New York City Free Clinic Elective | NYU Grossman School of Medicine | NYU Langone Health

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Interdepartmental Elective Catalog New York City Free Clinic Elective

New York City Free Clinic Elective

Preceptor: Sarah Nosal, M.D.
Course Code: 21-01
Telephone: (718) 293-3900

Prerequisites: Medicine and Ob/Gyn clerkships (if only volunteering at the Women’s Health Free Clinic the only prerequisite is the Ob/Gyn clerkship)


The medical student will participate in the operation of NYU's New York City Free Clinic at the Institute for Urban Family Health. Responsibilities will include working with preceptors to provide medical care for uninsured patients, coordinating referral services as necessary, and educating patients about their medical problems. Students will hone the skills necessary for taking a culturally sensitive medical history, sharpening physical-exam acumen, mastering the patient presentation, and broadening the differential diagnosis. Additionally, the importance of coordinating multidisciplinary care will be stressed; students will learn to arrange social services that range from job-training programs for unemployed patients to procuring medications for patients who can not afford them. For more information, see

Objectives of the Elective

The student will learn to provide care for the patient in a multidisciplinary, culturally sensitive medical environment with a focus on continuity of care. By rotating through multiple duties over the course of the elective, students will learn the basics of running a clinic, from the registration and triage of the patient to the formulation and implementation of the medical plan. Students will have follow-up with patients over the course of their elective.

Key Responsibilities of the student while on Elective

  1. The student will be required to attend the clinic every other Saturday from 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM during the rotation block.
  2. Students will attend a two-hour training session prior to the beginning of the elective.
  3. Students have the option of rotating through both the regular NYC Free Clinic and the Women’s Health Clinic, which opened February 2008.


Students will present clinically-relevant topics at the beginning of each clinic session. Topics will range broadly, focusing on issues central to primary care medicine including the following: how to treat common medical problems; how to perform a thorough and effective medical history; how to formulate an efficient and complete patient presentation; how to help your patient apply for Medicare, Medicaid and/or the Child Health Insurance Program.

Method of Evaluation

Students will be evaluated by attending physicians assigned to work with the students during their elective rotation.

Scheduling Information

Months offered: Year-round, including summer session
Report to: Sidney Hillman Health Center, 16 East 16th Street.
Students per period: 32
Duration: To receive credit, students must attend at least 10 clinic sessions in the course of the 16-17 week period
Elective Credit = 2 weeks*

*The Free Clinic is one of our non-traditional electives that also includes the Service Learning Elective (2 or 4 weeks) and Practice of Medicine Teaching Academy (2 weeks). While students can participate in any, or all, of these electives, the maximum amount of non-traditional elective time that can count towards the graduation elective requirement is 4 weeks.