Crystal Barbus says volunteering with the U's Mobile Health Initiative (MHI) was a great way to be able to contribute back to the community as a medical student early on.
"The population of patients that MHI serves is also one that seems often forgotten in the health care system, so being able to help bridge the gap in access for this group felt like it would be an enriching experience for both me and the patients," she said.
Barbus mainly volunteered with the vision care aspect of MHI.
"What initially interested me in this opportunity is that I myself wear glasses and could not imagine going about day-to-day life without them," she said. "With parents who both came from rural backgrounds and knowing many family members that have been affected by lack of access to care, the mission of MHI to bring the care to patients really attracted me."
Barbus chose to volunteer with MHI as a way to learn more about the unique considerations of working with underserved populations, the logistics of running a free clinic, and how mobile health can be scaled upwards and expanded further for more widespread use.
"My experience thus far has been great," she said. "As part of helping coordinate behind the scenes things for the vision portion of MHI, I worked closely with others at MHI who have all been very supportive and are just so passionate about what MHI can provide to the community. At the clinic sessions, I’ve been able to provide numerous individuals with life changing glasses as well as detecting a few cases of glaucoma, which felt very rewarding."