U.S. SCHWEITZER FELLOWS PROGRAM: Improving Health, Developing Leaders, Creating Change
Improving Health | Developing Leaders | Creating Change
U.S. Fellows Program
Through our national network of U.S. Schweitzer chapters, selected graduate students participate in a mentored, reflective and multidisciplinary leadership development program that enhances their abilities to effectively carry out interventions that improve the health of underserved people. This year-long educational experience provides Schweitzer Fellows with the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge and skills rarely found in traditional health professional training.
Each Schweitzer Fellow partners with a community-based organization to identify an unmet health need, design a yearlong, 200-hour service project with a demonstrable impact on that need, and bring that project from idea to implementation and impact—all in addition to his or her academic studies.
Rooted in a holistic understanding of health, the Schweitzer Fellows’ service projects focus not only on clinical health issues, but also on the social determinants of health—the conditions, primarily poverty, in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and which are mostly responsible for health inequities.
Upon completion of the Fellowship, Schweitzer Fellows reaffirm their commitment to service and develop leadership skill to be able to:
- Create, implement and evaluate community-based interventions
- Engage with communities using cultural humility
- Identify the impact of social and environmental determinants of health on individuals and communities
- Value interdisciplinary approaches to address health inequities
- Develop strategies to balance personal and professional demands
Lambaréné Fellows Program
Anchored at the iconic Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, Africa, the Lambaréné Fellows program is ASF’s only international program site. Senior U.S. medical students, proficient in French, are selected to serve three-month clinical rotations as junior physicians in pediatrics or medicine. Lambaréné Fellows get hands-on experience treating major sub-Saharan health issues such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis maternal/child health and malaria, as well as other tropical diseases.
Upon successfully completing the initial Fellowship year or Lambaréné rotation, Schweitzer Fellows are initiated into the Schweitzer Fellows for Life alumni network.