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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School

Club Med, the Internal Medicine Interest Group at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, was founded in the spring of 2004 by Tony Tarchichi in his freshman year. Dr. Tarchichi, who humbly asks to be called Tony, is currently in his first year of a dual Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at UMDNJ-University Hospital. He continues to be an important resource for Club Med, always offering to help in any way possible. Dr. Jo-Ann Reteguiz, FACP, Program Director for the Department of Medicine and former Club Med advisor, along with Dr. Neil Kothari, Associate Program Director for the Department of Medicine and current Club Med advisor, are very actively involved with our organization. Their assistance in helping run the Club Med non-credit elective has been invaluable. Club Med is headed by Haroon Shahid (MSII) and Kingsuk Ganguly (MSII). The rest of the executive board includes Janet ElGallab, Manisha Reddy, Neel Desai, Ruchi Kumari, and Shyam Patel, who are also second year medical students. Leadership is passed on to rising second-year medical students who have shown genuine interest in the organization and have participated in various Club Med activities.

In order to also involve the third- and fourth-year medical students, we created a liaison between upperclassmen and underclassmen this year. Our liaison, Angela Gomez-Simmonds (MSIV) has been integral in arranging various activities to prepare third- and fourth-year students for life as a resident. These include EKG review sessions as well as a mentorship program where third- and fourth-year medical students are paired up with residents at University Hospital. Also, we plan to hold a talk where some of the upperclassmen can give first- and second-year students tips on what to expect during rotations and can explain the process of applying to residencies.

As mentioned earlier, Club Med also runs a year long non-credit elective. This elective is broken into lectures and ATM (“Attendings Teaching Medical students”) sessions. The lectures cover a wide variety of topics including “What is an Internist?”, “Developing a Differential Diagnosis”, and “An Overview of Common Procedures in Medicine.” We also have had separate lectures on the various specialties within internal medicine, including pulmonology, gastroenterology, cardiology, nephrology, and endocrinology. These lectures provide students with some insight into the field of internal medicine and the various subspecialties. The ATM sessions, on the other hand, provide clinical exposure. ATM sessions are clinical teaching rounds offered five to six times per month. During each session, about four to five medical students meet with an attending physician or the chief resident and have the opportunity to observe some of the more interesting clinical cases in the hospital. This allows students to apply what they have learned in class and become more proficient at physical diagnosis.

This year, we also started a pilot program to allow one to two first- and second-year medical students the chance to go on rounds with the teams on the hospital floors. This gives the students a peek into what third and fourth year will be like. At the end of this year, the program will be evaluated based on members’ reactions and experiences and then the decision will be made whether or not to incorporate this into the non-credit elective.

Club Med is also very active in the urban Newark community. This year, we have participated in many health fairs where club members were actively involved in blood pressure and blood glucose screenings. These health fairs provide a free service to the poor and disadvantaged residents of Newark, while at the same time reminding overworked and overstressed medical students why they chose to become physicians.

Club Med has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in the spring of 2004. Currently 360 out of 680 medical students (53%) at New Jersey Medical School are members of the American College of Physicians. I hope this growth continues as new students enter our medical school and bring innovative, fresh ideas. I would like to thank the American College of Physicians for all the support it has provided our organization.

Haroon Shahid
Co-President of Club Med, 2007-2008
UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Class of 2010
E-mail: shahidha@umdnj.edu

Back to May 2008 Issue of IMpact

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