Andre Mota

Andre Mota (‘15)

Organization: HFiT – Health Frontiers in Tijuana Student-Run Free Clinic

Location: Tijuana, Mexico


I am a 4th year Revelle College student majoring in General Biology, with a double minor in Global Health and Business. I’ve maintained an interest in population health and have participated in clinical pathology and field research experiences at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and UCSD. On campus, I was involved in student council, Alternative Breaks, and Student Health Advocates. I hope to merge my interests in clinical and public prevention next year by pursuing graduate studies in Health Policy and Management.

Andre completed his Global Health Field Experience by participating with HFiT for two quarters.

The Health Frontiers in Tijuana Student-Run Free Clinic (HFiT) provides quality primary care to vulnerable populations of Tijuana and serves as a hub of education, community health research, and service in global health. A partnership with UCSD and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), HFiT also offers a needle exchange program, social work and counseling, and hands-on training for medical and undergraduate students.

We asked Andre….

What did you do during your Field Experience with HFiT?

During biweekly clinical visits, I assisted with patient registrations, evaluated vital signs, and shadowed patient consultations. Interns were often paired together and were rotated among the three stations. When registering patients into the clinic’s electronic medical record, I communicated in Spanish and obtained their primary reasons of visiting. I learned to properly take vital signs, which included height, weight, and blood pressure. During patient consultations, I observed how UCSD and UABC medical students and clinicians communicated with patients and developed diagnoses/treatment. Outside of the clinic, I attended weekly meetings on-campus and had the opportunity to audit a UCSD School of Medicine course that addressed HIV/AIDS intervention strategies at the border. Following my 2 quarters at the clinic, I assisted in the creation of an HFiT Clinic poster that was presented at UCSD’s Horizons of Global Health Symposium.

What were some of your greatest challenges?

The friendships I developed with other interns made my experience at HFiT more engaged and lively. Further, my peers and I shared interests in global health initiatives and medicine. I learned to appreciate access to health care: I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have available and reliable care. Often, the clinic served as a patient’s only source of health care delivery. It was striking to see the status of poverty in Tijuana and the prevalence of IDU’s, FSW’s, and deportees dwelling in the region. My experiences at HFiT have increased my interest in global health, specifically cross-national policy and resource allocation strategies. Currently, I am developing a thesis that expands upon my time at HFiT.

What did you do during your free time?

During free time, I shadowed other patient consultations. Much of the activities at the clinic revolved around the three designated stations.