The student-run free clinic: An ideal site to teach interprofessional education?

Brian Sick, Lisa Sheldon, Katy Ajer, Qi Wang, Lei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Student-run free clinics (SRFCs) often include an interprofessional group of health professions students and preceptors working together toward the common goal of caring for underserved populations. Therefore, it would seem that these clinics would be an ideal place for students to participate in an interprofessional collaborative practice and for interprofessional education to occur. This article describes a prospective, observational cohort study of interprofessional attitudes and skills including communication and teamwork skills and attitudes about interprofessional learning, relationships and interactions of student volunteers in a SRFC compared to students who applied and were not accepted to the clinic and to students who never applied to the clinic. This study showed a decrease in attitudes and skills after the first year for all groups. Over the next two years, the total score on the survey for the accepted students was higher than the not accepted students. The students who were not accepted also became more similar to students who never applied. This suggests a protective effect against declining interprofessional attitudes and skills for the student volunteers in a SRFC. These findings are likely a function of the design of the clinical and educational experience in the clinic and of the length of contact the students have with other professions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of interprofessional care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Interprofessional care
  • Interprofessional education
  • Student-run free clinic
  • Surveys
  • Underserved
  • Volunteerism

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