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Medical Student Perspectives: Welcome Medical Student Members

Welcome to the beginning of a new academic year! Please allow me to tell you about the American College of Physicians (ACP) from the point of view of a medical student. ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States, with a membership of 130,000 internists, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical students, residents, and fellows. ACP focuses on enhancing the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine. A new Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer has just been appointed, Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP. Prior to this, Dr. Weinberger served as Deputy Executive Vice President and Vice President for Medical Education and Publishing at ACP and was a champion of medical student, resident, and fellows-in-training issues.

As a student member, you have joined over 27,000 of your fellow students established in local student groups in allopathic and osteopathic medical schools throughout North America and beyond. ACP recognizes that the future of internal medicine is closely linked to the activity and involvement of its Medical Student Members. This is why you are so very important to all the work that ACP does.

I attended Internal Medicine 2010, held in Toronto this past April. The meeting was a great experience and it was fun and educational at the same time. We hope you can join us in San Diego this coming April for Internal Medicine 2011. As a student member, there is no registration fee for attending the meeting, and you can participate in educational offerings for practicing physicians as well as those designed especially for medical students.

This is an exciting time to be involved in internal medicine. Congress has recently passed some significant legislation. While this legislation has passed, the discussion regarding implementation is far from over. How exactly this legislation takes form will affect your practice regardless of what specialty you ultimately join. Therefore, getting involved now will not only allow your voice to be heard, but also give you an understanding of the “how and why” of the politics that affect your future. You can find information about the new legislation in "An Internist’s Practical Guide to Understanding Health System Reform", a practical resource guide about the newly enacted health care reform law. In addition, there is an annual Leadership Day event held in Washington, D.C., each May, which is a great way to learn about how politics in Washington impact your professional life.

The College offers many benefits to its Medical Student Members, from the above mentioned involvement in advocacy and educational meetings, to opportunities for mentoring and helpful educational products. In particular, I would like to bring your attention to Internal Medicine Essentials for Clerkship Students 2, a great tool for the wards. The revamped Annals of Internal Medicine website is also worth visiting. We hope you are able to use these and other ACP resources throughout your training and career.

As a student member, you are represented at the national level in the College by the Council of Student Members (CSM), comprised of 13 students from 11 regions. We meet in person and via web conferences throughout the year to discuss issues of particular importance to us as medical students. We welcome your ideas and input as we aim to enrich your experiences during medical school. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any CSM representative if we can be of help to you or your local chapter. You guide the Council as we plan and propose policy that will impact all of us, so please tell us what is on your mind.

At the regional level, the Council works to facilitate and promote activities through the local Internal Medicine Interest Groups (IMIGs). The College provides funding and support to the IMIGs through the IMIG Sponsorship Program . We want to continue to improve the links between the IMIGs at the local schools, the regional ACP chapters, and the national level.

The CSM is dedicated to numerous issues within internal medicine. With your involvement and participation, we can work together to ensure that we have the tools and resources that we will need to succeed in our training.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Cedar J. Fowler
Chair, Council of Student Members
Tufts University School of Medicine, Class of 2012
E-mail: cedar.fowler@gmail.com

Back to August 2010 Issue of IMpact

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