The IMAN Health Clinic, which began as a response to the lack of access to healthcare on the South Side of Chicago, has made a commitment to community education, allowing the clinic to serve as a site for the mutually beneficial presence and development of young professionals in health care. In fact, Medical students have always played a central role in the Clinic, from helping to found the clinic to the recently increased involvement of and strategic partnership with medical students from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.
Two things happened earlier this year to crystallize this partnership: (1) the formation of a group of medical student called IMAN at Pritzker and (2) the addition of the IMAN Health Clinic to the Pritzker Free Clinic family, a network that allows Pritzker medical students to continue their rich tradition of service-based learning and service to the community.
“The IMAN Clinic offered a unique and fulfilling opportunity to not only practice service-based learning but to also serve Chicago’s most diverse patient population lacking access to healthcare, right here on the Southwest Side,” says Omar Ahmed. He and Caroline Thomas, both medical students at Prtizker, are cofounders of the IMAN at Pritzker group. Ahmad is very excited that the group was able to come together and realize the opportunity that this partnership with the IMAN Clinic represented. For IMAN, this partnership allows the Clinic to maintain more hours and lay the foundation for student involvement from other medical schools.
For example, Medical Assistant students from Everest College now form an integral part of the team helping patients into and through the health care program at the Clinic. Also, graduate-level social work students from University of Chicago’s Social Service Administration program are part of the core of IMAN’s Behavioral Health services which address a glaring need in the local community. These programs help IMAN maintain its cutting edge on two new fronts: service-based learning and inter-professional training.