Valley's First Student-Run Clinic Benefiting Penitas Community
A group of UTRGV medical students opened their doors to the first student-run clinic in the Rio Grande Valley Saturday morning.
The clinic is located inside the Proyecto Desarrollo Humano clinic in Penitas.
"It's close and it helps a lot of people in this area," said Rebecca Gonzalez, a Penitas resident. "Because a lot of people don't have insurance, they can't afford a private doctor and the clinic helps them out a lot")
The nearest available clinic isn't around for miles.
UTRGV's Dean of the Medical School, Dr. John Krouse, said that's part of the reason they chose to open in the area.
"People who live in this area just don't have the access to care that many residents in the valley do," said Krouse. "There are really not medical clinics anywhere near this area and it's very hard for many residents to travel for a variety of reasons."
Dr. Krouse said the clinic will help the community in a number of ways, including early detection of diseases.
"I think it will be able to detect and diagnose serious diseases like diabetes much more early in the course of the disease and what that means is that people will have much better lives. They won't have those serious complications that diabetes can have for people," said Krouse.
Treatment for minor injuries is also available, cutting down on people making trips to the emergency room for things like the flu.
The clinic also helps provide check-ups and basic labs for residents.
With students running the clinic, more man power is provided which cuts down on wait times.
Plans for the clinic have been in the works for years and students will eventually take it completely over.
"They're going to be providing full primary care services, whether it be physical examinations, health screenings," said Krouse. "They're going to be examining patients to diagnose illness, they're going to be with their faculty partners prescribing medications, recommending treatments so they'll be functioning fully as doctors would function under the supervision of faculty physicians."
Dr. Krouse said community members can go to the clinic for just about anything, from a sore throat to a sprained ankle.
"I think the community can feel comfortable coming here with any medical problem and if we diagnose things which require an additional level of care, our physicians at UTRGV will be able to take care of those problems as well," Krouse said.
Dr. Krouse added with the clinic's opening, they hope to see a decrease in illness and injuries that go unseen in the community.