Salud Sin Fronteras Clinica Holds Open House

Salud Sin Fronteras Clinica, or Health Without Borders Clinic, held an open house April 5.

Launched by faculty and students at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), the clinic treats farmworkers free of charge at El Paso’s local migrant farmworkers center.

Charmaine Martin, M.D., spearheaded the clinic as part of the Longitudinal Primary Care Track (LCPT), a program that’s designed to spark medical students’ interest in primary care, but also to expose them to the poor and often underserved community of migrant farmworkers.

“It has been a real eye-opener,” said Dr. Martin who is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. “The center has been very welcoming to us and we are learning a great deal about the history and the plight of the workers.”

Visiting the clinic is just like going to a regular doctor’s office for the farmworkers.

Students jot down the migrant farmworkers’ height, weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels as soon they arrive at the clinic. The patients then fill out a form about their health history and describe their symptoms to the budding doctors. With experienced physicians overseeing the process, the students conduct a physical examination and then attempt to diagnose the patient.

Dr. Martin says it’s been exciting to watch her students work in the clinic and enhance their primary care experiences and abilities. She hopes that program will ultimately help increase the number of primary care doctors in Texas.