Health Care Partners, Henderson, Nevada
I participated in the Jim Slotnick Fellowship more than 15 years ago while in medical school as a second year medical student. The experience allowed me to see individuals who were not the typical patients seen through rotations at UCLA. Most of the patients were teenagers, some were homeless and the majority of patients had social and financial issues contributing to their need for medical care. I came to understand how important The Los Angeles Free Clinic was to the community and how without this clinic some of these patients would not have sought care due to fear of judgment or inability to pay. What struck me most about the Clinic were the diverse services available to patients (medical and social) and the dedication given to providing total patient care. As a family medicine physician I understand that being a doctor is a combination of providing medical care and managing social issues that can affect a patient’s overall health. After participating in the Fellowship I have a better understanding of how to care for my patients no matter what their age, social circumstances or economic status. I hope and believe I am a better physician because of this.