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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

At Chicago Medical School, the Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) is an organization that reaches out to a variety of students, whether they are absolutely set on a IM specialty track, primary care, or simply undecided. Each year, IMIG presents speakers to let students have a feel for different aspects of medicine and the different types of practice. This year, in addition to speakers, IMIG has a few other new and engaging events in store for students.

Our first event of the year was Primary Care Week, which highlighted the importance of primary care physicians and their work, as well as the need for more physicians in this field based on recent public health statistics. This event was a chance to introduce students to topics that are not specifically covered in the curriculum, such as health and economic policy, and included discussions of the Affordable Care Act and the reasons for the shortage of primary care physicians. This was also a chance to collaborate with other primary care interest groups. Physician speakers presented by IMIG and the family medicine and pediatrics groups all sent a cohesive message to students about the work they do and the importance of having primary care physicians available for patients in the community. In addition to the speakers, students were engaged through a trivia night, a documentary screening, and speaking with fourth-year medical students about applying to primary care residencies. Presenting this week collectively with the American Medical Student Association and different interest groups was a novelty, and by working together we presented a more cohesive and compelling message about the important role of primary care in the US health care system.

The next event we have planned for the year will be very hands-on. We recognize that students respond to a more personalized and active style of learning which can be rare during the first two years of medical school. Although most schools offer some form of clinical exposure during the first two years by bringing in mock patients from the community or allowing students to observe in clinic, students always want more of this experience. With the help of internists in the community, IMIG will be conducting a history and physical workshop for students. We plan to provide a time and space for first and second year students to practice their history and physical examination skills with feedback from one another and from community internists. Students will also get exposure to different types of patient conditions, because we have chosen physicians who have specific patient population interests. We’ve asked physicians to create patient scenarios for students and give feedback after each patient encounter. This is especially helpful to fine tune clinical skills and learn what information from the history and physical examination are of interest to internists.

In addition to having these events, we have contacted specialists, hospitalists, and residents to give talks explaining their specific experiences. We will also be having a panel of fourth-year students who have matched into IM. In past years, this has been a fruitful way to glean important information from upperclassmen about the application process and also provides an opportunity for M4s to share their success stories. We look forward to having an inspiring discussion again this year.

The IMIG is excited about our new projects this year and about reaching students in a different way than in the past. As health care practices continue to evolve and specific needs arise on the basis of our health care climate, IMIG at Chicago Medical School seeks to bring awareness to the student body. We look forward to further interaction with physicians in the community and to finding fun ways to engage with internal medicine. Our IMIG emphasizes the importance of exposure and of letting that be the guiding force when deciding our future careers. We are thrilled to share our experiences with our student body and ACP.

Shilpa Shankar, MS2
IMIG President
Chicago Medical School

Back to March 2012 Issue of IMpact

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