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Student Perceptions of Student-Run Free Clinics

Anthony, J., OTS, Kennedy, C., OTS, Lawson, C., OTS, McMullin, K., OTS, Vollema, M., OTS and Tubbs, C., MA, OTR/L
University of Mississippi Medical Center


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore how academic and
Research Design: Descriptive, cross-sectional, mixed methods design using
clinical structures affect student perceptions of their experience at Interest in Connection of Class/Lecture Series
70% an electronic survey.
student-run free clinics. 2nd
Study Participants: MOT and DPT students from the University of
Methods: This descriptive research study employed a cross-sectional Year 60%
Mississippi Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina
mixed methods design. A survey was created and emailed to occupational 50%
that have participated in their respective student-run free clinics.
and physical therapy students at two medical universities associated with

Percent Yes
student-run free clinics (SRFC). Data Collection: Email to faculty advisors with request to forward to
Results: The majority of study participants (N=135) reported positive 1st
students on July 13, 2016, with a reminder email sent on July 25, 2016
perceptions of their volunteer experience at the SRFC. Integration of a 20% Deadline for completed surveys July 27, 2016
class or lecture series increased student participation, and faculty 10% Data analysis: Data was analyzed from the completed electronic surveys
members were identified as the most beneficial supervisors. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 0% using the IBM Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) version 23.0.
Appreciation of Interprofessional Interaction with OT and PT Students UMMCOT MUSCOT UMMCPT MUSCPT
Conclusion: Our findings show that specific factors can positively or PT OT School and Program
negatively influence students experiences at a SRFC. Results provide IMPLICATIONS
medical universities with suggestions for improving the learning A class connection was found to increase the number of times students
experience of students in SRFCs. volunteered in a SRFC, but a requirement to participate did not.
INTRODUCTION Factors that appear to create a positive learning experience in SRFCs
29% 71% 59% 41% include written reflection, class/lecture series connection, faculty member
Respondents supervision, and use of electronic documentation.
A student-run free clinic (SRFC) provides free care to the un/under- UMMC MUSC OT PT
insured/underserved, with varying services based on patient needs, Students have greater appreciation for interdisciplinary interaction when
location, and structure. For example, the CARES Clinic at the Medical they become more familiar with their own discipline.
University of South Carolina operates differently from the Jackson Free The majority of students who volunteered at their SRFC found the
Clinic at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The literature experience to be enjoyable and appreciated the opportunity to practice
indicates that there are educational, professional and personal benefits of Student Perception of the Benefit of Supervisors documentation.
volunteering in student-run free clinics but further clarification on the 120%

specific educational and clinical components that improve the educational LIMITATIONS

100% 100% 100% 100%
experience is needed. Studies have identified factors such as 94%
95% Sample population from only two medical universities
interprofessional collaboration, student-patient interaction, and clinical 80% 83% 83%

Use of an original survey

exposure to impact student perceptions of their experiences but the 60% Discrepancies in survey responses
variety of educational and clinical factors that exist in SRFCs makes it
Potential for response bias
difficult to determine how best to integrate them into curricula. While the 40%

literature agrees that learning takes place in this less formal environment Timing of the distribution of the electronic survey
(Meah et al., 2009), further examination of the structures that enhance CONCLUSION
this learning is warranted. 0%


This study compares the academic and clinical structure of two SRFCs and
PURPOSE the impact these structures have on student perceptions of their
OTHER FINDINGS experiences. Student responses showed a class connection to the SRFC and
Primary Aims: required reflection following participation are desired and positively
1. Identify components of academic structure of student-run free clinics Among students with a written reflection as a requirement, 77% found impact the learning experience. Additionally, faculty members as clinical
(e.g. class connection, program requirement, and reflection or other it helpful or very helpful to their learning. Written reflection had the supervisors and interprofessional collaboration were found to improve the
follow up work). greatest impact on clinical reasoning skills (92%) followed by clinical experience of students.
2. Identify components of the clinical structure of student-run free clinics interprofessional thinking (86%). Further research with a larger study population and longer period for data
(e.g. documentation, clinical supervisors, and interprofessional Eighty-eight percent of respondents with a class connection found it collection would increase generalizability of findings. Other methods of
relationships). helpful or very helpful to their learning experience. data collection, such as observation, face-to-face interviews or pre-/post-
3. Compare student perceptions (positive or negative) with identified Almost all of respondents from both schools valued the opportunity to survey, would add more in-depth knowledge for best implementing an
clinical and academic structures. practice documentation regardless of format. SRFC into healthcare education curricula.
IRB Approval # 2016-0676