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    Student-run free clinics (SRFCs) have existed in Canada since 1971, providing interprofessional healthcare to underserved populations. SRFCs are seen as vehicles for socially accountable health professional education. Literature on how Canadian SRFC function is lacking. Web-based surveys were sent to student leaders from Canadian SRFCs regarding their 2014 activities. All six fully-functioning SRFCs responded reporting on the following: services provided, professions involved, governing structure, funding sources, clients seen, types of care sought, students and preceptors involved, as well as perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In 2014, 2,159 clients were provided clinical care at Canadian SRFCs. The most common reasons for visiting included pain and infection. Strengths identified include autonomy, ability to adapt to client needs, serving the underserved, and real-world interprofessional teamwork. Weaknesses reported include high student and preceptor turnover. Threats include securing funding and liability coverage. Since there is little literature on Canadian SRFCs, we compared our results with United States (US) based SRFCs. Canadian SRFCs share core values with US-based SRFCs and report similar strengths and challenges. However, Canadian SRFCs differ in scope and appear to provide care for more acute concerns. Data from studies of US-based SRFCs may not be immediately applicable to Canadian SRFCs. Studies evaluating Canadian SRFCs are needed.


    Enoch Ng, Tina Hu. A survey of Canadian interprofessional student-run free clinics. Journal of interprofessional care. 2017 Nov;31(6):781-784

    PMID: 28862475

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