- Congratulations to Antonio Alvarado, MD who was selected Volunteer Resident Physician of the Year at the Community Health Clinic!
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital is second largest provider of charity care in Illinois. Click here to learn more about NMH's community service.
- Volunteering Information:
- Community Health Resources - valuable information about medications, Medicaid, mental health, and more!
While volunteering in medical school has been standard and a very positive activity, there are few residency programs that have been able maintain this activity largely due to the busy schedules of residents. As a testament to the spirit and enthusiasm of residents at Northwestern, a Saturday morning resident-led clinic at the Community Health Clinic was established by one of our residents, Katie Radigan in 2006 and has been ongoing since.
The clinic runs year round staffed by volunteers, including residents, fellows, attendings, technicians, dentists, interpreters, pharmacists, and administrative volunteers. Patients are uninsured or underinsured from the Chicagoland community. The humanism in medicine is represented to its fullest in this clinical experience.
The clinic is easily accessible by public transportation (CTA #66 bus) and has street parking in the area. Residents who have clinic at CHC typically work on Monday or Wednesday afternoons, and there are opportunities to volunteer on Saturdays or weekday evenings for 3-4 hours. Working at the clinic provides an opportunity to be surrounded by patients who are grateful for their care and a medical staff that supports both patients and physicians who volunteer.
“I look forward to my time at CHC each week--I always leave exhausted, but I love my patients and my wise and oh-so-experienced preceptor Dr. Widen” says Jill Rosno, MD. She says she would “love to work full-time with this same population after residency as a primary care physician and will certainly continue to look for opportunities to advocate for the community.” A number of our residents are planning careers addressing healthcare disparities or caring for the underserved, so volunteering at CHC can also be important training time for their careers.
Jill describes her most memorable patient experience, “I was walking out at the end of a busy clinic day, only to find one of my patients coming back in the door. She handed me a prescription that I had just written, and tried to explain that the nearby pharmacy was having trouble processing it. We walked several blocks together back to the pharmacy, trying our best to communicate both in broken English and Spanish, and eventually got things figured out. We then took the same bus together back downtown. During that ride she gave me a glimpse into her life and confided that she had to travel 90 minutes each way to reach CHC for each visit. Pretty humbling for a second-year resident to hear!”
2011 residency alum Nicholas Furiasse, MD, who volunteered as a resident and continues to volunteer as a cardiology fellow, says he “always felt that being a physician comes with a responsibility to treat the community. Obviously, we serve the community through our clinics and inpatient rotations, but community health allows me to serve a special population in Chicago.”
In addition to CHC, residents will have plenty of experience caring for the underserved at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is the second largest charity care provider in Illinois, and in clinics at the Erie Family Health Center and Komed Holman Health Center.