MedZou is a free clinic put on by University of Missouri Medical students for those without health insurance. Student Director Alex Sable-Smith says the majority of patients come in with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. He says often people are also diagnosed with anxiety and depression too.
MedZou only serves those who have no insurance; Sable-Smith says those 18 and under and 65 and older are covered by Medicare and Medicaid normally, so it’s those in between that come in. He says he wishes there were more clinics because the wait list at other clinics is so long.
In addition to the normal Thursday night clinics, he says there are also specialty clinics once a month for diabetes, physical therapy and dermatology. He says there’s a big need for helping the medically underserved, because those who need counseling help are often on a wait list of six months or longer.
He says students in their first two years of Medical School get to volunteer at the clinic and see a side of healthcare that they may not otherwise. He says there’s a lot of Missourians who are medically underserved, and it’s important for Medical students to see that part of healthcare. Students do the initial exam and interview, and then a licensed doctor makes a diagnosis.
He says on a busy Thursday night, the clinic will see between 10 and 20 people. It opens at 5:00 and doesn’t close until all the patients have been seen by a student and a physician.