P&S Journal: Spring 1994, Vol.14, No.2
P & S News
Training Program Targets Health Care for Immigrants
Fellowships begin in 1994-95 for a new program that will help future physicians understand the unique health care plight of immigrants while encouraging the students to consider careers in primary care.
The Center for the Study of Society and Medicine has developed a two-month training program in urban medicine and immigrant health. The fellow- ship program was established with an $80,000 start-up grant provided by the Rudin family, whose philanthropic activities are dedicated to improving the lives of all New Yorkers.v "A good deal of attention has been paid to disadvantaged groups, refugees, and displaced people overseas. We cannot overlook these groups living in our own city," says Jack Rudin.
The Mayor's Office, the New York City Department of Health, and the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation contributed to the planning of the program. The program will target new arrivals to Manhattan's Lower East Side, which has a diverse immigrant population. The immigrants often are discouraged from obtaining proper medical treatment because of an intimidating health care bureaucracy, a lack of language skills, little information on existing services, and an inability to afford medical care.
Fourth-year medical students attending New York City-area medical schools are eligible for the fellowships. Fellows will work with a diverse range of agencies that provide primary care services on the Lower East Side. They will join agency staff in outreach clinics and health screening programs to provide preventive care, HIV services, and health education. To encourage a more intimate understanding of the social and cultural context of health care delivery, students will live on the Lower East Side.
"This is a 24-hour fellowship," said Dr. Sheila Rothman, director of the program. "It will create a cadre of dedicated physicians who will understand the complexity of providing health care to new immigrant populations and who will incorporate this understanding into their medical practices."