Medical Student Perspectives: Welcome from the Chair of the Council of Student Members.
Greetings! As a Medical Student Member of the American College of Physicians (ACP), you have joined over 22,000 fellow medical students in the largest medical specialty organization in the United States. The ACP recognizes that the future of internal medicine lies in the strength of its student members.
These are exciting times to be involved in internal medicine. The future is bright with change on the horizon. Many physicians are working hard to implement new methods of delivering healthcare, more efficient models, and greater patient-centered care. Remarkable physicians, residents, students, and politicians have stepped forward and have proposed great changes to internal medicine and its subspecialties—working together to improve our system of care. The future of internal medicine is exciting and is evolving. The ACP is at the forefront of the wave of innovation and is calling on us to be a force. They value medical students and their creativity. Being involved at the national level, I am continually amazed at the ACP’s constant expressions of the priceless nature of medical students’ opinions and their involvement in the future of medicine.
Accordingly, the College offers its Medical Student Members valuable benefits, essential educational tools, and opportunities for involvement in public policy and healthcare reform. I invite you to join your student colleagues, residents, and attending physicians as we work together to revitalize internal medicine.
The Council of Student Members (CSM) is comprised of 13 students from 11 regions, representing all ACP Medical Student Members. The CSM meets twice a year to discuss issues of particular importance to medical students. We welcome your input and feedback, as we aim to enrich the quality of your medical school experience. Contact information for your regional CSM representative can be found online. Your comments will help guide our Council as we propose policy and plan events that will impact all of our members.
In the coming year, the Council will strive to uphold our mission to “promote excellence and professionalism in medical students,” in order to ensure that you have an extraordinary experience learning about the field of internal medicine. We keep this mission in mind as we plan events and coordinate activities related to education, public policy, and membership for students throughout the year.
On a regional level, each Council member works diligently to promote activities related to internal medicine and to gather ideas from local Internal Medicine Interest Groups (IMIGs). The ACP has launched a new IMIG Sponsorship Program, which provides funding and support for internal medicine club activities, as well as further financial incentives for increasing the number of ACP Medical Student Members over the course of the academic year. For more details about this program, visit the IMIG Resource Guide.
Our organization relies on a strong foundation of dedicated members; consequently, the Council invests significant time promoting ACP membership among students. A strong camaraderie among students ensures that we identify common goals and cooperatively accomplish the tasks we set out to achieve. Through initiatives such as the IMIG Sponsorship Program, we work to establish stronger bonds between the IMIGs at local schools, the regional ACP chapters, and the national ACP organization. We want to foster the exchange of ideas and expand activities for medical students in order to increase their interest in careers in internal medicine. We are distributing lapel pins to our members so they can proudly identify themselves as ACP Medical Student Members. These are just a few of the exciting plans on the CSM agenda for the coming year. Please contact us with your ideas to boost membership at your school.
The Council plans and develops tools to assist students as they progress through medical school. In April, we hosted the third annual Internal Medicine Residency Fair at Internal Medicine 2007 in San Diego, California. Also at the annual meeting, students had the opportunity to attend workshops to help them prepare for their futures, including "Brush Up For the Boards," "Ethics and Professionalism for the Medical Student," "Getting Through the Match," and the very popular "Stump the Professor." Perhaps you have consulted some of ACP's educational and clinical resources in your coursework thus far. Resources include MKSAP (Medical Knowledge Self Assessment Programs) for Students 4, the highly-esteemed Annals of Internal Medicine and our newest and most valuable day-to-day resource, Internal Medicine Essentials for Clerkship Students. We hope that students will come to rely on these academic tools during medical school and continue to use them throughout their careers.
The CSM takes an active role in proposing resolutions that advocate for medical students' interests on a national level. We work hard to ensure that the leadership of ACP understands the environment in which the contemporary medical student learns and enacts policy that fosters the development of superb physicians. Each May, the Council has the opportunity to join physicians and members of the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. for ACP Leadership Day. Leadership Day is a special event during which students and physicians lobby for important changes to the future of healthcare in the United States.
The CSM is dedicated to a variety of issues in internal medicine, such as education, professionalism, public policy, and many others. With a strong body of Medical Student Members and your active participation in our organization, we can work together to ensure that the ACP provides you with the tools to succeed in your medical training and career. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
Sincerely, Landon Dickson
Chair, Council of Student Members
University of Utah School of Medicine, 2008
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