Commentary: Forget the Forms: Participant Observation at an Urban Free Clinic

Brooke Bocast

“Would you be interested in volunteering here?” I asked the homeless man sitting across from me.
“Sure, absolutely! Just tell me what to do.”
“Great! First, I need you to fill out these volunteer application forms. Then turn them in to the volunteer coordinator and she’ll get back to you. Be sure to include all of your contact information and relevant experience.”
“Yeah, ok, um, I’ll take care of that later.” The man took the forms and walked out of the room; he never came back to volunteer.
This interaction is demonstrative of countless encounters I had while interning at an urban free clinic (hereafter known as UFC) during my freshman year of college. This clinic provides a wide range of free services, including medical and dental care, food and clothing distribution, legal help, and social services……

Student Anthropologist, 1 (1)

Publication date: 2009

Pages: 11 – 13

Download PDF – Bocast 2009


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