The University of Nevada, Reno, Medical School is offering free health clinics through the months of November and December for members of the community and university who are uninsured as part of UNR Med’s Student Outreach Clinics.
The medical school hosts these clinics monthly as a way to “give back to the community and prepare medical students as future physicians” according to their website.
Social media outrage quickly followed the installation of a new piece of artwork at the University of Nevada, Reno. The exhibit is inside the Jot Travis Building, and was put up Tuesday, Oct. 31.
UNR Med students are supervised by licensed faculty and community physicians while providing healthcare to patients at these clinics. Services provided at these clinics include flu shots, general physicals, pregnancy testing and more.
General and children’s clinics will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to noon. Women’s clinics will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 9 from 8 a.m. to noon.
Appointments are not required for the clinics, but patients must be signed in by 10 a.m. for Saturday clinics and 7:30 p.m. for Tuesday clinics. Patients are seen on a first come, first serve basis. However, according to UNR Med’s website, the wait can be more than three hours depending on the volume of patients at the clinic. The medical school asks those who are waiting to be patient while they see everyone.
“It is the goal of the clinic to reach this population and provide them with the medical attention they need to improve healthcare in the region and throughout Nevada,” says the UNR Med website.
The clinics are held at the Family Medicine Center at the UNR medical school on the north end of campus. Spanish translators are available at the clinics.
The services provided are free, but the medical school asks for donations of $5 for those who can afford to donate to keep the clinics up and running, with help from additional funding.
The Student Outreach Clinics were founded in 1996. They offer five different clinics for general health care, pediatrics, women’s, geriatric and dermatology.
“The benefit to students is that they receive hands-on experience in treating patients from the very first day of medical school,” says the UNR Med website. “They also get to learn the business side of managing a health clinic, the issues around health insurance, health access and other valuable information. The clinic combines the educational and health care missions of the medical school by teaching students the importance of providing compassionate and competent care.”
According to County Health Rankings, 14 percent of the country is without health insurance.
Nevada is above the national average with 17 percent uninsured and Washoe County is 16 percent uninsured. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Nevada was ranked 17th for highest uninsured rates in 2016.
The UNR medical school does not provide the only free healthcare clinic in Reno. Absolute Dental provides free dental care at their clinics. Saint Mary’s clinics provide non-emergent health care services including check-ups, immunizations, health screenings and more. HAWC Community Health Center and the Homeless Outreach Medical Center also provide clinics.
For more information about the Student Outreach Clinics, visit med.unr.edu/soc, and for more information on other clinics available, visit www.freeclinics.com/cit/nv-reno.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.