Making a Difference: The Free Clinic Extraordinary Volunteers

Abigail Buckholz

I volunteer at The Free Clinic because I really value helping underserved patient populations and contributing where there is a need. Also, wanting to be a doctor and see patients, I felt that The Free Clinic was great for getting experience in the field that I wanted to go into. I always loved shadowing even before medical school, but The Free Clinic is like a step-up from shadowing. I also like the teaching aspect of the clinic, because I am in a position to mentor students. Overall, I feel it has given me, from the beginning of medical school, a taste of what residency is going to be like. 
 
Nothing can beat the time when I was able to diagnose a problem and had to send a patient directly to the emergency room. If the team had not diagnosed the person, I honestly believe that person could have died shortly thereafter. This first experience of putting my medical training to such good use will stay with me.
 
I have learned how to practice medicine at The Free Clinic. I haven't had any other experience that has given me the freedom to figure out patient care and not just following instructions. The experience has given me confidence that I can be a practicing physician.

Abigail Buckholz, is a fourth-year medical student from Carlsbad, New Mexico. She earned her Bachelor of Science in biological sciences: neuroscience, and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, with minors in music and chemistry. She plans to compete a double residency in psychiatry and internal medicine or family medicine.

Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.

School of Medicine

School of Medicine

Since 1969, the School of Medicine has graduated more than 3,000 physicians. The school aims to provide quality lab space, recruit creative, innovative research faculty, and develop graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for lifelong careers in medical research.

Today, more than 20 percent of the practicing physicians in West Texas have graduated from the School of Medicine or its residency programs.