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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

The Perelman School of Medicine’s William Pepper Medical Society has been promoting the field of internal medicine since 1886. Our IMIG club is named after Dr. William Pepper, Jr., MD, who founded our nation’s first teaching hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in 1874. He was a leader and innovator in medical education and institutional administration, and served as the Provost of the University of Pennsylvania from 1881-1894. The society seeks to attract medical students to the exciting field of internal medicine through our monthly faculty speaker series, formal mentoring initiatives, and partnership with our regional chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Our monthly faculty speaker series highlights the inspiring and dedicated faculty in the Department of Medicine. The series allows for students to learn about various aspects of a career in internal medicine, while meeting leaders in their fields. The events always include a hot meal, and allow for close interaction between medical students and faculty members. The academic year begins with our annual kick-off event which features Dr. Richard Shannon, the chair of the Department of Medicine and Dr. Lisa Bellini, the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine. One of our most popular events each year is the “Interventional Careers Night” at our Simulation Center, where students can simultaneously learn about the procedure-oriented specialties in internal medicine while learning some of the most common interventions on the human patient simulators. We also address concerns about physician satisfaction and quality of life in our “It’s A Wonderful Life” event where faculty members discuss their strategies for maintaining a great family and personal life while building a rewarding career. Other events include Research Careers in Internal Medicine, Women in Academic Medicine, Primary Care Night, and Alternative Careers in Medicine, which explores pathways in health policy, pharmaceutical research, and military medicine.

Although our speaker series provides a great opportunity for students to meet potential mentors in the Department of Medicine, we have also begun a formal mentoring initiative this year. At the start of the academic year, students who join our Internal Medicine Interest Group are asked if they would like to be matched with a faculty mentor in the Department of Medicine. Students also have the opportunity to attend a dinner to learn more about the mentoring process. This event, in addition to our fall and spring American College of Physicians dinners, which are coordinated by John Derrickson, the Executive Director of the ACP Pennsylvania Chapter, give students ample opportunity to meet physicians practicing internal medicine in the Philadelphia area. The ACP dinners are cherished by medical students because they are able to sit with one faculty member for the entire event. We are also working on cultivating peer mentorship through our “Post-match Student Panel” where students applying for residencies internal medicine can seek advice from recently matched fourth year students.

We are incredibly fortunate to work with a team of faculty, staff and students who make these events possible. Our faculty advisor, Jennifer Kogan, MD, is instrumental in helping us to find enthusiastic and inspiring faculty members to speak at our events. Our program coordinator Ann Marie Hunt, the Associate Director for Undergraduate Medical Education, plays a vital role in recruiting faculty speakers and arranging our event schedule. Our society leadership always includes medical students in either the second or third years so that the group may have continuity between its leadership.

Virginia Shalkey, Class of 2012
Cody Dashiell-Earp, Class of 2012
Ian Folkert, Class of 2013
Co-chairs, William Pepper Medical Society
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
E-mail: shalkey@mail.med.upenn.edu

Back to December 2011 Issue of IMpact

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