This year, I became affiliated with the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Schweitzer Fellowship Program, thanks to the suggestion of a colleague who is a Schweitzer Fellow for Life (he did his Fellowship in Chicago while at Northwestern Univ. med school). I personally met with this year's Fellows (2011-'12) and was blown away by their dedication to purpose, professional excellence, and simple humanitarian drive. Each Fellow had organized a project to improve health outcomes in a specific locale in our community.
Most Fellows have already had life experiences that have propelled them towards sharing their talents and expertise with others. These are unusually sensitive, highly intelligent individuals, who make the time during their intensive professional training to design and implement programs -- for residents in homeless shelters, shut-ins, non-English speaking senior citizens, elementary school kids without access to basic health care, etc etc.
They become Fellows for Life and continue to manifest the humanitarian example set by Dr Albert Schweitzer.. not only at his hospital at Lambarene in Gabon, but throughout the course of his life.
I was a Albert Schweitzer Fellow in 2008-2009 volunteering as part of the Boston Fellows.
The key to the Schweitzer Fellowship's success is organization and a focus of reflection, enabling people to serve in more effective ways. They are a well-run non-profit from the top down and as such, provide a forum for service and learning about that service so that the delivery of programs improves iteratively. Their impact goes beyond the direct service provided—they work to educate a league of Fellows, investing in their future potential to make change.
I am thankful and was honored to have been a part of the Schweitzer Fellowship program.
I believe in what ASF does. The opportunity was awesome and really unique. It allowed me the opportunity to work with community agencies in the Worcester area, while polishing up skills in public health. By providing agencies with fellows like us, these agencies are able to reach out more to the underserved.
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is a fantastic opportunity for graduate students in the health professions in many cities across the U.S. to get out of the class room and get into the communities that they and their patients live, work, and play in. The fellowship provides not only a monetary stipend but also countless hours of support and group meetings to meet other like-minded students in the area and get ideas for improving your project. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who is eligible to apply!
This is a fantastic organization that helps to address disparities in the community and equips future health professionals to address those disparities. The program provides great support for students (fellows) for one year and provides for and encourages former fellows to continue working after the fellowship year ends.