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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: University of Maryland

The Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has traditionally served as a resource for students who want to know more about internal medicine and the multitude of career options within it. Our goals for the year are to provide interested students with practical information about internal medicine, highlight aspects of the field that are less familiar to students, and stress the need for more primary care physicians.

This year I have served as IMIG President, and Anupamaa Seshadri, MS-II, has served as Vice-President. Our faculty advisor, Majid Cina, MD, FACP, hospitalist and Associate Residency Program Director for Internal Medicine, has played an integral role in helping to organize and coordinate our events. Having a faculty advisor who not only is in contact with other physicians but also knows the residents and fourth-year students well was extremely valuable in facilitating diverse monthly events. Dr. Cina attended each IMIG session, and his passionate attitude alone has sparked considerable interest among the students in the field.

We started the year by inviting University of Maryland Medicine residents to describe training in Medicine. Next we invited Mary Newman, MD, FACP, Governor of the ACP Maryland Chapter, to speak to students about the primary care physician shortage our country is currently experiencing. She painted a picture of an immense need that is not being met, and also described where she thought primary care was heading. The following month the IMIG held a primary care physician panel, where general internists and hospitalists who practiced both in academic and community settings spoke about their jobs. We also collaborated with the Family Medicine Interest Group and the Med-Peds Interest Group to host a primary care panel workshop with representatives from internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and med-peds. We hope that these events have encouraged our students to consider pursuing careers in primary care.

We also wanted to give students an opportunity to learn more about the specialties within internal medicine, so we held two subspecialty panels in December and January. The first featured representatives from endocrinology, infectious diseases, nephrology, and hematology/oncology, and the second focused on gastroenterology, cardiology, and pulmonology/critical care; the idea was to roughly separate the fields into “thinking” specialties and more “procedure-based” specialties. Next month we plan to have fourth-year students speak to the second-year students at a session entitled “What to Expect in Your Third-Year Medicine Clerkship.”

Lastly, recognizing that many students typically associate internal medicine with sitting in an office and writing notes, we wanted to expose students to some of the hands-on procedures that internists perform regularly. To accomplish this we organized teaching sessions in the University of Maryland Medical Center’s simulation laboratory, during which current Medicine residents used simulation mannequins to teach groups of first and second year students how to insert intravenous peripheral and central catheters, draw blood, and perform lumbar puncture. By the end of the year, over 100 first and second year students will have participated in these sessions, and the feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

This year our IMIG chapter has over 80 members, and 42% of our medical students are enrolled as ACP student members. Through the ACP Maryland Chapter Student Committee, we have been able to collaborate with IMIG leadership at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to help support their Community Cares Initiative Health Fair, which will be held in May in East Baltimore.

As we prepare to transfer leadership over to the first-year class in the coming months, we hope that next year’s IMIG at University of Maryland will be able to continue the high level of activity that we have sustained this year, which was made possible largely by sponsorship funding from the ACP. I would like to also personally thank our faculty mentor, Dr. Cina, for all of his support this year. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Niki Deshpande, MS-II
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Class of 2012
President, Internal Medicine Interest Group
ndesh001@umaryland.edu

Back to April 2010 Issue of IMpact

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