School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine


The Policies and Resources will answer a lot of questions. This FAQ is meant to answer other random questions that have come up.

What do I do as a student volunteer?

What you can do at Cass clinic will depend on your skill level. Generally, medical student volunteers obtain History of Present Ilness from the patient and perform basic diagnostic tests such as measuring the blood pressure, taking the heart rate, and listening to heart and lung sounds. Upon completion of the patient interview, the students present their findings to the attending physician. The physician may quiz the students, depending on their skill level, on what the best course of action is. The physician will also dispense any necessary prescription drugs.

The patient interview team is lead by a medical student who has experience  in working at Cass Clinic. Other members of the patient interview team include other medical students who are first-time volunteers at Cass Clinic. These students are responsible for learning the skills necessary so they can lead a patient interview team in the future. Other non-medical students such as undergraduate  students shadow the more experienced medical students and help with appropriate vital signs such as heart rate and respirations.

Is it possible to sign me up to come in every week?

As much as we would like to have you volunteer at Cass clinic every week, volunteer demand prevents this during regular academic year. Please see the Policies for tips on how to maximize your chances of getting scheduled.  It is possible for medical students to volunteer every week in summer since we're short of medical student volunteers in summer.  

What does it mean to be an alternate?

Being scheduled as an alternate means that we may email you or call you if a volunteer were to cancel, or if we were to decide we need more volunteers for a given Saturday. If you are an alternate, you are expected to come to the clinic on Saturday if notified by e-mail or voicemail by 5:00 PM on Friday of that week. As such, you are expected to remove yourself from the alternate list if you can't meet this obligation. You may also be contacted after this time to come in but you are under no obligation to do so. Please do not come in if you are listed as an alternate unless you were asked to do so by a coordinator.