Making a Difference: The Free Clinic Extraordinary Volunteers

Volunteering to Help Others

Growing up in Lubbock, I’ve had the opportunity of witnessing change and growth. This was particularly evident in the medical field, as multiple hospitals and clinics were built to accommodate the greater West Texas area. However, I also knew that certain groups of people were being left behind. Those who could not afford to pay out of pocket and, for whatever reason, were not on any type of insurance, were overlooked. So, part of my decision to return to Lubbock for medical school was knowing that I would be able give back to this community. It seemed obvious that the best way to do this would be through The Free Clinic.

By far my favorite part of The Free Clinic is getting to see the longitudinal progression of patients in the clinic. Most of the time, when I first meet a patient, I am astounded by the number of medical problems they have. Hearing their stories and knowing the huge responsibility I am taking by entering their lives drives my desire to help. As we work through issues, tackling one problem at a time, I am always amazed by how they progress and how the clinic can significantly change their lives. It is a humbling experience for me.

Some of the best things I have learned in my time at the clinic are patience and collaboration. Things can’t always be fixed by one change or one visit, and I may not be able to see the same patient every single week, but I know that relying on others and absorbing everything I can from upperclassmen makes me a better caretaker for the people I’m there to serve.

Paul David Gaschen is a second-year medical student and also president of the Raider Med Run Club from Lubbock. He received his Bachelor of Arts University Scholars degree at Baylor University and has an interest in orthopaedic surgery.

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.