March 2, 2015

Mission Statement: In partnership with the community, UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic’s mission is to provide respectful, empowering, high-quality healthcare for the underserved while inspiring the next generation of health professionals.

Advancing Health and Wellness: Founded in 1997 by dedicated students, outstanding community, professional partners, and Dr. Ellen Beck, The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project provides free, high-quality, empowering, humanistic outpatient healthcare to more than 2,000 people yearly without access to care in San Diego. While accomplishing this, The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project inspires the next generation of health professionals locally and nationally. Our long-standing trusted community partnerships with two churches and two inner city public schools, professional partnerships with schools of pharmacy, dentistry, acupuncture, social work, nursing and law, a huge volunteer effort, and community and institutional support make it possible to provide ongoing trans-disciplinary care to our uninsured patients, including primary and specialty care, labs, medications, acupuncture, dentistry, and case management. More than 85 percent of our patients have chronic illnesses, including hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and depression. It is an honor to be a ‘safety net for the safety net’ in San Diego.

The free clinic is about community, and the mission of the free clinic project is to provide free high-quality healthcare to underserved communities.

At the same time, we inspire the next generation of health professionals. We have a philosophy of care that is humanistic, empowering, trans-disciplinary and that sees the community as teacher.

We began in 1997 with one site in the basement of a church in Pacific Beach, where an excellent program was working with the street homeless, called Harvest for the Hungry. Now we have four sites, two community churches, and two inner-city schools and are open somewhere in the city each day of the week. Our program is possible because of our remarkable and long-standing community partners.

The passion of the medical students is key to the success of our program. They arrive in medical school with passion, compassion, and a desire to make a difference, and we keep it alive. About 95 percent of the first-year medical school class and two-thirds of the second- and fourth-year classes become very involved in the free-clinic project.

All of our services are free to our patients, including lab tests, medications, primary care and specialty services, acupuncture, legal services, social services, and dental care. We fundraise to be able to provide high-quality care to the underserved. Underserved care means that we, as a society, are underserving this population. Each year, we have a gala, started by students many years ago to help combat this. The first year raised $2,000, and last year we raised $100,000. The medical students so believe in this work that they have pledged more than $450,000 of future income.

On our website, you will find information about our philosophy, a number of videos about the free-clinic project and our programs, and articles from the news. You can also learn more about how you can help support the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project. If you would like to take a tour of the free clinic, please contact us via the information provided below.

Description: The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project, in partnership with the community, provides accessible, quality healthcare for the underserved in a respectful environment in which students, health professionals, patients, and community members learn from one another.

We seek to sustain health through…

  • Free medical and preventive care
  • Health education
  • Access to social services

Our core values are…

  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Learning
  • Excellence
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Communication
  • Empowerment
  • Integration
  • Community

Contact Information: Director: Dr. Ellen Beck, 858-534-6160, | | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn

Administrative Assistant: Lisa Deferville, 858-534-6160,

Do you love the work of the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic?
Let them know by making a donation. Click the donate button below to go directly to their donation page.

Donate today to the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic

CEO / ED Video

Mission Support Grant Video:


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