Community Service

As our mission statement illustrates, we are dedicated to helping our students work towards the "betterment of humanity".

Many of our students decide to pursue medicine out of a desire to make a positive impact on the world. To that end, we offer students an abundance of service opportunities to complement their course work, including student-run clinics, community organizations, service learning, and volunteer events. We recognize and honor medical students and faculty who practice compassionate and altruistic care with membership in the Gold Humanism Honor Society, among other service-based awards.

  • 5

    student-run free clinics

  • 26

    average number of free clinic patients seen per month

  • 90

    percent of our students volunteer at free clinics

Student-Run Free Clinics

The mission of our free clinics is to provide superior health care in a compassionate manner, ever mindful of each patient's dignity and individuality.

We have five community clinics throughout Chicago—the West, North, and South Sides—treating uninsured patients in communities that are underserved by the healthcare system in a variety of cultural contexts. These clinics a) provide excellent patient care, b) allow our students to gain hands-on experience in both patient care and medical service, and c) provide leadership opportunities for our students in the realm of clinic management and community outreach.

Our Free Clinics

Community Health Outreach Groups

Aside from volunteering at free clinics, Pritzker students give of their time through many other organizations.

ASAP is an interactive substance abuse prevention program in which University of Chicago medical students visit local middle schools and teach 6th-8th graders about the consequences of using drugs. Teaching with healthy and diseased organ specimens, the program leaders use the natural curiosity of the students to shape small group discussion concerning drugs, the human body, and the effects of drugs on the students' minds, bodies, and life goals.  Ultimately, the program aims to empower youth to make healthier life choices regarding drugs and alcohol.

Contacts: Laura Santangelo & Patricia Simmer

Faculty Advisor: Jon Grant, JD, MD, MPH Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

The University of Chicago Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA) seeks to promote health for all Asian and Pacific Islander communities and individuals through community action and health education.

Contacts: Daniel Ahn

Faculty Advisor: Karen Kim, MD, Department of Medicine

The purpose of this organization shall be to provide community based glucose and blood pressure screenings. Provisions to expand our services will be up to the discretion of the board and the needs of the community. We shall follow our community based screenings with community based diabetes and health related education programming in order to expand the knowledge base of the community as well as to empower individuals to take charge of their own health.

Contacts: Abhinav Srinath  & Melissa Kuriloff

Faculty Advisor: Deborah Burnet, MD, Department of Medicine

The purpose of this organization shall be to provide undergraduate and medical students an opportunity to serve as mentors and friends to minority high school students who are underrepresented in medicine. The definition of minorities who are underrepresented in medicine as defined by the American Association of  Medical Colleges is: ‘Underrepresented in medicine means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.’ These high school students come from high schools throughout the area to the University of Chicago campus once a month where they participate in a variety of lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities with the goal of giving insight into the life as a health professional as well as an opportunity to connect with medical students and physicians.

Contacts: Cody Sain

Faculty Advisor: Monica Vela, MD,  Department of Medicine

JOURNEES seeks to expose medical students to the health care needs of diverse patient populations beyond that of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Through direct service-learning experiences, we hope to gain awareness of the social determinants of diminished health conditions in underserved areas and to assist community organizations working to alleviate poor health outcomes throughout the country.

Contacts: Anna Huang & Nathan Muntz

Faculty Advisor: Sonia Oyola, MD, Department of Family Medicine

On a Mission for Nutrition is an organization that was formed to address the obesity disparity on the South Side of Chicago. Born out of a project emanating from the Health Care Disparities in America course at Pritzker, On a Mission for Nutrition is an after-school program that educates students on nutrition and empowers them to make healthy choices. The goal is to promote the health of our community but also to learn about the importance of public health.

Contacts: Erin Rieger & Adriana Sari

Faculty Advisor: Anna Volerman Beaser, MD, Department of Medicine

PCSF is an organization of Pritzker School of Medicine that aims to create a community of students and faculty dedicated to lifelong service and advocacy in underserved areas and to develop leaders in public service and community health. The goal is to create a supportive network of driven medical students who collaborate closely with each other and with the community to cultivate a culture of empathy, compassion, and altruism within the fellowship and the larger Pritzker community.

Contacts:  tbd

Faculty Advisors: Sonia Oyola, MD, Department of Family Medicine & Wei Wei Lee, MD, Department of Medicine

We are a medical student organization at the Pritzker School of Medicine dedicated to relieving the health disparities of developing countries. We annually plan a service trip to an international and underserved location to provide needed medical services. We also raise money throughout the year to make a generous donation to the non-profit organization with whom we partner. In doing so we experience and witness the health disparities in these countries, understand these issues in order to ultimately become health advocates by educating our community.

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Contact: Katherine Brito & Tony Da Lomba

Faculty Advisors: Brian Callender, MD, and James Woodruff, MD, Department of Medicine

The South Side Science Scholars group is committed to creating and delivering a sustainable weekly afterschool science program to under-served Chicago grade schools, particularly those of the South Side. We aspire to positively impact children's scientific thinking, elements of health education, communication skills, and enthusiasm for science.

Contacts: Michael Hermsen & Christina Stiles

Faculty Sponsor: Monica Vela, MD, Department of Medicine

The University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine Chapter of the Student National Medical Association (Pritzker-SNMA) is committed to academic excellence, student recruitment and mentoring of underrepresented minorities, and community service.

Contacts: Cody Sain & Akosua Oppong

Faculty Advisor: Milda Saunders, MD, Department of Medicine

Community-Based Medical Education

The Department of Family Medicine plays a leading role in Community Based Medical Education at the Pritzker School of Medicine and in the University of Chicago Medicine's Urban Health Initiative. Medical students have multiple opportunities to learn about and serve different communities on Chicago's South Side. They can participate in clinical care with family doctors at community health centers in both the Longitudinal Program and the Family Medicine Clerkship; they can choose to participate in service-learning projects in local schools, free clinics, and community organizations; and they can participate in community engaged scholarship with community and faculty mentorship through the Community Health Scholars Track.