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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Yale School of Medicine

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Over the past two years, the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) has reached out to students and faculty through mentoring and shadowing programs, under the capable leadership of Mila Rainoff ’08, Melissa Wollan ’08, Shane Lloyd ‘08, and Lucy Goddard ’07, with the guidance of faculty advisor Barry Wu, MD, FACP. Transitioning into 2006, leadership has passed to members of the class of 2009: Caroline Engel, Janelle Moulder, Neil Vasan, Heather Wachtel, and Qi Zheng.

The Yale IMIG had a strong start this past year with a very well attended meeting discussing career opportunities in internal medicine and accompanied by an ACP student membership drive. Following the October meeting, 33% of the class of 2009 elected to participate in the IMIG mentoring and shadowing program. Students were matched with faculty mentors in internal medicine subspecialties, including cardiology, critical care, general internal medicine, hematology, infectious disease, nephrology, oncology, preventive care, pulmonary, sports medicine, and tropical medicine. Shadowing has continued throughout the year, and follow-up surveys have reported very positive student experiences.

During the coming year, the Yale IMIG is seeking to expand its role by introducing an Internal Medicine Research Open House. YSM is unique in its thesis requirement, an opportunity for students to undertake basic science, clinical, public health, or medical humanities research under the tutelage of a faculty member. The goal of the thesis is to provide a forum through which students can actively, through research, learn the tools of the scientific method; the thesis is a pivotal part of the "Yale System". In order to facilitate this student-faculty partnership, the Yale IMIG plans to implement an Internal Medicine Research Open House. We envision coordinating a day during which medical and clinical faculty would have office hours and would be available to discuss their research with interested students. Currently, students independently seek out advisors throughout the year. We hope that providing a forum for students and faculty to converge will increase the amount of collaboration between students and faculty, help to facilitate more personalized mentoring relationships, and increase the awareness and participation of medical students in internal medicine-related research.

Additionally this coming year, we plan to run a dinner symposium series where internal medicine faculty and interested medical students can discuss current topics within a particular specialty or have a glimpse at “a day in the life” of a doctor or group of doctors in the department. This approach has been quite successful when used in other venues at YSM, and Yale IMIG hopes the dinner symposium series will strengthen the interactions between students and faculty by facilitating relationships earlier on in the medical curriculum. Through our work in developing more integrative programs and forums, we hope to accomplish what internal medicine has always emphasized: meeting many different needs in a variety of ways.

Janelle Moulder, Neil Vasan and Heather Wachtel
Yale School of Medicine, Class of 2009

Back to June 2006 Issue of IMpact

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