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Med Students Show Leadership Providing Much Needed Care to Those in Need

August 31, 2016

A medical student speaks with a patient in an exam room at the Robert Frank Student-Run Clinic. Many of the clinic’s patients are underserved, underinsured or homeless

Michigan’s first student-run free clinic is a government-recognized, 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, which opened its doors to the Detroit area’s uninsured seven years ago. The Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic, founded in 2009 by the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Class of 2012, offers health care services, including primary and preventive care, health education and awareness, patient advocacy, social work and counseling, prescribed medications, basic on-site lab testing and specialty care referrals. The Frank clinic, at 5555 Connor St., works with the Mercy Primary Care Center to provide quality primary care to the uninsured of Detroit.

"The state of Michigan has approximately one million uninsured patients, and Detroit is no exception to that. Our clinic is only able to make a small dent when it comes to providing care for the uninsured, but we are unique in that we are a full-service clinic focused on providing preventive care, rather than emergent care,” said first-year medical student and Assistant Director of Fundraising Nina Bihani.

“It has been gratifying to see the SRFC grow from an idea into a reality,” said founding member Juliann Binienda, Ph.D., assistant professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences. “The students have been successful in getting funds from various entities such as the School of Medicine Alumni Association and various fundraisers.”

All diagnoses and prescriptions are confirmed by the practicing physician. King estimates that the clinic sees about 20 patients per three-hour period. “You can see there is a huge need for it. There is always a ton of patients that want to be seen,” she said.

WSU medical students review a patient’s history at the Robert Frank Student-Run Clinic

“For us, as first-years coming in, if you don’t volunteer at the clinic, you don’t get as much hands-on experience. It is really helpful when you work with (fellow students),” she said.

For Dr. Binienda, the level of compassion, organization and enthusiasm the students have demonstrated in their work with the clinic is most impressive. “They take their patient care seriously and patients have responded favorably because of it. The SRFC is well-organized and plans are developed and implemented.”

The Student-Run Free Clinic is on

Twitter at www.twitter.com/wsusrfc

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobertRFrankSRFC

The Web at http://frankclinic.med.wayne.edu/index.php.

The free clinic is open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, and most Fridays. Call 313-444-5490 to make an appointment.


Division of Government and Community Affairs
4092 Faculty Administration Building, 656 W. Kirby • Detroit, MI 48202
Tel: (313) 577-5284