Engage Chicago unveils new Health & Medicine concentration

Thinking about becoming a doctor, or pursuing a career in healthcare?

This summer, Northwestern University’s Engage Chicago program is unveiling an exciting new concentration for undergraduate students who are thinking just that.

The Health & Medicine concentration will include site visits, seminars and internships for students interesting in pursing careers in medicine. Source: http://www.engage.northwestern.edu/

During the new 8-week Health & Medicine concentration, students will study the dynamic and contentious issues that affect American healthcare today.

“We believe that the experiences students will have during the Engage Chicago program will truly help them better understand the complexity of the issues in the health care system,” said Heidi Gross, assistant coordinator of Engage Chicago.

Northwestern University offers its Engage Chicago program to outstanding undergraduates from schools all over the country.  Students are exposed to a variety of urban issues in Chicago, such as homelessness and public schooling, through internships, classes and site visits.

The Health & Medicine concentration will debut in Summer 2012, and will be open to a pilot group of 12 to 15 students, Gross said.  The program developed out of feedback from past students as well as faculty advisors, who felt that the experience would be great learning experience for students interested in going to medical school, she said.

The concentration will include much of the same general curriculum as the other Engage Chicago programs, but with additional classes that focus specifically on national healthcare issues.

“The strengths and weaknesses of the entire US health care system, recent debates over President Obama’s health care reform, issues around insurance and access to care, effective public health campaigns, how poverty impacts health and wellness – just to name a few!” Gross said of what students will be learning about and discussing over the course of the summer.

The city of Chicago will play as important a role in this newest concentration as it does in all of the other Engage Chicago programs.  Weekly site visits will take students to hospitals, free clinics, health care advocacy organizations and insurance companies all over the city, Gross said. In addition to classes, participants will also have the opportunity to intern at a health-related organization.

“We believe that doctors can more effectively practice medicine if they better understand the context of the lives of the patients they treat, and we hope that Engage Chicago will help shed light on that context,” Gross said.

Applications are already flying in, she said, but the final deadline isn’t until March 30.

For more information, or to apply online, visit http://www.engage.northwestern.edu.

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