East Baltimore Medical Center
The East Baltimore Medical Center is an essential part of the Urban Health Primary Care Residency. Residents work with multidisciplinary teams to serve East Baltimore's diverse community.
Continuity Clinic at EBMC
Continuity Clinic at East Baltimore Medical Center (EBMC) has been the core of the UH IM primary care track since the program’s inception in 2011. Located in East Baltimore, approximately 1 mile from Johns Hopkins Hospital, EBMC was founded nearly 50 years ago by neighborhood leaders who wanted to ensure that all community members had access to high quality, community-based primary care. In the decades since, the clinic has grown substantially and now includes full-spectrum primary care from IM, Med-Peds, Pediatrics, Ob-Gyn, and Podiatry providers as well as a Rite Aid pharmacy, LabCorp lab site, and Quest dental clinic. Our interdisciplinary teams include social workers, case managers, and pharmacists. In June of 2020, the clinic became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) run in partnership between Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Medical System. With the additional resources allowed by this partnership, the clinic is hiring a dietician, diabetes health educator, and another behavioral health specialist. Grant-funding will soon allow us to hire community health workers and on-site psychiatric care.
IM residents follow a panel of 50-100 patients throughout their 3 years of residency with supervision from IM faculty who also practice in our clinic. Nearly all of our patients come from racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups who have traditionally been underserved and often actively discriminated against in the U.S. healthcare system. Although the clinic is in a historically African American neighborhood, it also serves many Spanish-speaking immigrants from across the city as well as a smaller number of Arabic-speaking and Romanian-speaking immigrants. The vast majority of patients seen at the clinic have Medicaid, Medicare, or are uninsured. Through “The Access Program” (TAP), a Johns Hopkins community initiative, our uninsured patients, especially our undocumented patients, access specialty care and imaging as needed.
We use an X+Y (6+2) system for scheduling. This allows our residents to have continuous weeks in clinic on a regular basis. Our residents have UH rotations that fall in both the “X” and “Y” portions of the schedule. Electives and UH rotations that fall in the “X” portion of the schedule also include extra time in clinic. In this way, we maximize your continuity clinic experience.
Our residents and faculty provide holistic primary care, including reproductive care, outpatient procedures, mental health care, and care for substance use disorders, including buprenorphine for opioid use disorders. Residents participate in office-based care, home visits, and, since the advent of the COVID pandemic, telemedicine visits. The program leadership continuously monitors resident visit data to ensure that continuity is optimized from both resident and patient perspectives.
Please see our page on the “UH curriculum” and “additional information” for links to our other community clinic partners including Chase Brexton Health, Baltimore Medical Systems, Health Care for the Homeless, and Planned Parenthood of Maryland.
We feel privileged to work in such a wonderful community. Here are quotes from some of our residents, recent graduates, staff, and faculty.
“When I think of our East Baltimore Community, here are the words/phrases that come to mind:- Incredibly kind, friendly, and selfless - Proud of East Baltimore and committed to making it a better place for everyone who lives there - Warm, community-focused - I think of the countless stories I remember of patients taking care of each other -- whether friends or family.”
Ashish Thakrar, MD UH IM ‘20
“The bounty of love our patients share is truly humbling. I still recall so many of our home visits, our patients’ hospitality and trust for us to join them at home. I recently visited a family of a patient who passed away - their care, resilience and strength is something from which I continue to learn not only how to be a better doctor, but also a better person.”
Angela Orozco, MD (Med-Peds Grad, UH Director of Diversity & Inclusion)
"Our patients are why we do what we do. Unfortunately, many of our patients live in a space that has been plagued by years of racism, discriminatory policies, and neglect. As a result, in clinic, we often witness their daily struggles and barriers to live healthy and full lives. Yet, our patients are remarkable and resilient. They often greet us with smiles and share their successes with us whether in tackling weight loss or substance use. It is an even more humbling experience when they bring their ongoing struggles to us and their frustration with the injustices that exist in their community. Many of the community members are already working to address systemic injustices and social determinants of health. It is a great privilege to care for these patients in clinic and partner with these community partners."
Jaime La Charite, MD Med-Peds ‘21
"I love caring for my patients at EBMC. As I've gotten to know them better throughout residency, I anticipate clinic days with joy and excitement-- excitement to see their smiling faces and give them a handshake or a hug. How sweet it is to have them say, "That's my doctor." They model to me patience, resilience, resourcefulness, and compassion in their day-to-day lives. Their Baltimore Pride and involvement in their communities reminds me why this truly is the Charm City."
Lindsay Sheets, MD MPH PGY3 (Med-Peds)
"I would love to talk about the resilience of the communities we serve. In my short time at EBMC, I have already been amazed by the incredible strength and courage our patients demonstrate despite being stuck in a system that is stacked against them."
Wardah Athar PGY2 (UH IM)
“Our patients are strong, industrious, justice-oriented, mutually supportive, diverse, communal, and creative."
Kevin Klembczyk, MD PGY4 (Med-Peds)
“As the medical office assistant for the med/peds residents, I especially enjoy working with the diversity of patients. Many of our patients are very nice, friendly and truly care about the staff at EBMC”
Sulma Portilla, MOA