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Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

The field of internal medicine, which demands a vast breadth of knowledge of adult medicine, no doubt breeds physicians who are excited by the notion of solving mysteries and puzzles. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the mastermind behind Sherlock Holmes, was, after all, a physician himself.

With that in mind, the Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM) is aiming to build the foundation for a new wave of physician-detectives.

With fresh and energetic leadership in 2009-10, IMIG at BSOM has been resurrected and redesigned. As a result of a strong presence during orientation week activities, an all-time record percentage of students at the School of Medicine are now members of the American College of Physicians. The group, which provides unique opportunities for students to explore the intricacies of internal medicine and its many subspecialties, is co-chaired by second-year students Avash Kalra and Lakshman Swamy. Joining them on the IMIG Leadership Board are classmates Andrea Ament and Brian Dietrich.

In the Fall of 2009, the chapter held its first event of the academic year, an evening dinner meeting featuring Steven Burdette, MD, FACP, Associate Professor of Medicine at Wright State and the Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at Greene Memorial Hospital (Xenia, Ohio). Dr. Burdette, former Chief Resident in Wright State University's Internal Medicine program, also serves as an advisor for the BSOM chapter of IMIG. In his engaging talk, which drew a full lecture hall of students, he used a grid to compare and contrast the many internal medicine subspecialties, thereby giving students information about such issues as the length of training for an endocrinology fellowship and an idea of the conditions that a critical care physician might treat.

Throughout the year, IMIG co-chairs Kalra and Swamy have also encouraged students at BSOM to learn more about internal medicine residencies via a particularly unique outlet, by hearing direct interviews with internal medicine residency program directors. The duo hosts a weekly medical radio talk show entitled Radio Rounds (online at www.radiorounds.org, with podcasts of each episode available for free on iTunes).

Thus far in 2010, Radio Rounds, in collaboration with IMIG, has featured interviews with Steven Reichert, MD, FACP, Director of Cornell University's Internal Medicine Residency Program at New York Hospital Queens; Leonard Feldman, MD, FACP, Co-Director of the new joint Internal Medicine/Pediatrics residency program at Johns Hopkins University; and Kevin Hinchey, MD, FACP, Director of the Internal Medicine residency program at Tufts University; and more.

Said Kalra, "Any student interested in internal medicine is encouraged to listen to these interviews because we really gain some invaluable insights. Topics in our interviews range from the residency application process to personal patient stories that really highlight the humanistic qualities of internal medicine."

Upcoming events hosted by IMIG at BSOM include a 'Mock Code' simulation exercise at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Joseph See (ACP Member), who also serves as an advisor to the group, is coordinating the meeting. Students will work with the hospital's innovative "Sim-man," designed to give students as close to a real-life experience as possible of handling a 'code' situation. This event will be coordinated by the newly selected 2010-11 IMIG board, which includes new co-chairs Ankush Kalra and Brad Sanville, both of whom are members of the BSOM Class of 2013.

In addition, students at BSOM will soon have the opportunity to shadow internal medicine physicians through a program designed by the IMIG Leadership Board. Students who are interested in internal medicine, or in particular subspecialties, will be part of a regular rotating shadow schedule with physicians in the greater Dayton area.

"Students who are interested in internal medicine, or in particular subspecialties, will be part of a regular rotating shadow schedule with physicians in the greater Dayton area," explained Swamy. "This will expose first and second year students to the patient interactions within internal medicine, long before their third year rotations and fourth year electives. The goal is for students to shadow in every specialty of internal medicine, especially general internal medicine, by the end of an academic year."

With this shadowing endeavor the latest project on the horizon for IMIG at BSOM, it's safe to say that students will have access to opportunities that will aid them in their career choices and that will showcase the qualities that internal medicine has to offer.

And, in the end, they may just gain the tools to solve some puzzles as well.

Avash Kalra, Lakshman Swamy, Andrea Ament, and Brian Dietrich
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Class of 2012
2009-10 Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) Leadership Board
avash.kalra@wright.edu, lswamy@gmail.com

Back to May 2010 Issue of IMpact

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