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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Meharry Medical College

Since being first featured as the Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month in the September 2008 issue of IMpact, the Thomas-Hardy Internal Medicine Society (THIMS) of Meharry Medical College’s School of Medicine has continued to maintain an abounding presence on the Meharry campus and in the surrounding community of Nashville, Tennessee.

Meharry Medical College was originally founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of the Central Tennessee College on a promise of recompense, traditionally known at Meharry as the “Salt Wagon Story,” where Samuel Meharry, who was a young Caucasian salt trader, received help from an unidentified African-American former slave family when he experienced extreme difficulty traveling throughout the hilly topography of Tennessee. He made a vow to one day return the favor by doing something for the service of the African-American race.

Today, the institution that bears his name continues to be a beacon of hope and healthcare to those who are medically underserved and disadvantaged in the metropolitan Nashville community. Additionally, the College continues to be one of the largest producers of minority healthcare providers of dental, allopathic medical, and graduate professional healthcare services in the United States.

Originally founded as the Meharry Medicine Club of Meharry Medical College in September of 1997, THIMS continues to fulfill its purpose of exposing all medical students interested in internal medicine to trusted resources and information to help cultivate their interest and foster their entry into both the general and subspecialty fields of internal medicine. We also continue to honor Dr. Robert E. Hardy and the cherished memory of the late and great Dr. John Thomas, Jr., FACP, FACC, the namesakes and founding fathers of the organization, who saw the need to establish an internal medicine interest club for students at Meharry.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, our group focused on exposing members to the goals and provisions of healthcare reform in this country, by providing talks by various internal medicine faculty, ranging in topics from ACP’s role in healthcare reform to the efficacy of the reform on current medical students. Internists at both Meharry and Vanderbilt Schools of Medicine provided targeted talks on their various subspecialties in medicine, ranging from infectious disease to the daily life of an endocrinologist. We toasted Meharry’s President and CEO, Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, as he achieved the position of Mastership in the ACP.

Community service activities included rendering first aid and blood pressure checks at the annual African Street Festival in Nashville, providing educational materials on H1N1 influenza to attendees at Meharry’s annual Community Day events in November, and visiting the local Ronald McDonald House in April to provide Easter Goodie Bags to the sheltered children and their families.

The highlight of our year, however, was our attendance at the ACP Conference in Toronto, Ontario, during April 22-24, 2010. Due to our excellent fundraising efforts, we were able to provide travel expenses for seven of our members, who ranged in classification from first-year to fourth-year medical students. We solicited donations from various individuals, sponsored two spaghetti lunch sales, and sold muffins at breakfast to first- and second-year medical students throughout the year.

Our current Executive Board is comprised of the following officers and respective positions:

  • Lakeshia Entzminger, MS-IV, President
  • Earl Stewart, Jr., MS-II, Vice President/President-Elect
  • Ricardo Lugo, MS-IV, Co-Treasurer
  • James Williams, MS-II, Co-Treasurer
  • Alyssa Small, MS-III, Recording Secretary
  • Lakeisha Ebonita Summers, MS-II, Corresponding Secretary
  • Micheca St. Hilaire, MS-IV, Community Service Chair
  • Katina Stevens, MS-II, Second-Year Liaison
  • Peggy Toole, MS-I, First-Year Liaison

Our current advisors are:

  • D. Johniene Thomas, MSPH, CME Coordinator in the Department of Internal Medicine
  • Darryl Jordan, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Our goals for this academic year are just the same. We will continue Meharry’s rich tradition of “worship of God through service to mankind” by extending our community service efforts further, and we are currently in the process of applying for a Health Fair Grant from the ACP in order to help us do so. We also have plans to join with the Physicians for Human Rights to sponsor a clothing drive for the area homeless and to engage in local church health fairs to provide education and screening on maintaining healthy blood pressures.

Also, in the month of November, we will welcome and celebrate our new internal medicine faculty and those who have achieved Fellowship status in the ACP. With this, it is quite evident that our founding principles of stimulating student interest in internal medicine and fostering hardy student-faculty bonds are still upheld and effected today in the proceedings of our current society’s membership.

Earl Stewart, Jr., MS-II
Vice President/President-Elect Meharry Medical College IMIG
E-mail: thims@email.mmc.edu

Back to November 2010 Issue of IMpact

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