The Community Health Clinic (CHC) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is a service organization dedicated to providing medical care to the patients of CHC while providing Feinberg students an informal environment to learn from one another and attending physicians.
CHC is a free outpatient medical clinic located on the west side of Chicago that serves a primarly Hispanic and Polish population. The clinic has served the uninsured and underserved since 1993, providing medical care to over 6,000 patients a year. Operating six days a week, CHC welcomes patients every morning from Monday to Saturday, and also has four nighttime clinics run by various Chicagoland medical schools. The Northwestern Medicine clinic operates every Wednesday evening. Specialty Cardiology and Psychiatry clinics also are run by students throughout the year.
CHC at Northwestern is run by four second-year students mentored by a faculty advisor. Weekly, fifteen students (five M1s, five M2s, and five M3/M4s) and three attending physicians see ten to thirteen patients. Each patient is first seen by an M1 and M2, who take a majority of the patient's history and perform a general physical, then an M3/M4 who offers his or her insights into completing the history and exam. Finally, the patient is seen by an attending who completes the history and physical and treats the patient. This format provides a basis for students to not only learn from their attendings and peers, but also to solidify their knowledge by teaching what they have learned. In addition, due to the large number of patients who speak languages other than English, students are able to either practice using a second language in a medical environment, or learn to properly use a translator when conducting a patient interview.
"CHC is great for two reasons. As a non-native Spanish speaker, CHC gives me a perfect opportunity to learn and improve my medical Spanish and conversational skills. Also, CHC allows me to see firsthand what I learn in class and apply the basic science of the first-year curriculum to my career as a medical professional."
-Jason Oppenheimer, M2