OSU Medical Students Hold Annual 5K Fun Run
On an unseasonably warm September morning, runners lined the sidewalk next to Ohio Stadium to participate in the 10th annual PCC/AMA 5K Fun Run, sponsored by the medical student chapter for the American Medical Association (AMA) at Ohio State University College of Medicine (OSUCOM).
“Every year, the student chapter for American Medical Association at OSU has thrown this event, in order to fund-raise for the Physicians Free Clinic,” Douglas Weaver, AMA-MSS President, said.
“It’s the way that we, as a chapter, have felt is the best way we can give back to the community.”
This year’s race was held at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 18. Doctors, students, community members – and one very excited poodle – came to support the Physicians Free Clinic.
Located at 240 Parsons Avenue, the Physicians Free Clinic provides a range of free medical services to Columbus’ underserved communities. Every week, a number of local physicians, students, and medical professionals, volunteer their time and expertise at the clinic.
“The doctors who donate their time to the Physicians Free Clinic, they don’t get any money. They need to find ways to pay for tests, facilities, and staff,” Weaver said. “This is our way of helping out with that.”
The Physicians Free Clinic is run by the Physicians CareConnection (PCC), an affiliate of the Columbus Medical Association (CMA). Many PCC staff members participated in the race on Sunday. One of them was Audrey Barker, Healthcare Education Program/Administrative Coordinator for PCC.
“It was a beautiful day with positive energy from the participants and volunteers. Really appreciated the cheering along the route to keep going,” Barker said.
Barker facilitates operations at the Physicians Free Clinic. She says that events such as this one are critical to ensuring that PCC is able to achieve its objectives of “optimizing the health of the most vulnerable in Central Ohio.”
“This event is put on by the AMA OSU Student Chapter, to give back to assist us in helping patients in our community. Assistance with transportation for medical appointments, interpreters to assure accuracy of care, medications, etc.,” Barker said.
Many patients struggle to navigate the increasingly complex healthcare environment. Others simply cannot afford medical services. These struggles are not unique to Central Ohio. Event organizer, Nicolette Payne, recalled similar challenges while living in New York.
“During undergrad, I did a lot of work with underserved communities in NYC. In Columbus, there are also many people who need medical attention but aren’t able to afford it. Fundraising is often the limiting factor when trying to get proper health care to the community,” Payne said.
Payne, also a medical student, serves as Chair of Philanthropy for the AMA/OSMA executive board. She says she has enjoyed working with staff at the Physicians Care Connection.
“Since I’m not a doctor yet, I think it is important to help with fundraising so that other healthcare physicians are able to provide care.”
For more information about the Physcians Free Clinic, click here.