Announcing: The Free Clinic Research Collective

On behalf of the entire MSPress Team, I am very proud to announce a call for papers for the newest MSPress publication, The Free Clinic Research Collective (FCRC). The FCRC is currently accepting: original research, brief communications, narrative/reflection essays, and viewpoint articles.  Since the FCRC’s official online debut in February 2015, we have received enthusiastic responses from medical students across the nation.  We are still reviewing and accepting submissions, so please do not hesitate to contact me, Elizabeth C. Lee, the FCRC Associate Editor, at freeclinic@themspress.org with any questions!

As we have received numerous inquiries about the FCRC, I thought it would be helpful to write a blog post to provide further information about this new publication.  Here are some FAQs that I have received:

#1 What is The Free Clinic Research Collective (FCRC)?
The FCRC is a new peer-reviewed, open-access publication from The MSPress that aims to establish a national collective of student-run free clinics.  Almost every medical school in the U.S. has at least one student-run free clinic, and yet there is currently a paucity of literature about these clinics.  With the launch of the FCRC, our goal is to improve the distribution and accessibility of information relating to student-run free clinics by creating a centralized publication hub for easy information retrieval.  Additionally, the FCRC encourages medical students to share their experiences in working with underserved populations in interprofessional settings at their schools’ student-run free clinics.

#2 What types of submissions are accepted by the FCRC? 
The FCRC accepts the following: research articles, brief communications, narrative/reflection essays, and viewpoint articles.  (NB: In the future, we will also be accepting correspondences. More on this in #3 below!)  As we are firmly committed to embracing all medical student original work, please contact freeclinic@themspress.org if your work does not “fit” into any of the above categories, and we would be happy to work with you to help get your work published!

#3 Why should I submit my work to the FCRC?
Thank you for asking!  Here are 5 reasons:

  1. Get your research published in a peer-reviewed journal.  (Tip: If you’ve already given an oral presentation or made a research poster on a topic related to student-run free clinics but have not yet published your findings, then simply translate your work into a research article format, and send it to us!)
  2. You are/have been a student leader at your school’s student-run free clinic, and you have insight into your clinic’s organization, management, services, and limitations.  Sharing this information by writing a brief communication would help your peers across the nation improve efficiency in their own home clinics, leading to better patient care.
  3. You have a particularly exciting or memorable patient encounter or experience at your school’s free clinic, and you would like to share your experience with your peers by writing a narrative/reflection essay.
  4. You have an opinion about the role of student-run free clinics in addressing issues, such as: health disparities, access to quality care, primary care physician shortage, medical education, etc.  If you have an opinion on a topic involving student-run free clinics, then write a viewpoint article!
  5. You enjoy the art of debate.  (Not a joke!)  If so, then write a correspondence article!  This is one particularly unique aspect of the FCRC, which is not just a simple one-way information portal.  Through correspondence articles, the FCRC encourages intercommunication between authors and readers by establishing an open dialogue.  The correspondence article gives readers the opportunity to comment on any previously published article in the FCRC.  If your correspondence is accepted for publication, then a copy will be sent to the author of the original article, allowing for the opportunity of a brief reply.

At the MSPress, we have a highly dedicated team of editors and peer reviewers, and we ensure that each submission undergoes a blind peer review process and receives full consideration for publication.  I have deep confidence in the launch of our new publication, The Free Clinic Research Collective, and am proud to launch this wonderful platform for the benefit of medical students across the nation to exchange ideas and share their research findings regarding student-run free clinics.

Again, please do not hesitate to contact me, Elizabeth C. Lee (FCRC Associate Editor), at freeclinic@themspress.org with any questions. Thank you for your hard work out in the clinic, and we look forward to reading your submissions!

Consult the Free Clinic Research Collective Author Guidelines

Elizabeth Christine Lee

Elizabeth is a medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors from The George Washington University with a B.S. in Biology. During her college career, she studied amylin cytotoxicity in type II diabetes as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellow. Before entering medical school, she worked at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Postbaccalaureate Research Fellow, studying natural killer cell signaling at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and cancer immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She also broadened her knowledge on health disparities through the NIH Academy Health Disparities Program. As a medical student, she developed an interest in serving the rare and neglected disease community through her work with the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP). Her motto in life is, "Never lose your ability to smile even through dark times."

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