The University of Calgary Student-Run Clinic (SRC) started out as an idea from a few University of Calgary medical students from the class of 2011 (the Kakapos for all you UofC locals). These students saw a need for additional clinic hours of accessible medical care for the low income, underserved population of Calgary, and felt that an after hours clinic run by medical students had the potential to meet this need.
Today the SRC is an initiative aimed at providing accessible, quality healthcare for Calgary’s underserved populations. With physician and student volunteers, it aims to increase access to medical care, provide disease management and preventative medicine, health counseling and education, social and community services, while training medical students in the delivery of primary care services.
There are often many barriers that prevent the homeless population from accessing health care (transportation, distrust, fear, long waits, illiteracy, limited access to telephones or facilities, lack of follow up). The SRC makes primary care accessible by traveling to sites where homeless individuals and families reside. This year, the SRC has undergone many changes, including relocating to two new sites. The SRC now operates at The Alex Community Health Bus and the Refugee Health Clinic.
The students working with SRC have a unique opportunity to work with the homeless community and gain first hand exposure to the broad range of health care needs of this population, as well as, a unique experience to run and operate a health clinic. One goal of the SRC is to promote involvement with underserved populations through early exposure during medical training, and hopefully, secure medical students involvement with the homeless population in their future practices.
The SRCs’ new executive is currently working towards increasing the number of clinic sites and the number of physicians affiliated with the SRC, in order to secure the future of the SRC. As of now, a contract proposal is being drafted to open up a third clinic site at CUPS which will allow more clinic time to be offered to physicians. In addition, the SRC is in negotiations with TELUS health to purchase an EMR (Electronic Medical Record) system so that physicians will no longer have to use their personal time to bill for patients. By creating opportunity, reducing the workload and meeting the interests of physicians in their particular specialty, it is the SRC’s hope that a team of physicians will be acquired by the end of this year.
To find out more about the SRC or how to get involved, visit the SRC website at www.calgarysrc.com.