Please note: We are currently only accepting Downstate students as volunteers. Sorry for the inconvenience. 


Early clinical experience at the Brooklyn Free Clinic is unparalleled. Volunteering with us is one of the best ways to enhance your education at SUNY Downstate. You will leave your clinical shift inspired and excited by a glimpse into your future as a medical practitioner.

You will learn how to examine patients who rely on you for their primary source of medical care. You will also be working closely with upperclassmen, faculty, and students from across SUNY Downstate colleges. All volunteer students at the Brooklyn Free Clinic are enrolled in a non-credit elective through the registrar office. Upon completion of all requirements, a notice of elective completion is made to the student’s academic record.

Even if you don’t end up as a clinic volunteer, we have many non-clinical committees that oversee other operations at the clinic. You can help us in many ways! These committees include Community Outreach, Communications, and Patient Education… just to name a few.

Clinical Volunteers

Interested student volunteers MUST attend our orientation which is scheduled bi-annually and register for the lottery.

Scheduling for shifts is done on a “semi-annual” basis (Term 1 = Oct.1 – April 30, Term 2 = May 1 – Sept. 30). In September, shifts for MS1, MS2, and CHRP students are assigned randomly for the entire term. Accommodations are made to ensure that clinic volunteering does not interfere with students’ exam schedules. There is a brief period of time (2 weeks) when students may swap their shifts with other clinic volunteers. After this swap period is closed, the official schedule will be posted and volunteers will be required to attend their assigned shifts.

The schedule posted in September covers the entire period from Oct.1 – April 30. Please mark your calendars accordingly and arrange to be free during your scheduled time. Personal emergencies and other considerations can be addressed on a case-by-case basis with the scheduling officer, but be aware that changing the schedule is a difficult and time-intensive task. Please carefully consider all options before rescheduling your shift. In order to best serve our patients, we must be fully staffed every time we are open our doors.


MS1, MS2, and CHRP volunteers are assigned three 4 hour shifts per semi-annual term. Each shift is four to five hours long. One shift will be administrative and two shifts will be will be direct patient care. The mandatory clinical training must be completed prior to the first shift. The Brooklyn Free Clinic is a popular group on campus, so not all students who are interested in volunteering will be assigned a shift in the first term. We encourage all of our lottery participants to consider the other ways they can participate in the clinic, such as getting involved in one of our many committees.

MS3 & MS4

MS3 and MS4 students are always assigned to be part of clinical teams and do not have any administrative shift requirements. The MS3 and MS4 schedules are created based around volunteers’ individual rotation schedules. Please note, MS3 and MS4 students should include as complete a schedule as possible about their rotations, Step 1 and Step 2 exam dates, and residency interview schedules with their registration form.

College of Nursing

The College of Nursing (CON) welcomes students of the Accelerated Bachelors of Nursing Program (ABSN) to serve as nursing volunteers in four-week consecutive shifts. Each shift has direct patient interaction as the nursing volunteer welcomes the patient for their visit by providing a focused triage interview, assessing the patient’s vital signs, and recommending a plan of action to the medical volunteer team. This interdisciplinary approach helps foster a client-focused communication between the volunteers. Nursing volunteers will also perform phlebotomy, EKG, PPD assessments, and provide vaccinations, as necessary.

A nursing volunteer (NV) schedule is created during the early fall recruitment process. A final schedule is posted at that time.

ABSN students may volunteer in other positions throughout the year which is highly recommended.

Non-Clinical Volunteers

Even if you don’t end up as a clinic volunteer, we have expansive committees that oversee other operations at the clinic. Have your own idea? Feeling inspired. Make it happen — email