Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Mercer University.
The Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at Mercer University School of Medicine has gained in popularity over the past few years. The level of interest has risen due to the wide variety of speakers and their ability to tap into the relevant questions of the first and second year students. To allow for maximum attendance we provide lunch to an average of 50 students during each meeting, but it is not just the food that students are interested in.
At Mercer University School of Medicine the first two years consist of a problem-based learning curriculum organized by a systems approach. As such, the first phase of the second year is cardiology, the second phase is pulmonology, the third is gastroenterology, and so on. This structure provides a unique opportunity to tailor the speakers we invite to each meeting to the system we are studying. For example, as we buried our heads in the subject matter of the heart, most of the students were anxious to hear more about the clinical side of life as a cardiologist. These meetings provide refreshing answers to the inquisitive minds of the doctor-wannabes. Hearing physicians describe their family lives, what a day at the office is like, and even why they chose their career paths allows students to dream of better days as a “real” doctor. The fact that several of our speakers have graduated from our school and still have smiles on their faces gives us hope that our dreams just may one day come true.
Our most recent speaker was Steven Presley, MD, FACP, a residency program director from Baptist Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He provided us with guidance in choosing our career paths as well as the opportunity to ask questions about what we should do to boost our CVs. Because of the informal nature of the meeting, Dr. Presley was able to give us personal and practical advice. He also provided a window for us to see what residency is like and what kind of programs we will be able to choose from. He answered questions on subjects ranging from choosing the right residency program to his vision of the future of medicine.
Several members and officers of our club recently attended the Georgia Chapter ACP Scientific Meeting in Savannah, Georgia. Five of us gave presentations on our recent research projects. This provided us with an opportunity to receive some constructive criticism on our work. A few of the students who attended the Georgia Chapter Meeting are currently preparing to present the same research at a professional conference for tissue engineering and development in Snowbird, Utah.
A continuing issue from year to year is the drop in participation once the students reach the hospital in their third and fourth years of medical school. In an effort to bridge the gap between the upper- and lower-classmen, we decided to celebrate with the fourth year students by having a dinner party for those who matched in an internal medicine residency program. This will provide an excellent atmosphere to ask the recently matched students for advice on how to study and approach the last few years of medical school. This will also serve as a time to congratulate these students for making it through medical school and into residency!
Mercer University School of Medicine, 2009
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