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Elizabeth Murray, PA-C, MMSc - Serving the underserved in Chicago

Elizabeth is a 2010 graduate of the Emory PA program. When jogging and my foot starts to really hurt I just contemplate the fact that certain things in life are painful but we have to just keep moving/running and get through it, to not focus so much on the pain but what I am thankful for. I think about how I CAN run, I have both my legs, a healthy heart and body and full movement of all my limbs. I have a friend here who overdosed on crack a couple years back and was in a coma and now she has very limited movement of her legs, so why hyper-focus on the fact that I have some pain in one of my feet? I do my runs here by lake Michigan which is just absolutely beautiful, I pass by the Bears stadium, the aquarium, planetarium, the beautiful skyline... its absolutely amazing.

Here are some bullet points about my job:

  • Very diverse! (I love this)
  • I speak Spanish 90% of the day
  • 80% of my pts are uninsured
  • I'm seeing about 45% pediatrics and 55% adults
  • there are always physicians around (except Friday afternoons, just 2 PA's there) to consult with but I'm pretty much on my own, developing my patient base, at the beginning they just let me go free and I was super scared.... so i just started randomly sending charts to my supervising  which has been good, she gives me great feedback but also has this crazy amount of trust for what I do..... i think she trusts me more than I trust myself.... so I'm just fighting as hard as I can to give the best care possible and I think its going okay but I'm striving to always get better and better.
  • we have a psychologist and chronic disease health educator on site most of the time which is so great, they can see them as a part of their visit with me which is super team based and great
  • there are a lot of health education classes offered by our clinic that we refer to. My favorite ones are the parenting class, weight management class, healthy relationship class (geared towards married/dating), and the centering pregancy group (women going through their pregnancy together in a support group environment)
  • There is also a gym at the clinic which is 15 dollars a month, i LOVE working out there... it is full of patients from our clinic moving their bodies, getting into shape. Unlike LA fitness most of the people in the gym are very overweight and its so cool seeing them get their move on.
  • I have started to work with the urban life skills gang intervention program. Its a Friday night group that meets with guys that are on probation after getting arrested for gang activity. They are all Latin Kings. Part of their probation is to be paired up with a mentor to meet with and Friday night have to go to group from 6-9, where they hear speakers talk about positive decisions, drug abuse etc and they play pool, shuffle board, play station, air hockey and eat pizza. I have started to show up to hang out with the girlfriends of the guys that come along with them and hopefully soon will officially mentor some of the women in the community.....
  • living here is still hard but good. last Sunday someone got shot just 2 blocks from me... there have been about 6 or 7 shootings since I have moved here... and various domestic violence issues with the couple that lives above us but I firmly believe I am called to be here and serve this community, I have things to give to them they have things to give to me.... we are simply neighbors.

See Elizabeth's grant project  by clicking here

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