UB medical students take different approach to patient care

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Every Tuesday and Thursday, you’ll find a group of students from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, out on the streets.

They’re providing impromptu check-ups to people who may not get into clinics very often.

The program is called “UB Heals.”

“We’re at Hope Gardens, which is a 20-bed permanent supportive housing unit for women who have been chronically homeless,” explained staff nurse Kimberly Burlingame Thursday, when News 4 joined the team on their rounds.

Burlinghame works with the UB students, and told News 4 the program has made real impact on the women at Hope Gardens.

News 4 joined the UB Heals team at Hope Gardens Thursday, but other times the group is at an NFTA bus stop, or places downtown where the chronically homeless frequent.

“I think the biggest challenge is building that trust and working with the patient so that they get over the fear of doctors or sort of (the) stigma they may have from past experiences that may have been negative,” said second-year student Jillian Smith.

You won’t see white lab coats or fancy name tags; these students go by first names.

Second-year student Moudi Hubeishy founded the program last year.

“One of the things that we found when we started going out was many of our patients do have insurance, and they do have the ability to be connected to healthcare in terms of financial means, but they’ve lost a lot of trust in the system,” he said.

It’s a two-way street; while these students provide a safe environment and free healthcare, their patients are helping to train them.

Moudi said the program gives him real-world experience, and also reminds him of what needs to change in the healthcare system.

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