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At Alpert Medical School, internal medicine has always been one
of the most popular specialties. Every year, more than 25% of the
graduating class matches in internal medicine, making it the
largest specialty group at Brown University. In addition to
dedicated and caring faculty members who serve as mentors during
the third and fourth clinical years, this success is also
attributed to an early exposure to internal medicine during the
preclinical years. Our Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) has
played an important role in this process.
Introduction to the Brown Internal Medicine
Brown University's internal medicine clerkship lasts 12 weeks and
spans four different affiliated hospitals. Based on a student's
preference, clerkship locations are selected by a system. As this
clerkship is one of the longest, there is a certain amount of
anxiety when it comes to choosing the "best" hospital location.
However, many students' preferences are based on upperclassmen
hearsay. To dispel any rumors, we invited the clerkship directors
from all sites to speak with the students about the similarities
and differences of each hospital. Students were able to gain a
better understanding of the grading system and were assured that
though each hospital has its own unique flavor, the educational
objectives are the same. In the future, we hope to include fourth
year medical students on the panel so that they can further
elaborate on the day-to-day logistics of the internal medicine
General Internal Medicine
While many students are interested in various internal medicine
subspecialties, the Brown IMIG has also strived to provide more
information about general internal medicine in response to the
national call for medical schools to train more general
practitioners. We invited Paul Pirraglia, MD, an ACP Member and
President of the New England Region of the Society of General
Internal Medicine, to speak about his interests in clinical
practice and research. He extended an offer to all medical students
to submit abstracts and poster presentations to the Regional
Society of General Internal Medicine Meeting, held at Brown in
April 2010. At Brown, the IMIG has strong representation in both
subspecialty and well as primary care internal medicine, with
recent graduates matching into both tracks successfully.
Subspecialty Q&A Session
Last fall, the Brown IMIG newly hosted a speaker series focusing on
cardiology, nephrology, and pulmonary medicine in response to
students' desires to learn more about internal medicine
subspecialties. The series was timed to coincide with each of the
respective lecture blocks and the same professors and clinicians
who gave the lectures were welcomed back to a separate event to
give insight into "a day in the life of" in their specialties. Key
topics addressed included lifestyle, initial motivations to enter
the field, as well as helpful tips for students who are
contemplating pursuing careers in internal medicine subspecialties.
The new events were a huge success, as both students and clinicians
expressed that they immensely enjoyed the talks and hoped for more
of these events. This year, Brown IMIG will extend this series to
include more internal medicine subspecialties.
With leadership from each of the four classes, Brown's IMIG is able
to target events at students in the preclinical as well as the
clinical years. This also helps facilitate a smooth transition as
the leaders progress in their medical training. The IMIG co-leaders
are also actively involved in ACP, serving on the Executive
Committee of the Rhode Island Chapter. Finally, we are provided
with strong faculty support from Mark Fagan, MD, FACP, and Dominick
Tammaro, MD, FACP, directors of our residency and medical education
programs, respectively. Their leadership and guidance helps the
Brown IMIG become an effective channel for cultivating future
internal medicine specialists.
If you have any questions about the Alpert Medical School of
Brown University's Internal Medicine Interest Group, please contact
Jennifer Gao at Jennifer_gao@brown.edu.
August 2010 Issue of IMpact
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