'The Waiting Room' screening benefits Touro's student-run free clinic

Patricia Kutza
Vallejo Community Issues Examiner 
examiner.com; February 12, 2013

In two recent postings, we talked about the services that the Touro University-staffed free clinic offers residents of our area. In this posting, we will hear more from the staff.

Before we do so, we want to make sure you know about a very interesting opportunity coming up soon to support the clinic. On February 21st the Empress Theatre will host a screening of The Waiting Room', a much heralded documentary about Oakland's Highland Hospital and its challenges to care for the underinsured and uninsured patients that seek its services.

On hand that night will be the movie's director, Peter Nicks, as well as two of the cast members. Tickets to the benefit include two options: $50 for Champagne Reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes champagne, hor d'oeuvres, valet parking, reserved seating, screening and panel discussion; $15 for screening and panel discussion only. Tickets can be purchased at www.empresstheatre.org.

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In Justin Hwang's words...

In our last clinic-related posting, Touro student Christie Blondek shares her work at the clinic. In this posting you will hear from Justin Hwang. He is the Director of Touro's College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM).:

"My role involves coordinating osteopathic medical student volunteers and preceptors to keep the clinic staffed on a week to week basis. I also volunteer myself and see patients almost every week.

As a student, I am greatly appreciative to have the clinic. I absolutely agree with the mission statement of the clinic; to provide much needed healthcare services to residents of Vallejo while being a place for students to utilize and practice what we learn in class.

For us as students, it gives valuable experience working with patients during a time of our training when we are primarily doing bookwork. This prepares us for clinical years that I feel gives us an edge and comfort level later on.

Day to day, is a great experience working with the people of Vallejo (and surrounding areas). Any time you are with a patient there is a special bond. You are giving your intention, your time, your energy, and your knowledge to a patient; to see how appreciative they are to receive it, especially if they have no access to healthcare, is an amazing experience. And it fills your heart. Greatest of all, it is something that keeps us grounded - it's easy to get disillusioned in school when all we do is study and take tests- I get a reminder weekly of why I'm studying so much and why I'm here."