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About UC San Diego Student Run Free Clinic

Our Mission

In partnership with the community, our mission is to provide respectful, empowering, high quality health care for the underserved while inspiring the next generation of health professionals.

Our Philosophy

At the UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic Project, we have a philosophy of care that is humanistic, empowering, and transdisciplinary, where the community is the teacher. We believe that healthcare needs to be transformed, not only that we need access to care for all, but access to an approach to health care that helps people to transform their lives. The Student-Run Free Clinic Project has a core philosophy that is taught, modeled and expected by everyone involved with the Free Clinic Project. Free Clinic Philosophy has four core tenets:

  • Empowerment: Patient empowerment to us means to create an environment where our patients can take charge of their lives and achieve joy and well-being. 

  • Humanistic: A humanistic approach means to fill each action with empathy, congruence, and positive regard. Carl Rogers, the father of humanistic psychology, taught that all successful interactions required empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. Congruence means to become self-aware as a health professional and to have that self-awareness help guide your interactions. Positive regard means to show respect to all, one does not have to respect someone's behavior, but you can respect the other as a human being and show them respect.

  • Transdisciplinary: A transdiscipinary model is one in which all health disciplines are working together, side by side, with mutual respect, with the patient at the center, with the patient in the lead.

  • Community as Teacher: The community, the patients, will teach us how to be good physicians to them, and will teach us the solutions. They also teach us about how to face and overcome the challenges of life with wisdom and strength.

We teach these tenets, model them and expect the students and everyone involved to model them. We believe that these behaviors, practiced and modeled by health professionals, especially physicians, could help transform the practice of health care. We are honored that we provide these services to those without access to care, who fall through the cracks. That is why we call it underserved health care, rather than poverty or charity medicine. Inherent in the term underserved health care is the concept of a right to health care.

Services Offered

We provide medical and pharmacy services, as well as acupuncture, social, legal, education, and mental health services.

Our services

Becoming A Patient

Our priority is caring for patients who do not qualify for any other healthcare programs or resources.

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Clinic Sites

Thanks to our outstanding community partners, we currently have five clinic sites.

Our locations