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Social Emergency Medicine Fellowship

Our two-year post-graduate fellowship trains fellows to be leaders in the field of Social Emergency Medicine. Fellow graduates may develop careers in policy, advocacy, research, and/or education that work to address health inequities, systematically address root causes of illness, and bridge emergency care to community and population health.

The University of Illinois Chicago Department of Emergency Medicine is a leader in the field of Social Emergency Medicine by “passionately promoting health for anyone at any time in any place through innovative emergency medicine.”

With a vision for health equity, we are engaged in research to promote prevention (e.g. AHEAD2, CTOUCH), initiatives to address Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and health risk factors (e.g. Better Health Through HousingProject HEAL), community engagement and education activities (e.g. IL Heart RescueCHAMPIONS NETWork), and local (e.g. Chicago Board of HealthAIDS Foundation of Chicago), state (e.g. Illinois Maternal Mortality Committee), and national policy and advocacy efforts to use our position in Emergency Medicine as society’s medical and social safety net, to develop systematic community-based interventions that will improve health for all.

Fellowship Goals Heading link

  1.  Apply SEM knowledge and skills in the clinical care of emergency patients.
  2.  Understand and apply the concepts of public and community health to better meet the complex needs of patients with acute illness and injury.
  3.  Develop the ability to assess health systems and emergency medical care and identify pertinent health issues to aid in the design of health programs that address identified needs.
  4.  Develop the knowledge and skills to educate students, trainees, and faculty on concepts in SEM that will help build an EM workforce that can better address SDoH and community health and improve illness prevention and health equity.
  5.  Establish a network for educational exchange, research, and funding in the field of SEM.
  6.  Develop administrative skills to organize and implement SEM programs and integrate them into existing health systems.

Program Structure Heading link

Fellows obtain their Master of Public Health or another advanced degree while working clinically and participating in numerous social EM initiatives. Fellows are mentored by faculty from the Department of Emergency Medicine and multi-disciplinary faculty from UI Health, the UI College of Medicine, and the UIC School of Public Health. The structure of the fellowship is primarily divided into seven general areas:

Core Components of Fellowship Heading link


The Fellow will work as a clinical faculty with an academic appointment (Clinical Instructor) in the Emergency Department at UI Health and affiliated hospital sites. The Fellow will be responsible for clinical work in the ED, clinical training, and supervision of medical students and residents. Clinical duty hours required are 576 annually or approximately 12 hours per week.

In addition to direct patient care, Fellows will gain exposure to emergency patient health issues from a health delivery perspective, a greater understanding of urban populations and motivations for seeking care, and knowledge surrounding challenges in navigating the U.S. health system at urban academic hospitals. Fellows will also gain experience working with vulnerable communities, including immigrant populations; limited English proficient patients; patients experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, substance use disorders, financial insecurity, un- or underinsured, and victims of intimate partner violence or abuse.

Education/Didactic Learning

The Fellow will complete a Master in Public Health (MPH) or a similar advanced degree related to social EM, e.g., MS in Clinical and Translational Science at the UIC School of Public Health. The Masters concentration could include Community Health Sciences, Health Policy and Administration, Public Health Informatics, Maternal and Child Health, and others.

As part of the MPH degree, Fellows must complete an Applied Practice Experience and an Integrative Learning Experience that may take many forms, such as a policy brief, evaluation/research report, community health assessment, program evaluation, strategic plan, or intervention plan, in an area related to social EM and public health.

Through MPH coursework, Fellows will additionally gain experience working in interdisciplinary teams, which is essential for future practice in Social Emergency Medicine. Fellows are responsible for applying to the MPH program through the UIC School of Public Health and are eligible for the slightly shortened Professional Enhancement Program, which requires 43 credit hours for completion.

Fellows will also participate in monthly journal club review and discussions with the national SAEM/ACEP Social EM Journal Club.


The UIC Department of Emergency Medicine has a robust research program, including many funded grant studies, of which the vast majority are related to Social Emergency Medicine, emphasizing disease screening and prevention, investigating social determinants of health, and designing systemic interventions to improve community and population health. Current studies and proposals include those investigating substance use disorder, homelessness, chronic disease screening and prevention, cardiovascular disease and risk factors, including diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension, sickle cell disease, and health disparities and COVID. In addition, there are numerous additional active research projects at UI Health/UICOM related to Social EM.

Research skills are critical in Social EM to build knowledge of effective interventions that address community health and the social determinants of health. Social EM fellows will participate in a research project by either developing an original idea into a project or working on a section of an ongoing project. Fellows will also have opportunities to participate in grant writing, writing IRB applications, project design and implementation, data collection and analysis, and manuscript writing.

Fellows will develop and submit an abstract on a Social EM research topic to a national conference.

Health Policy and Advocacy

UI Health faculty serve in leadership positions with the Chicago Department of Public Health and numerous policy and advocacy organizations, including the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians (ICEP), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

Fellows will participate in Social EM committee work with a policy or advocacy organization to develop leadership, communication, education, and advocacy skills for practice changes related to Social EM.

Fellows will additionally receive training in writing Op-Eds and will write an Op-Ed, which could be published on “Viewpoints” or create a podcast for “Announce” (both platforms carried on


As teaching faculty in a large residency program, Fellows will be required to work directly with UIC Emergency Medicine Social EM track residents to plan, develop, and deliver educational content related to social EM. This may include case studies, lectures, simulation sessions, FOAM materials, or other scholarly products to educate trainees on the tenets of Social EM to ensure that all UIC EM trainees will have the foundational knowledge of Social EM topics. Fellows must also work with residents to develop an annual Social EM-focused journal club. Additionally, Fellows can teach UI COM medical students via medical colloquia workshops or partnering with Simulation and Integrative Learning (SAIL) Center staff.

Community Service and Engagement

Given the community-based focus of Social EM, to foster community engagement between UI Health and surrounding communities and better understand first-hand the SDoH affecting UI Health emergency patients, Fellows will work in a community-based project or with a community-based organization addressing a topic related to Social EM. Current initiatives include Illinois Heart Rescue, the Community Health And eMPowerment through Integration Of Neighborhood-specific Strategies using a Novel Education & Technology-leveraged Workforce (CHAMPIONS NETWork), the Night Ministry, Chicago Street Medicine, numerous programs with the UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships (OCEAN), or others.

Quality Improvement

UI Health has instituted a social determinants screening tool using Epic, UI Health’s electronic health record. The Department of Emergency Medicine also has a quality improvement (QI) team along with social workers, care coordinators, and discharge planners to assist with issues affecting emergency patients, including home health needs like access to prescription medications, medical supplies, and medical hardware; transport needs; access to outpatient services, etc.

Utilizing these resources, Fellows will investigate, design, and implement a systems-based practice initiative in an area of Social Emergency Medicine designed to improve quality care for UI Health emergency patients.

Duration Heading link

The fellowship is a two-year program which incorporates the advanced degree, clinical and teaching responsibilities, social EM research, social EM project-based and community engagement work as above. A one+ year fellowship is possible for those that have already received their MPH degree at the discretion of the Fellowship Director.

Eligibility Heading link

The UIC Social Emergency Medicine fellowship accepts ABEM board-certified or board-eligible emergency physicians who are U.S. citizens, have permanent resident status, or are DACA recipients.

Application Process Heading link

Interested applicants should send an electronic copy of:

  1.  A letter of intent (this should be one-page describing why you seek a SEM Fellowship at UIC and what makes you a good fit for this program)
  2.  A personal statement (this should describe your interest and background in Social EM)
  3.  A curriculum vitae
  4.  Three letters of recommendation (at least one from your EM residency Program Director)

Please submit these to the SEM Fellowship Program Director

Accepted candidates will have to apply independently to the MPH program (or equivalent Masters degree program) UIC School of Public Health by the April 15th, 2024 deadline, after acceptance into the Fellowship.

Important Dates Heading link

  • Application Deadline

    September 15, 2023

  • Interviews by Invitation Date

    October 2023

  • Offer Date

    November 1, 2023

Social Emergency Medicine View Faculty

Affiliate Faculty Heading link

  • Martha L. Daviglus, MD, PhD; Executive Director, Institute for Minority Health Research and Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.
  • Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS; Dean, UIC School of Public Health
  • Jerry A. Krishnan, MD, PhD; Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, & Allergy Professor of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology & Biostatistics Associate, Vice Chancellor for Population Health Sciences.