The idea of prescribing housing sounds too good to be true, the exact kind of thing you would expect to see on a medical drama. It couldn’t possibly work in real life … or could it?
I have learned that patients seek health care services at free clinics for a myriad of reasons and some are atypical. There were specific populations I expected to see: the uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, and those without access to transportation. Yet there were other populations I was more surprised to see, namely patients who had insurance but preferred their experiences at free clinics.
Seeking to document the experiences of students in street medicine groups at medical schools across the country, I decided to start with my own institution, the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine.