan, MS1
Puentes de Salud
Puentes de Salud works to ensure the wellness of the Latino immigrant population in South Philadelphia by offering medical care, education, and social services. Medical student volunteers contribute to clinical teams for patient care, and participate in the Diabetes Management Program, a longitudinal experience. There are also leadership opportunities for other non-clinical projects run by the organization.
Refugee Women's Clinic
Refugee Women’s Clinic provides women’s health education and culturally competent healthcare to refugee women who have resettled in Philadelphia. Medical students plan and provide patient education sessions on various women’s health topics, as well as contribute to clinical care.
Presbyterian Hospital, (38th & Market Sts.) Medical Arts Building, Suite 102
Website: Philadephia Refugee Health Collaborative
2017 Medical Student Rep: Annie Duckles, MS3
United Community Clinic (UCC)
United Community Clinic is a free health clinic coordinated by University of Pennsylvania students that provides care to mostly African American men and women between the ages of 16-65, often uninsured or underinsured. Medical students help by taking patient histories, performing physical exams, and presenting to resident and attending physicians.
University City Hospitality Coalition (UCHC)
The University City Hospitality Coalition provides services to the homeless in West Philadelphia, including hot meals, a medical clinic, a dental clinic, a legal clinic, and referral services for shelter, housing, food, and clothing. The medical clinic is staffed by Penn Medicine students, physicians, and pharmacists. Services provided by the medical clinic include: acute and emergent care; diabetes and hypertension screenings; podiatry consultations; dermatology consultations; flu shots; condom distribution; and referrals to social services.
Unity Health Clinic
The Unity Health Clinic is a free clinic that primarily serves uninsured Indonesian immigrants of Chinese descent. Medical student volunteers assist and shadow Penn faculty and residents. On clinic evenings, medical students are involved in medical scribing, taking patient histories, checking blood pressure, calculating BMI, retrieving medications, and more. Volunteers also give presentations to small groups of patients on basic topics in health and medicine.