“Road to Empathy”: A Qualitative Exploratory Study of Trainee Experiences on a Mobile Health Clinic

holding hands

Publication: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved

Mobile health clinics often deliver care in medically underserved communities and train student volunteers to support service delivery. The authors conducted a qualitative analysis of over 100 trainees’ experiences volunteering with a mobile health clinic. Trainees learned how to deliver compassionate, non-judgmental health care. They developed competencies necessary to deliver effective, understandable, and respectful care. Their understanding of the health care system and patient-provider relationships deepened, and they expressed stronger empathy for people different from themselves. Over time, trainees progressed from initial apprehension towards confidence and competence, mediated by practice and staff expertise.