Meet Emma: BIFMC’s AmeriCorps Student Intern! October 12, 2023

AmeriCorps student intern Emma Bryan recently joined the Clinic as part of Access Clinical Education Program (ACEP). This clinical training opportunity will allow for current medical students and aspiring nurse practitioners to work one on one with Clinic volunteer physicians and nurses while serving a low-income population, gaining both technical skills and understanding of the existing gaps in healthcare, preventative medicine and health equity. You can learn more here.

Coming to Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic as an ACEP Intern, I hope to gain a variety of experiences while serving with the clinic. Originally from Pennsylvania and having lived in South Carolina for only a few years, I didn’t know many of the locals or what living on John’s Island was like. With the plan to go to medical school, I knew the importance of getting involved in the community and assisting with underserved populations. I want to be able to immerse myself into the local communities and learn about their experience living on the barrier islands. The clinic has already allowed me to interact with many diverse patients with a variety of healthcare needs. I also am hopeful to learn about the operations of a free clinic in front of and behind the scenes. The clinic makes great efforts to ensure that the patients who come here have a great experience with as little stress as possible. It requires a small army of providers and administrators to make that happen, and the people here at BIFMC are the best at what they do. I’m honored to do my small part to help make the process easier! 

I specifically came to this clinic through the AmeriCorps South Carolina Free Clinic Association Program to get involved in the women’s health projects and diabetes prevention program. My future plans involve going to medical school to become an OB/GYN. With the clinic having a fantastic group of doctors who specialize in gynecology, it felt like the perfect fit for me. I now have the opportunity to witness routine screenings and lab work to ensure reproductive care for the clinics patients.

The thing that has surprised me the most within my short time of being at the clinic was learning the statistic that about 52% of the clinics patients are Hispanic/Latino who are Spanish speaking only. I was aware of the large population of Hispanic/Latino groups in South Carolina, but the clinic has given me a real glimpse at just how big that population is. There are a few translators available at the clinic, and the need for more bilingual staff and volunteers is super high! I myself am taking the steps to learn Spanish because of it! Anyone interested in becoming a bilingual volunteer can learn more at

I am incredibly excited to be serving at the clinic as an AmeriCorps member and Community Health Worker. I have already been able to experience the amazing services Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is able to provide and I hope to make a positive impact on the community while serving here!

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is a free clinic in Charleston, SC, providing free, ongoing medical care for uninsured adults who Reside or Work across the Barrier Islands and their connecting communities. You can sign up for our monthly e-news updates, or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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