TCOM students find satisfaction in clinic work

TCOM Student volunteers

One of Gabbi Saks’ favorite parts of her medical education occurs once a month in a clinic at Cornerstone Assistance Network.

That’s where Saks and other Texas College of Medicine students triage and help care for uninsured patients at the Fort Worth nonprofit’s Saturday charitable clinic.

“You spend a lot of time with each patient and get a full understanding of their health and stressors in their personal life,” said Saks, MPH. “And the patients are so very grateful because many of them have been turned away elsewhere. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience.”

By volunteering to care for the most at-risk Tarrant County residents, Saks and other students are furthering TCOM students’ legacy of serving others in the community. For years, TCOM students have gained experience at the clinic just east of downtown Fort Worth.

First-and second-year students triage patients, gather medical histories and consult with volunteer physicians at the clinic, which has 2,000 patient encounters a year.

“We have a wonderful partnership with UNTHSC,” said Lorene McCoy, the clinic’s director of health services. “The students are very helpful in making sure we treat our patients efficiently and effectively.”

Many of the volunteers are members of the UNTHSC chapter of the American Association of Osteopathic Women Physicians. First-year TCOM students are paired with second-year students on volunteer shifts and work closely with volunteer physicians from a variety of specialties.

Saks, who serves as the chapter’s vice-president, tells first-year students that Cornerstone Clinic is the best clinical and volunteer experience they will find. She has encountered patients diagnosed with everything from heart disease to brain tumors.

The patient interactions offer more than technical experience to students, however. It also inspires them to continue volunteering their medical skills to help uninsured patients after graduation.

“I know that after I become a doctor and start a practice that I’ll continue to give back to my community by helping people who need it most,” Saks said. “And many of the other students feel the same way.”

Recent News

Techstars Demo Day.
  • On Campus
|Dec 1, 2022

Techstars Demo Day brings innovation to the historic stockyards

For the last 13 weeks, the founders of 10 of the world’s most innovative startups have been in Fort Worth perfecting their new physical health technology. They are part of the world’s first physical health accelerator, and now they are ready to show the fruits of their labor. Techstars Demo D...
Dr. Sid O'bryant Award
  • Our People
|Dec 1, 2022

HSC named the winner of the D Magazines 2022 Achievement in Medical Research Award

The extensive research done by Dr. Sid O’Bryant and his team at the Institute of Translational Research has earned the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth the 2022 Medical Research Award by D Magazine. Dr. O’Bryant, the executive director of the ITR and a professor at t...
Dr. John Licciardone
  • Our People
|Nov 30, 2022

Key study results from HSC’s PRECISION Pain Research Registry published in JAMA Network Open

The Journal of the American Medical Association – Network Open has published findings from a recent HSC study about chronic lower back pain, race and the patient-physician relationship. The study revealed that Black patients reported worse outcomes for low back pain intensity and back-related d...
Ram flyer
  • Community
|Nov 23, 2022

Free pop-up medical, vision and dental clinic is just a week away

  The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Remote Area Medical – RAM® — a nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics that delivers free quality dental, vision and medical care to those in need — are bringing the free health care clinic to Dallas on Dec. 3 and 4....