Introduction – Corey Schultz

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Hi everybody, my name is Corey Schultz and I am a rising junior majoring in Neuroscience and History. I’m from the part of Jersey where we call it Taylor Ham and love going into NYC. I like to play video games, volleyball and my intramural soccer team is the reigning champs of the men’s league.

My research project focuses on immigrant access to healthcare in Pittsburgh during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this time, known as the second industrial revolution, there was a large increase in Pittsburgh’s population, due to massive industry expansion. A large number of immigrants came from countries in Europe, such as Ireland and Germany, and were working labor jobs in steel mills and on railroads, putting them at a great risk for sickness and injury. The aim of my project is to look at how these immigrant groups interacted with healthcare. Did they have access to hospitals and local physicians? Or did they rely more on traditional healthcare methods that they brought with them to America? I want to examine different immigrant communities that have a history in Pittsburgh and they ways in which they took care of themselves. With this project, I hope to have a better understanding of the options available for these groups of people and which ones they took advantage of. My research mentor is Dr. Frykman of the history department. I’ve been working with Dr. Frykman for over a year and half and he mentored my research project for the London Field Studies Fellowship, where I studied 16th century London hospitals.

Studying history is important because it can help us better understand the present. Immigrant healthcare is an extremely relevant topic today, especially when talking about illegal immigration. Some of the questions and challenges faced by immigrants over 100 years ago could be the same ones that immigrants are facing today when it comes to healthcare. By understanding these challenges of the past, I hope to better understand what people today may be dealing with. After understanding these challenges, we can then move towards making changes in society to help people today.

I hope to be able to translate this research project into an honors thesis for my history major as well as a Bachelor’s of Philosophy degree. I plan on pursuing an MD/PhD program after graduating so that I can have a career where I am both practicing medicine as well as teaching and researching in an academic setting. Research is a core component of this future and this program is a step in that direction. I’m really excited to be able to work with researchers in a variety of subject areas throughout this summer.

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