BACKGROUND: The Learner-Centered Student-run Clinic (LC-SRC) was designed to teach and train prescribing skills grounded in a real-life context, to provide students with early clinical experience and responsibility. The current studies' theoretical framework was based on the Self-determination Theory. According to the Self-determination Theory, early involvement in clinical practice combined with a high level of responsibility makes the LC-SRC an environment that can stimulate intrinsic motivation. We investigated the different types of motivation and the proficiency in CanMEDS competencies of the participating students., METHOD: Type of motivation was measured using the Academic Motivation Scale and Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. CanMEDS competencies were evaluated by faculty using a mini-clinical examination and by the students themselves using a post-participation questionnaire., RESULTS: The 29 participating students were highly intrinsic motivated for this project on all subscales of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. Motivation for medical school on the Academic Motivation Scale was high before and was not significantly changed after participation. Students considered that their CanMEDS competencies "Collaborator", "Communicator", "Academic", and "Medical expert" had improved. Their actual clinical team competence was judged by faculty to be at a junior doctor level., CONCLUSION: Students showed a high level of intrinsic motivation to participate in the LC-SRC and perceived an improvement in competence. Furthermore their actual clinical competence was at junior doctor level in all CanMEDS competencies. The stimulating characteristics of the LC-SRC, the high levels of intrinsic motivation and the qualitative comments of the students in this study makes the LC-SRC an attractive place for learning.