FAQ

How do I become a member of flying sams?

See Membership.

Many documents and fees will be turned in via online except for the Clinic fee which will be paid at pre-clinic.

What are the benefits of being both an active and committee member?

We will rely on you to volunteer on additional clinic trips beyond the one prioritized trip if we are short on volunteers.

How do I sign up/get into a clinic?

Active and committee membership applications will be sent out at the end of each quarter. Active members and committee members receive priority for 1 trip per quarter, and you must participate in a certain number of events north of the border in order to be eligible to attend. We measure this participation through clinic hours. We have a new application cycle for members every quarter.

What makes me a good candidate?

*Due to logistics, we must accept a certain number of spanish speakers, passport card holders, and drivers.

  1. Possessing an understanding of what the Flying Samaritans do. Expressing a deep motivation to further the FS mission of helping underserved communities.
  2. Becoming involved in FS events and engage with current members and officers.
  3. Ability to work well with others in team setting and be comfortable communicating effectively in stressful situations (and being able to speak to their abilities with previous experience).
  4. Not too overloaded with classes or other responsibilities (unless they have shown that they can perform efficiently given their other commitments).
  5. Clear idea of what their future goals are, and if it aligns with our club.

What are Clinic Hours?

Clinic Hours are a system that Flying Samaritans uses to choose which of our volunteers go on a clinic if we need more volunteers in addition to our active and committee members. Priority is typically given to general members that attain the most clinic hours. We utilize this method to assure that the volunteers chosen to attend clinic have earned it, and too have a method to evaluate past club involvement on future applications.

Volunteers who attend events (i.e. fundraisers, flyering, socials, gbms, clinic clean up trips etc), or volunteer any of their time with us in any way north of the border, can attain at least 1 clinic point per event. There is opportunity to earn 1 point more per event if you show dedication, participation, and zeal in your efforts to volunteer with us.

What if I cannot attend any clinics listed for the quarter?

If you are unable to attend trips, we encourage you to actively volunteer at our stateside activities. Not only do we rely on stateside volunteers to support our clinic, the clinic hours you accumulate may be used in an application for a quarter better suited to your schedule.

What should I bring to a clinic day?

  1. PASSPORT or PASSPORT CARD if you are a US citizen OR…

– GREEN CARD if you are a permanent resident

-Necessary documents for re-entry to the US if you are international

  1. Wear FS shirt or scrubs (available for pick up at the pre-clinic meeting!!)
  2. A snack, water, and lunch. Lunch is at the end of clinic and you will get hungry.
  3. Comfy close-toed shoes/sweater
  4.  Extra cash (5’s and singles preferably) if you want tacos/souvenirs/snacks at the taco shop and border

What is a clinic day like?

5:15 AM Meet at Stein Clinical Parking Lot (early car)

6:15 AM Meet at Stein Clinical Parking Lot (late car)

~2.5 hours drive to Ensenada

8:30 AM Arrive at Clinic

Patient Histories and Vitals

Public Health Presentation

Medical Consult

Dental Consult

Labs: HbA1c, Hb 201, Lipid Panel, Glucose, Pregnancy, Urinalysis

Pharmacy

2:00 PM TACOS

3:00 PM Head home

6:00-10:00 PM Arrive at UCSD

When is the next clinic trip?

See our clinic schedule here. We hold clinics at least once a month on the 4th Saturday, but the clinic dates vary every quarter due to doctor availability and numerous other factors. We have 4 sites: Chapultepec clinic trips are once a month on the 4th Saturday (year-round), Orphanage Day trips are at least once a quarter, and Nursing Home trips are twice a year. We also collaborate with SDSU and sometimes we’ll send a car of volunteers to their trip.

How much is membership?

Membership fee is $10,  OR $25 for fee and t-shirt, OR 35$ for fee and scrubs, OR 40$ for fee, t -shirt, and scrubs. Clinic fee is $30.

A good chunk of that membership fee is the t shirt. Some goes towards medicines and supplies, and the rest goes towards the Palomar Chapter of the Flying Samaritans, which includes all the branches of the Flying Sams in SoCal. The clinic fee is a transportation fee: to pay for gas, toll roads, insurance, and supplies. Drivers do not pay clinic fees.

Can I write you a check?

No. Membership Fee payments must be done online ONLY to the International Flying Samaritans website. Clinic Fees must be paid in cash at pre-clinic.

I am not a paid member (yet), can I go on a trip?

If you are not a paid member, you will not receive priority to go on clinic trips. Paid members who have high rates of participation in events north of the border will receive priority when clinic coordinators are selecting volunteers. And drivers and translators are will always be necessary for the clinic to happen. That being said, you can still get selected to go on a trip if there is room and many people join us as paid members for the first time when they attend a clinic.

I don’t go to UCSD. Can I still go on a trip?

Sure. Fill out the membership materials as normal, and email us with the contact tab above.

How can I get more involved in Flying Sams?

Subscribe to our newsletter on the left navigation bar. Come to our meetings, socials, recruiting, fundraising, and donation gathering events. Join our facebook. In order to make the clinic trip selection process fair, you must attend some proportion of our events in order to be eligible for a clinic trip. Be proactive. Learning Spanish is always helpful for Mexico-based organizations. We are always looking for physicians, drivers, sources for medications, translators, fundraising ideas, just about anything that would benefit our cause and otherwise improve our ability to provide care for the patients that we see in Mexico. If you come to a clinic day, coming on time, taking initiative and otherwise demonstrating a positive, constructive and resourceful attitude are highly valuable to our goals. Apply to be an active or committee member at the beginning of each quarter.

It’s already mid-quarter, can I still join?

Of course. You can still join as a general member and we encourage you to attend our GBMs, attend our events, and become involved. You can apply for active memberships to start attending clinics before the following quarter starts and higher involvement increases your chance of being accepted as an active member.

I’m not pre-health, can I still join?

Of course. We can use the help and skills of students from all sorts of fields. it’s a medical and dental clinic but if you are a self-starter, like working with people and helping others, your contributions are welcome.

I missed the meeting, where can I get information?

The GBM slides will be available on the Home page. Most information should be available on this website in the form of updates and on our calendar. If you have any questions, fill out the contact form on this website and an officer can answer your questions. Note that if something is already answered on the FAQ, then your question will likely not elicit a response.

I can no longer make it to clinic, what should I do?

If accepted, notify your clinic coordinator at least 72 hours prior to the morning of clinic. If it’s less than 72 hours from the morning of clinic AND it is an emergency, please call or email your clinic coordinator as soon as possible. If it is less than 72 hours from morning of clinic and there is no emergency, or you wake up late, please call your coordinator as soon as possible.

Please see our Missed Clinic Policy for additional regulations and consequences for missing clinic (in non-Emergency cases).

Isn’t Mexico dangerous?

We won’t deny that Mexico has earned its reputation, and we cannot be careless in our activities. We  consider the Safety and Security messages issued by the U.S. Embassy. However, we have never been in danger during any of our activities and we take many precautions. First of all, the Flying Samaritans operate in Mexico at the invitation of the Autonomous University of Baja California and in collaboration with the local Mexican government – DIF specifically. We never stay past dark, we take the toll roads, we purchase Mexican insurance for our cars before crossing, and if we are stopped with medicines then we have a letter from DIF explaining who we are and giving us permission to continue our activities. Ensenada is a popular tourist area, quite removed from the epicenter of border violence. Many cruises stop there and our clinic is located in a community center near a park and a school.

Additionally, we caravan to and from Mexico, we utilize walkie talkies, and we provide UCOP insurance to UCSD students. We advise that you have or purchase one-day health insurance, up-to-date immunizations, and register yourself through the UC Traveler Insurance Coverage in case of emergencies. Should you have any other suggestions on ways to be safe in Mexico, due to your experience or knowledge, please contact us at fs.ucsd@gmail.com.

Didn’t see your question? Contact us!