Health Care Disparities Curriculum

Health Care Disparities: Equity and Advocacy is a unique experiential program that all first year incoming Pritzker students attend during the summer quarter to help further their understanding of disparities which exist within the healthcare field. The program is led by Monica Vela, MD and Karen Kim, MD, and utilizes a dynamic approach to addressing this prominent issue. Students attend lectures taught by leaders from the area and University, as well as spend time visiting local free clinics, community centers, emergency rooms, and hospitals to gain a first hand perspective of healthcare inequalities. Students leave the class informed of the magnitude of health disparities, better prepared to effectively communicate across cultures, and with a commitment to reduce these disparities. For more information, please contact Dr. Vela.

The Health Care Disparties Curriculm is funded in part by the Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change initiative. This national program which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards and manages research grants to organizations who develop interventions aimed at reducing health disparities. The national initiative is led by Marshall Chin, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and is housed at the University of Chicago's Center for Health and Social Sciences Center (CHeSS).

In partnership with the Urban Health Initiative, research projects developed during the course have led to free breast and pelvic cancer screenings for uninsured women in the area, and the creation of a food program that provides free meals to low-income families whose children are being treated at the Medical Center.

Learn more how Pritzker is making a difference in alleviating health care disparities!

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The goal of this curriculum is to help our students frame their medical education within the context of greater social issues and, ultimately, support their development into the future leaders who will effect real-world change.—Monica Vela, MD