As an intern at a clinic where 95 percent of our patients come from below the poverty line, I am able to witness the intersection of public health and medicine. My internship has provided me the opportunity to discover the expansiveness of healthcare, engage with Chicago, and tie in social justice issues. My daily tasks at work include shadowing the Affordable Care Act navigators, preparing for Board meetings with my supervisor, and organizing and analyzing data in the Maternity-Child Health department. My specific project focuses on the health disparities that exist for low-income teenage mothers and their infants, the causes of these disparities, and possible interventions to correct for the disparities. One of my favorite aspects of the internship has been conversing with the diverse group of healthcare professionals at the clinic who continuously introduce me to new perspectives and broaden my horizon.
The classroom component has likewise been a great environment where I can exchange ideas and perspectives with my peers. Through weekly discussions on various topics in public health, I have been made more aware of the issues surrounding healthcare and gained a more holistic outlook on healthcare.
The Chicago Field Studies program has so much to offer, but one of its most valuable assets is the unique opportunity to tie in what I am learning in the classroom to my internship. The emphasis on experiential learning has allowed me to take years of schooling and apply them into practice. This has helped me gain clarity for what I hope to do post-graduation, and I’m excited to see what the rest of my CFS experience holds!