Street Medicine

Street Medicine with Mercy Care & H-STAT

The Street Medicine program is a partnership with Mercy Care. Through this program, students work alongside physicians from Mercy Care to provide basic health and behavioral care to those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta.

What exactly does a street medicine team look like?

The team is a small group with 4-6 people, who go out into the community to provide clinic medicine to the homeless population where they live.

This team includes:

  • a peer outreach specialist who is well connected to the daily ‘heartbeat’ of the homeless community and whose fundamental role on the team is to ensure the safety of the team;
  • one or more clinical provider(s) who will see the patients, perform physical exam, and prescribe medications;
  • an RN/administrator to ensure that the evening runs smoothly;
  • and student volunteers, who will see patients, present to the providers, and help chart on the patients.

On Wednesday evenings the team finds individuals who are experiencing homelessness and addresses both the mental and physical health issues of this population. Be prepared to gain some awesome experiences interviewing and gathering information from patients!

Keep in mind!

  • You must have completed at least 1 clinical rotation to participate in the Street Medicine volunteer corps.
  • You must be able to attend all 4 consecutive Wednesday evenings of your 1 month commitment.
  • Volunteers must apply to the program and attend a mandatory training session before participating.

Maximize your experience

To maximize what you get out of this experience, we are asking that a full, continuous 4-week block of Wednesday evenings (5:45PM-10PM) be dedicated to the team.

The folks at Mercy Care really want to get to know you, and you will get much more out of your volunteer time by building on a longitudinal experience.

The team will always be going out regardless of the weather conditions, so be prepared to put on some rain boots!

What is expected of me?

First of all, it goes without saying that all students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional, respectful manner and recognize the same privacy protocols as in a hospital or clinic setting.

We’re doing the easy part – our patients are the ones who are sharing their stories and lives with us!

Through this experience, you will learn the vital skill of motivational interviewing through personal interactions with the homeless.

In addition to a thorough history, physical exam, and first aid techniques (i.e. wound dressings), patient notes will be recorded throughout the evening.