Studying Health Care in Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community

Hi everybody! My name is Corey Schultz and I am a junior here at Pitt. I am double majoring in History and Neuroscience and am a current BPhil candidate in the Honors College. For this spring semester, I have been selected as a Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellow (CURF). My project, working under the mentorship of Dr. Frykman in the history department, is titled “Social Organization for Health Care in twentieth-century Pittsburgh’s Jewish Community.” The goal of my project is to take a close look at some of the social organizations in Pittsburgh that worked to provide health care access for the Jewish community. The early twentieth-century was a time of great immigration to the United States and really had an impact on industrial cities like Pittsburgh. As more immigrants from all over the world came to Pittsburgh, a lot of them struggled to access institutional forms of health care, such as going to a hospital or doctor’s office. My research wants to look at what members of the community did to provide health care opportunities to those who were not able to access it by the traditional means. I think that this research is extremely important in the context of health care today. The past few years have shown us that there are great barriers to people accessing health care. By better understanding how people take care of themselves outside of a health care setting, physicians can offer the best care possible.

After undergrad, I hope to pursue an MD/PhD program with a PhD in the history of medicine. For a career, I would like to work both in a clinical setting as a physician while simultaneously holding a faculty position at a university or med school. As someone who researches access to health care, especially in marginalized communities, I think that my research and work as a physician will go hand-in-hand. I really want to be involved in both directly providing care, as well as educating future health care professionals.

I think that this research fellowship will not only allow me to further dive into my research on health care in the Jewish community, but also help me develop as a person. Wanting to be both an academic and a physician, I will definitely be constantly communicating with people. Working in an interdisciplinary research cohort will help me develop my skills in communicating my research and ideas. Even writing this blog post gives me practice in justifying the study of the history of medicine (as I will inevitably have to do in a med school interview). I am really excited for the opportunity provided by this fellowship and continue to share what I learn along the way!

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