At the recent national meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), I dropped in on a session about medical volunteering. I thought I might hear about an interesting opportunity to volunteer in Africa, or South America perhaps. Instead, the first presentation was about volunteering at a free clinic-in America. The physician in charge spoke of an impressive roster of staff-physicians, nurses, medical assistants, who, amazingly, all worked for free to support no-cost healthcare.
Free clinics are wonderful and an important part of the fledgling healthcare infrastructure in economically struggling areas, but should not be necessary in a wealthy country. Americans deserve better.