April 21, 2009

Med student wins fellowship for bilingual health workshops

Fourth-year Pritzker Medical School student Ed Gometz was awarded a Schweitzer Fellowship on April 16 in honor of his design, direction, and execution of a year-long project to provide bilingual health workshops on the South Side. His program provides guidance for parents and caregivers on the basics of preventive medicine and child care.

The Schweitzer fellowship, named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, is granted to students in health professions who propose a year-long project to provide care to underserved communities.

Gometz is the only workshop instructor at the Chicago Family Health Center, on the corner of East 91st Street and South Exchange Avenue, which he has found to be a “great place to learn about diversity.”

Gometz, who received the American Medical Association Foundation's Leadership Award last year, said that he is careful not to practice medicine through his workshops, but simply to relay helpful information. Gometz said he hopes to teach child caregivers the proper course of action in hypothetical situations, ranging from a cough to an emergency room visit. The foundational purpose of the project, he said, is to “teach parents to foresee and respond and prevent overuse of the healthcare system.”

As his project comes to a close this summer, Gometz continues to integrate CPR and breast cancer screening information for uninsured woman into his curriculum.