Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: University of Iowa
The mission of the Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, named Club Med, is to increase the understanding and enthusiasm for internal medicine amongst medical students as well as to act as a service organization.
Activities start as early as first-year orientation to inform medical students of the benefits of a career in internal medicine. Most of these students enroll in ACP, which becomes both a source of career mentoring as well as a spring of clinical knowledge through the monthly IMpact newsletter and ACP Internist Weekly. Through our recruiting at the first-year orientation, ACP membership has grown 30% over the past two years to a current total of 217 members. These members, with other students, also sign up for the Club Med listserve during orientation, through which they are kept abreast of the many activities throughout the year.
Through the generous support of the ACP IMIG Sponsorship Program, the Iowa ACP Chapter, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) Internal Medicine Department, we sponsor a lunchtime discussion series. The topics for these informative lunch meetings include “A Day in the Life of an Internist,” “Insider’s Perspective on IM – Panel of IM Residents and Fellows,” and “Career Pathways in Internal Medicine”. In the spring we hold a lunch meeting for all second-year students where we teach them the process of scheduling their third year clerkships. In the early summer, we put together a fourth-year student panel to instruct third-year students on how to maneuver the match process successfully.
Another service we provide students at the Iowa Carver College of Medicine is our mentoring program. Physicians from general medicine and eight subspecialties participate in the program. We begin each year with a “Meet the Mentors” lunch meeting where students have the chance to introduce themselves to the physician members and network in their particular areas of interest. At the luncheon, students are given the list of mentors, which they use to set up shadowing experiences, one-on-one conversations, and similar activities.
As do most medical students, we believe that it is our duty not only to serve each other in the medical community but to also to look outside ourselves for service opportunities elsewhere. Each year we hold a blood drive in collaboration with the entire student body as well as the Department of Internal Medicine. Next year we are planning on participating in service activities through the Habitat for Humanity organization.
One of the highlights of the academic year is a chili dinner social held in January. Prior to the event the Club Med presidency taps into the career interests of our student members in order to provide a useful spread of faculty. Internal medicine faculty with a variety of interests and clinical backgrounds enjoy the chance to sit down with eager medical students to discuss the joys and challenges of their particular career paths.
Together with faculty, medical student leaders, the Iowa ACP and the UIHC Internal Medicine Department, we strive to enlighten the future leaders of health care at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Each year we reevaluate our progress and make plans to improve the operations of our interest group going forward. This has led to a consistent increase in student membership and activity. With sustained improvement, we are confident this trend will continue.
J. Ben Robbins
Co-President, Club Med
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Class of 2009
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