Pritzker's IMAN Free Clinic: Serving the South Side of Chicago
By Caroline Thomas, MS2 and Maryam Mohammed, MS1
February 5, 2013—It is exciting to announce that, through a collaboration and partnership with IMAN (Inner City Muslim Action Network), Pritzker students and faculty are continuing the rich tradition of service to the surrounding community. The IMAN Free Clinic is the newest addition to the Pritzker Free Clinic family. Dedicated to promoting peace and health in the South Side
Dr. Altaf Kaiseruddin helps students hone their clinical skills at the IMAN Free Clinic
neighborhood of Chicago Lawn, located approximately 20 minutes west of campus, IMAN is known not only for the excellence of their free health clinic, but also for their community outreach services and popular community events, including “Takin’ it to the Streets”- a biennial festival with an attendance of more than 20,000 individuals; past speakers and performers have included the likes of Mayor Daly, Jesse Jackson, and Mos Def.
The IMAN Free Clinic serves a diverse patient population that includes Black and Latino patients; additionally, 35% of patients served at the IMAN Clinic are Muslim. The clinic provides free, accessible, and holistic health care under the supervision of IMAN Medical Director and University of Chicago Assistant Professor of Family Medicine Altaf Kaiseruddin, MD. The clinic also provides a setting for Pritzker student volunteers to learn and practice clinical skills and knowledge during the pre-clinical years.
The Pritzker-IMAN Clinic day runs every Saturday from 9:00am to 11:00am and is attended by a group of three medical students: two first-years and one fourth-year. First-year students conduct patient interviews and physical exams, take vital signs, and learn to use electronic medical records with the help of the fourth-year student and Dr. Kaiseruddin. Volunteering at IMAN is one of the most valuable and in-depth clinical experiences available to students in the pre-clinical years: “Dr. K loves to teach … be prepared to dive in and absorb as much knowledge as possible,” Billy Chapin, MS1 advised his fellow MS1s after his first visit to the clinic in the Autumn quarter.
However, despite their having a measurable effect on the health care services that the IMAN Clinic provides (within one year of forming the alliance with IMAN, Pritzker students are projected to serve over 350 patients in the clinic), the resounding theme among student volunteers is that the clinic more than repays their time with a renewed enthusiasm for medicine and an appreciation for the challenges and rewards of providing primary care in an underserved urban neighborhood. “Volunteering at the IMAN Clinic puts my suburban childhood into perspective,” said Maryam Mohammed, MS1. “It really impresses upon you how much of a difference in quality of life proper medical attention can provide. It’s difficult to come away from an experience like this without finding grounds to justify health care as a human right.”
IMAN Free Clinic
2744 W 63rd Street, Chicago