Model prenatal program of Rush Medical College at St. Basil's Free Peoples Clinic, Chicago.
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Model prenatal program of Rush Medical College at St. Basil's Free Peoples Clinic, Chicago.

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    Public Health Rep
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    The lack of adequate prenatal and gynecological care for indigent women has reached crisis proportions. The situation is aggravated by the diminishing supply of primary care physicians who are willing to practice obstetrics in community settings. Added to this condition is the rapidly declining number of medical students seeking careers in the primary care field. The Rush Prenatal Program at St. Basil's Free Peoples Clinic on Chicago's south side addresses these problems by (a) delivering comprehensive prenatal care to poor and disadvantaged women; (b) providing a learning environment in which medical students are taught to be humane, culturally sensitive, and competent physicians through active involvement in patient management; and (c) creating an experience that reinforces the student's self-motivation to practice community-oriented primary care. At the clinic 24 medical students, working in teams supervised by the three program physicians, maintain continuity of excellent prenatal care that follows the expectant mother from pregnancy through delivery and beyond. The Rush Prenatal Program, which has been initiated, organized, and managed by medical students, has evolved into a model of education and service that can be emulated at other institutions. All participants in the program--students, faculty, patients, and community representatives--are being followed longitudinally as a method of assessing program efficacy. This collaborative effort between an academic medical center and a neighborhood clinic demonstrates that such a partnership is not only feasible but potentially cost effective and socially responsible.
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