USF Health BRIDGE Clinic


The clinic was started with the idea that
this area really is underserved. Several of my friends in other medical schools
around the country were talking a lot about student run free clinics and some of the stuff
that they were doing with the community that we didn’t have here at the University of South
Florida. It’s amazing how many people really fall in
the cracks of our healthcare system. There is such a large number of the underserved
population and they don’t have any insurance and so we’re their only means for seeing doctors,
pharmacy, physical therapy. It started with four medical students who
wanted to interact with the local community and give back to them, as well as offer the
students here that experience of working with patients in an educational environment. The first day we opened was exciting. We only had two patients, and we spent something
like three hours per patient that first day, but it was definitely an exciting day and
everything that we’d been working towards sort of came to. The patients we started to provide care for
were primarily Hispanic, but it has really evolved since then. Now we see people from all walks of life,
all different cultures. We see patients that come in here and they’re
really thankful and they say that they couldn’t get care anywhere else. It came from being a small clinic where we
had probably four exam rooms to now what we have; multi-rooms, multi-specialties, probably
fifteen to twenty patients in a night time. Learning about individuals in our community,
their needs, and that your part of what made their day better; it’s so rewarding in every
aspect.

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