Medical Education

Community Engagement

Medical school students learn through engagement with diverse communities.

Free Clinics




Rhode Island Free Clinic


Rhode Island Free Clinic’s mission is to provide free, comprehensive medical care and preventive health services to adults who have no health insurance and cannot afford those services and to serve as an educational training site for aspiring health care professionals. 


20-25 medical students per year


Clinica Esperanza


The free clinic provides free, high quality medical care to uninsured adults living in Rhode Island. This clinic, located in Providence, offers culturally sensitive, personalized care.  The staff speaks Spanish, French, Arabic, Creole and a little Italian.  All care at the clinic is provided by volunteers.   


50+ medical volunteers (faculty and students per year)


Brown Vision Initiative


The Brown Vision Initiative (BVI) is a student-run organization dedicated to improving eye health in Rhode Island through free eye examinations at the Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC), and patient education initiatives at both of the free clinics in Providence (RIFC and Clinica Esperanza). Care is provided under the supervision of a physician.  


3-5 medical students per year 

The San Miguel Project


This is a service-centered initiative, designed to engage medical students with the young men of the San Miguel School in Providence.  San Miguel is a private, independent Lasallian middle school that selectively chooses at risk urban boys, and immerses them in a culture emphasizing citizenship, service, and personal responsibility.  The San Miguel Project aims to bridge two worlds, providing San Miguel students with much needed educational and mentorship resources, as well as give committed medical students invaluable insight into the realities of our local patient population.

15 medical students per year 

Patient Navigator Programs

Student Navigator Program


First and second year medical students participate in a patient navigation program (Primary Care-Population Medicine students are required to participate). This is meant to be a complement to the traditional mentor experience: rather than learning from a physician as expert, here the student will learn from a patient as expert.

These students work longitudinally with their partnered patient to assist them in getting the highest quality healthcare possible. This includes helping to coordinate their care, providing and teaching advocacy skills, and supporting them in increasing their health literacy. 


40 medical students per year 

RIMNP (Rhode Island Medical Navigator Partnership)


A specific component of the student navigator program for some students is the Rhode Island Medical Navigator Partnership (RIMNP).  This program pairs Alpert medical students, Rhode Island College social sork students, University of Rhode Island nursing students and Brown University undergraduate students with case managers from House of Hope, a community development corporation in Warwick, to work as healthcare navigators and medical advocates for clients, all of whom have experienced chronic homelessness.


30 medical students


Medical Student Outreach to Mothers to Be (MOMS)


 The MOMS preclinical elective, the first patient navigator program at Alpert Medical School (AMS), matches first year medical students at AMS with expecting mothers receiving prenatal care.  Helping expecting mothers navigate the healthcare system, students attend their expectant mom's prenatal visits over the course of her pregnancy and may also attend her delivery.


15-20 medical students per year


Community Health Connections

Community Health Connection (CHC)  is an experiential opportunity for students to learn about medical and community service and advocacy organizations in the Providence area. Students are paired with medical and social service provision organizations, in order to gain a broader perspective on topics crucial to patients' well-being. 

  • VA Medical Center's Homeless Clinic 
  • Sojourner House
  • Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC)
  • Crossroads Rhode Island
  • Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic
  • Thundermist
  • PACE Organization of RI
  • Open Doors
  • Providence Community Health Centers
  • Lifespan Healthcare Institute
  • Refugee Dream Center
  • Gateway Community Mental Health