In 2009, two Keck medical students, Hillel Bocian and Brian Cervenka (Class of 2013), had a vision for medical education: bringing health professional students from different disciplines to work together as care teams providing real patient care. With that vision and the guidance of Dr. Brian Prestwich at the USC-Eisner Family Medicine Center in Downtown Los Angeles, the USC Student-Run Clinic was born. The student leadership of the organization designed a clinic model and protocol from scratch over the summer of 2010. Our model incorporates evidence-based elements of the Patient-Centered Medical Home with the goal of improving continuity of care, enhancing clinic efficiency, and maximizing student learning. Inter-professional teams comprised of students from the schools of medicine, pharmacy, occupational therapy, and physician assistant work together under the supervision of clinical medical students, residents, and USC faculty. This model exposes students to team-based care in a primary care setting early in their professional education. Students can spend ample time with patients, and as a result we can provide valuable preventive care screenings, health education, medication compliance education, and lifestyle modification that physicians may not be able to
do in a typical primary care visit.
We have come a long way since our clinic first opened. On our very first clinic date, it took four hours to see one patient! Now, we have reduced our cycle time to 70 minutes. While these visits are longer than a standard primary care visit, over 98% of our patients indicate on exit surveys that they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their visit and they indicate that the longer appointment times are well worth the extra attention and care they receive.
Since early 2014, we have also begun volunteering at the John Wesley Community Health Center for Community Health (CCH). At CCH, our volunteers are exposed to a unique patient population--that of Los Angeles's Skid Row. In addition, SRC worked at the Urgent Care Center (UCC) under the Department of Emergency Medicine at LAC+USC Medical Center from 2011-2013 under the guidance of Dr. Jonathan Wagner and Dr. Sean Henderson. Our goal at the UCC was to divert non-critical patients from the ER and provide education about the medical home model and the importance of primary care services in health maintenance and prevention. Together, our clinic sites provide SRC volunteers the challenge of adapting our clinical skills to patients with a wide range of socioeconomic and health obstacles, always with the goal of providing comprehensive, patient-centered care.
The USC Student-Run Clinic may be young, but our innovative inter-professional approach to patient care is already making waves locally, regionally, and even nationally. Recently, the clinic leadership presented to the Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as separately to the head administrator Dr. Mary Wakefield. The USC Student-Run Clinic has made it a primary goal to share our model at interprofessional conferences, research presentations, and webinars. And we plan to continue doing so in the future.
We believe that our comprehensive services will have the greatest impact on those with the greatest need: the chronically ill, indigent, and underserved patients of the Los Angeles community.
History of the USC Student-Run Clinic