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Better Health Through Advocacy – UI Health/Pilsen

Updated: 10/06/20


The purpose of this experience is to expose medical student learners to the intersection of family medicine and community advocacy. The rotation combines clinical care with community engagement, student activism, public service, and reflection:

  • Clinical Care:Clinical interactions will mainly occur at UV family medicine clinic. Other clinical activities may be arranged with Chicago Street Medicine sessions and health fairs. Assessment of social health will be enhanced through the utilization of a social inventory instrument;
  • Social Services:There will also be opportunities to engage in interpersonal and systemic advocacy through the Pilsen food pantry, the Pilsen Social Health Initiative, and visits to community agencies;
  • Reflection: The learners will complete weekly reflection exercises, weekly program summaries, and a burnout survey during the first two days and last two days of the rotation.

UIC COM is a mission-based institution and is strongly committed to the health and prosperity of its community. Many clinical rotations occur at UI Health, Stroger Hospital, Outpatient Clinical Center, and the Jesse Brown VA; all of these institutions have large concentrations of vulnerable populations. Experiences that allow students to gain confidence in addressing social determinants and increase their understanding of community resources will improve their skills in providing patient–centered, more comprehensive, biopsychosocial care.


  • Trainee(s) will improve their ability to identify the role of social factors in their patients’ health
  • Trainee(s) will increase their understanding of community resources in the UIC community;
  • Trainee(s) will recognize the roles of racism, sexism, poverty bias, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, xenophobia, and other forms of discrimination in the health of their communities.
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems Based Practice

Learning activities include:

  • Patient Care Sessions at UV FM Clinic and additional optional sites:
    • At least 3 patients a week will be screening using the social inventory screening instrument;
    • Cases will be discussed with Dr. Figueroa and community resources will be located, reviewed, then shared with patients in need.
  • Community Involvement through:
    • Pilsen food pantry volunteer shifts – at least two half-day sessions a week;
    • Visits to at least two food pantries in the trainee’s home zip code;
  • Reflection Exercises:
    • Weekly reflection assignments;
    • Case-related write ups;
  • Education Presentation of 2-3 patient cases from this rotation to another group of learners (FM clerkship students, residents and/or faculty)

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number


  • Program Contacts

    Program Director: Evelyn Figueroa, MD
    Phone: 773-251-4575

    Coordinator: TBA
    Email: TBA

  • Program Information

    Duration: 2 or 4 weeks
    Students Accepted: Min. 0 Max. 2
    Housestaff used as faculty: Yes
    Community Hours Per Week: 18-24
    Lectures/conferences/faculty contact: 2
    Independent Study hours per week: 6
    Inpatient hours per week: 0-4
    Outpatient hours per week: 6-8

    Total average hours/week: 40