Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Positions

We train new volunteers at the beginning of each new school year. Unfortunately, we are often unable to accommodate new volunteers during the semester because of the large pool of applicants we get as school begins. Please don’t hesitate to write us with any specific requests, as we are more than happy to discuss your options. Translators for instance, are often given special preference due to our relative lack of volunteers able to serve in this capacity.

Volunteer Roles

  • Patient Registrar (any student):
  • Greets patients and tells them about the services available at the clinic.
  • Creates a chart for new patients in the electronic medical record.
  • Passes chart to vitals volunteer or patient navigator.
  • Works with Clinic Coordinators to maintain clinic flow (goal time/patient is max of 30-45 min being seen).


Requires working knowledge of target language (currently only Spanish and Arabic needed) and medical vocabulary.

  • Work as part of care team to promote effective communication of concepts across language barrier
  • Work to facilitate communication, by conveying meaning (≠ word-for-word translation) without inserting or removing ideas.
  • Only act in dual role (i.e. patient navigator, examiner…) if directly requested to do so by clinic coordinator because of short staffing.
  • Must attend one orientation session, either Sept. 3 from 12-1:20 pm or Sept. 5, 4:30-5:20 pm in MERF 2189.

Vitals (any student):

At clinics, the vitals coordinators should:

  • Set up the vitals station at start of the clinic.
  • Oversee vital sign assessment for all patients at the clinic.
  • Teach interested health science students to take their patients’ blood pressure, verify readings.
  • Collect data and complete growth charts for children.
  • Explain vitals findings to each patient.
  • Break down vitals station at the end of the clinic.

History Taker (EMR trained) (M1, M2 and PA students):

This volunteer will serve as a guide for the physician in recording the patients’ medical history, as well as present concerns.

  • Takes a focused history from the patient (to the best of their abilities, with help from the patient examiner)
  • Helps write the patient note in the EMR
  • Presents the history to the physician
  • Directs the patient to appropriate community resources.

Examiner (M3-4/PA2 students only).

At clinics, examiners should be learning:

  • To mentor history-taker to do focused history by guiding questions, adding extra pertinent questions. (Help history-taker consider differential during history.)
  • Art of physical exam assessment of adults
  • Work with history-taker and educator, to discuss health topics with patient using handouts after discussion with staff.
  • Oral presentation of exam findings to the physician.
  • Writes the patient note in the EMR.
  • Helps determine the patient plan, including suggesting referrals or medications

Labs person (certification required, and will be provided to interested students at designated orientation sessions TBD)

At clinics, the labs person should:

  • Work closely with examining team to determine which patients should receive glucose, HbA1c, cholesterol or Hb testing
  • Make sure that all required controls and material are present before and after the clinic
  • Conscientiously run controls on lab machines
  • Explain to patient the reason for the lab test
  • Provide the patient with their results in writing.
  • Refer the patient to the M3/4, health provider or educator for any questions they cannot answer regarding the patient questions.

Patient educator :

At clinics, the educator should:

  • Familiarize themselves with the handouts available in the education materials brought to the clinic
  • Engage patients in education pertinent to their spoken needs
  • Provide them with applicable handouts in their own language
  • Inform clinic coordinator of any education materials that were used up or that would be beneficial next time
  • Remind examining team to bring patients for education during any time the patient is waiting for the next step in examination
  • Must attend education training session on Tuesday, Sept. 9 from 6:30-8:30 pm in MERF 1117.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) expert (any student that has been trained to use Practice Fusion):

This position is tasked with the important role of ensuring proper documentation at our clinics and doing research based on our patient data. At clinics, the EMR expert will:

  • Arrive early to help train all volunteers who will be using the Practice Fusion EMR and troubleshoot computer problems
  • Provide support for Practice Fusion throughout the clinic
  • Finalize all clinic notes, including reading the notes for accuracy and adding in ICD-9/10 codes and diagnoses
  • Extract information from the EMR to help us improve our patient care delivery
  • Scan and enter all necessary patient documents.

Pharmacy student:

This role is not available at all clinics, but occasionally there will be pharmacy specific clinic days.

  • Assigned to a particular team
  • Taking pharmaceutical history of each patient seen by the team
  • Participating in team preparation for staffing (esp. subjective, assessment, and plan)
  • Presenting medication history during staffing
  • Working with team to write notes in chart (esp. S, A, P as above)
  • Working with team to provide appropriate preventative- and disease- education to patient.

Dental students:

At clinics, dental students will perform the following services:

  • Oral assessments
  • Oral health education
  • Referrals to dental school clinics

Social work students:

This role can be shaped to accommodate the student’s expertise.  Familiarity with community resources and insurance information is helpful.

Clinic Coordinator (CC) (during the clinic):

This role requires previous experience at 3+ clinics and extra training as a member of the MC board.

  • Leads pre-clinic orientation for all volunteers clarifying goals of clinic, volunteer roles, expected physical locations of volunteers, teams.
  • Oversees setup, ensures unpacking complete, rooms ready for use BEFORE first patient is taken.
  • Pays particular attention to the orientation of new volunteers, using M3 orientation checklist (and other role checklists as they are developed).
  • Circulates during clinic to answer volunteer questions, fetch supplies to rooms, promote timely work (with help of receptionist’s intake record).
  • Be flexible, reassign roles as needed.  One of two CCs can fill roles as needed during the clinic.
  • Communicates with staff:  introduce to volunteers, (other stuff to make good use of this person’s time).
  • Communicates with site staff during clinic, after clinic to get ideas, troubleshoot concerns.
  • Keeps running list of ideas/suggestions/needs for clinic report.
  • Distributes and collects evaluations from all volunteers.
  • Keeps the clinic on time and stops taking patients and starts cleaning up in a timely manner.