Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark is a board certified integrative family physician, coordinator of Integrative Medical Education, co-director of the Culinary Medicine program, and Clinical Assistant Professor at Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago.
After her residency on the West Side of Chicago, she completed a Maternal Child Health fellowship, and continued to work in one of the most vulnerable and underserved areas of the city. She then moved to Southern California and cared for migrant farm workers in an agricultural area north of LA. Her explorations around the role of food, health and healing were advanced tremendously during this time, moving towards a nutrition based practice.
Dr. Maker-Clark has pursued studies with traditional healers in India, midwives, herbalists and energy healers and has found that the practice of Integrative Medicine offers an opportunity for healing, wellness and disease prevention that is unparalleled. She spent 2 years training at the University of Arizona Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, under the supervision and mentorship of Dr. Andrew Weil, and travelled to Cuba with him as part of an Integrative Medicine delegation. Relying heavily on the use of food as medicine in her approach to healing, she has taught on the use of food as medicine at hospitals, schools, residencies, conferences, farmers’ markets and yoga festivals, including the James Beard Food conference and Chicago Ideas Week. Recently, she has started to teach on the importance of food, plants and dance as a means of accessing healthful medicine at low or no cost, and with excellent sustainable benefits.
The newly launched Culinary Medicine classes for medical students at University of Chicago, focus on teaching students how to create and counsel patients about healthful low cost meals that are appropriate for patients with specific disease states. Dr. Maker-Clark is on the advisory board for the new culinary medicine specialist certification through Tulane University, and is currently working on several projects whose aim is to further the food as medicine message in health care settings, and beyond.