Come join the refugee health alliance as a volunteer in Tijuana. We have regular volunteer opportunities at the San Ysidro Border Crossing.
We require all volunteers to sign up in advance using the Google Sign Up Sheet below.
Registered volunteers will receive a confirmation email with a date and meet-up information 1-2 weeks prior to trip date.
Unregistered volunteers will be turned away secondary to safety and licensure concerns.
Resident elective with RHA
Duration: 2 (minimum) - 4 weeks
Role and responsibilities: This is a 2 to 4 week resident rotation for internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine or obgyn residents. The day to day responsibilities includes clinical work at the Refugee Health Alliance clinic Monday-Friday (9am-2pm) during which time you will see approximately 15-30 patients a day, a quality improvement project, and a teaching requirement. All unlicensed residents who are not independent practitioners in their own states will be supervised by a licensed provider.
Requirements: Must be at least a PGY-2. Must be able to commit at least 2 weeks but ideally 4 weeks of elective time. Spanish language proficiency (able to do interview and medical charting in Spanish) or an independent plan for translation services is required.
About the clinic: Refugee Health Alliances serves vulnerable patients at the US-Mexico border, primarily refugees currently awaiting to present themselves for asylum. There are a wide range of medical conditions seen at the clinic, including anything from viral upper respiratory tract infections to more complicated management of chronic diseases (eg HTN, DM). We see a cohort of prenatal patients and assist them throughout their pregnancies along with a local midwife. RHA also serves the LGBTQIA+ refugee community, with provision of culturally competent services and hormonal therapy. In addition to refugees, the clinic also serves a variety of populations a the border including deportees and internally displaced individuals. This includes the provision of harm reduction services. At the clinic we also perform minor procedures such as I&D of abscesses, Nexplanon removals, chronic wound care, lipoma excisions, laceration repairs, toe nail removals, etc.
Skills you will learn: As a resident rotator you will have the unique privilege of serving an under-resourced population. You will have the opportunity to learn about trauma-informed care, immigration/refugee health care, LGBTQIA+ heath, prenatal care, and care in low resource settings.
Safety: While Tijuana can be a dangerous place, previous resident volunteers have felt very comfortable staying/living in Tijuana for the month. Please use your best judgement while staying in Tijuana. Chose a place to live that is close to clinic and avoid walking along after dark. However, if using common sense and judgment, no residents have had any safety issues while staying in Tijuana.
Housing: There are plenty of hotels and airbnbs available in Tijuana very close to clinic. There is also the option of staying in San Diego although this would involve a longer commute in the morning.
Cost: RHA is not able to provide funding for residents at this time, thus the cost of housing, food and transportation to and from the rotation falls to the resident. However, many programs offer funding for residents to participate in abroad electives. We ask that residents attempt to fundraise for the clinic in advance of their rotation. Please ask your specific residency program about funding opportunities.
For more information, please contact our prior resident volunteer Elena Hill, MD/MPH at email@example.com.