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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

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The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) recently changed its name from the University of Health Sciences. This marks a new beginning to better represent our emerging position as both a community advocate and a partner in biomedical research endeavors, as well as the oldest medical school in Kansas City and the largest in Missouri. The KCUMB internal medicine interest group (IMIG) is also experiencing a new beginning this year; a new group of students with a great new interest in internal medicine. While the IMIG has long been a recognized organization, we are now working on stepping up our efforts in supporting students with an interest in internal medicine and providing them with access to information to prepare them for decisions they will have to make as they pursue their medical careers.

One of the great traditions of osteopathic medicine is a hands-on approach to education. An emphasis on mentoring provides a close relationship between osteopathic physicians in our community and the student body. This strong tie to practicing physicians continues to meet our needs in finding guest speakers for our meetings and programs. I continue to be surprised by how many are willing to participate and I have found that one of the best ways to recruit speakers is simply by asking!

Our Department of Internal Medicine faculty takes great interest in the students. They continually foster an interest in medicine by encouraging students to participate in shadowing programs. Students are invited to participate in rounds with them each weekend morning at the hospital. Students are given a chance to experience first-hand what their clinical years will be like as they join a small group of residents, interns, and rotating students in a no-pressure setting to directly observe patient care. Additionally, the faculty participates in the university’s summer practicum program, which allows students to work with local physicians for 2 to 8 weeks during the summer after their first year of medical school.

The following is an example of a recent program in which the IMIG participated. During the month of September, the University celebrates women in medicine. In doing its part, the IMIG joined with the National Osteopathic Women Physicians Association in hosting Anne Winkler, MD, FACP, Governor of the ACP Missouri Chapter. She presented an informative and humorous look at the role women have played in the history of the practice of medicine. After the lecture, Dr. Winkler participated in a panel of faculty and alumni women physicians, mostly internists or internal medicine specialists, in answering questions that students had about their careers in medicine.

We also have several other programs we’d like to get started. To help new students as they begin medical school, we’d like to create a presentation that would help explain the medical education process. What we’ve found is that many students spend so much time just getting to medical school that they really don’t understand what’s ahead of them. We would like to help ease students’ confusion by providing them information about the various options for internships, residencies, and fellowships that will be available to them during their medical education. Additionally, medical professionalism has come to the forefront in medical education curriculum. The University has implemented a professionalism evaluation program, and in connection with this, the IMIG would like to help demonstrate professionalism needs in internal medicine. Appropriate to this field is a discussion of professionalism between medical and surgical professions and also between specialists and primary care providers. These activities will be added to the IMIG’s current offerings, which include providing various internist and specialist physician speakers who can give insight into their lives as physicians.

We appreciate any input from other groups as we strengthen our activities and would like to share ideas as we all attempt to generate interest in internal medicine and provide the best possible learning environments for ourselves and our classmates.

Richard Rattin
President, Internal Medicine Club
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, 2008
E-mail: rrattin@kcumb.edu

Back to October 2005 Issue of IMpact

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