Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Student Osteopathic Internal Medicine Association (SOIMA) is one of the largest student organizations at the University of North Texas - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM). Since the 1980s, SOIMA has helped facilitate TCOM's commitment to primary care, while also featuring exposure to a variety of medical specialties. This year's leadership features second-year students Melanie Lagomichos as President, Maryam Shambayati as Vice-President, Kenton Venhuizen as Secretary, and Krishna Srinivasan as Treasurer. Lira Chowdhury, Atefa Nayeb, Thao Nguyen, and Christina Vu all serve as First-year Representatives. The tradition of four second-year executive officers and four first-year representatives fosters communication between the two classes and prepares first-years for the responsibilities required of a SOIMA officer.
Beginning with New Student Orientation Week, SOIMA holds a major presence on campus by providing all medical and physician assistant students with medical equipment through a partnership with Welch Allyn. Incoming students meet SOIMA officers who guide them through the use of the medical equipment while introducing them to the organization. At the first meeting of the year, our faculty advisor, Monte Troutman, DO, FACOI, an ACP Member, introduced students to internal medicine and discussed his specialty, gastroenterology. SOIMA hosts monthly lunch meetings featuring talks by local physicians, a specialty panel, local residency directors, and the General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program. These meetings are very popular, with over 100 students in attendance, and feature both allopathic and osteopathic physicians. SOIMA also hosts a dinner for third-year students with Texas A&M Scott & White's internal medicine residency directors at a local restaurant.
Reaching out to the Fort Worth area community is an important priority for SOIMA. Our chapter has partnered with Crowley House of Hope, a free clinic in rural Crowley, Texas. Each month, several dates are set aside for first- and second-year SOIMA members to volunteer one-on-one with a physician at the clinic. This program has given students hands-on medical experience during the preclinical years while also helping an underserved rural community. SOIMA also hosts a health fair booth at the Fit Future Kids Fest, an annual Fort Worth festival aimed at curbing childhood obesity. Members educate families on the benefits of healthy eating and exercise while also screening children and their parents for high blood pressure and blood glucose.
SOIMA's success is due to the dedication of our officers and members. We hope to work more closely with ACP in the future as well as expand our service to the TCOM campus and Fort Worth community.
Maryam Shambayati, MS-2
SOIMA Vice President
Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, 2012