Free Student-Run Medical Clinic in Tijuana


The clinic sits on a busy street, just blocks
away from the U.S. Mexico border. Me llamo Amy, y estabo trabajando en este
projecto Inside the building, fourth-year UCSD medical
student Amy Eppstein greets her counterparts from UABC, the medical school in Tijuana. This clinic is Eppstein’s baby. I’ve always been very interested in global
health and underserved medicine and that’s a large reason I decided to go into medicine.
And so my first year of medical school, I came down to Tijuana with a group from a different
medical school, and that gave me the idea to start something at UCSD that would allow
UCSD medical students to also get more involved with health in the border region. Every Saturday, students from UCSD and UABC
work at the clinic. Doctors from both schools supervise them. It’s all part of a class
called Health Frontiers in Tijuana. Mexican health officials say the clinic offers
a great learning experience for students on both sides of the border. But above all, the most valuable thing about
the program is that we’re providing services to a group of people that need it the most. The clinic is located on the periphery of
Tijuana’s red light district, called La Zona Norte. In this neighborhood, there are
a lot of drug addicts, sex workers, homeless people, and even people who live in the irrigation
canal. But people who live in other parts of town
come to the clinic, too. I was passing by, and I saw that the clinic
offered free care. The main health clinic in town is closed. So, I came here once, and
this is my second visit. Gonzales tells the students she’s been suffering
from terrible headaches for about a month and a half. She’s hasn’t been able to
get any relief. After Gonzales’ exam, Eppstein consults
with one of the supervising doctors on how best to treat her. Hopefully, you know, this program will sensible-ize
students, or future physicians, to work with this population, to work with their counterparts,
in Mexico, and to address and communicate better between clinicians, and to better address
health issues of this border populations. Amy Eppstein says after years of planning,
it’s rewarding to see the clinic up and running. And I’m so excited to see the students from
UABC and from UCSD working together, see that 90 to 100 patients have been seen in about
one or two months, and I’m very excited to see where it will go in the future, as
well.

5 thoughts on “Free Student-Run Medical Clinic in Tijuana

  1. nice – but medical care is already cheap and plentiful in TJ. It's the USA that is in need of free or affordable medical care more than any other country I've ever been to. Bring some of those Baja Calif student doctors this way.

  2. @espirates2 How else do doctors actually practice medicine? Surgeons in the US have students sitting in and even helping them out. They'll never tell you this though especially if a mistake was made. This at least lets patients know what they're getting themselves into and guess what, it's free. 

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