Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: University of Colorado School of Medicine
The field of internal medicine presents a vast number of career opportunities for people with diverse personalities and interests. It can be daunting for a medical student to navigate the field and its subspecialties alone. The Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CUSOM) aims to guide our classmates through the maze of career paths within internal medicine in hopes of helping some of them find a treasured career as an internist upon completion of their training.
The IMIG at the CUSOM strives to bring internal medicine and its subspecialties to life for our classmates by creating opportunities to learn more about what it is like to be an internal medicine physician. We traditionally kick off the academic year with an introductory lecture, giving an overview of internal medicine and the general road to becoming an internist. Every month or two we host lectures with topics ranging from "A Day in the Life" to patient cases to "How to Prevent Burnout." Other events we organize include field trips. We arrange visitations to places, such as the cardiac catheterization lab, where students can encounter procedures that they have heard about in lecture. Our group also runs a shadowing program, allowing students to work closely with a physician in the subspecialty of their choice. One of our biggest events is an annual career fair held in April. More than 30 physicians and residents are brought in to sit down and talk to students in a casual environment with food and refreshments provided. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to talk one-on-one with people from each of the internal medicine subspecialties.
Each year, the IMIG leadership is passed down to the next graduating class. We maintain communication between leadership groups from year to year to ensure that things transition smoothly. Additionally, we have a Gmail account for the group that is used to coalesce all useful documents-meeting minutes, past surveys, "how to" documents for booking rooms and ordering food, and so forth-into one central location to be passed on from year to year. We recently changed our leadership structure to divide responsibilities so that different people oversee specific aspects of our programming, such as lectures, field trips, shadowing, and the career fair. In addition to these roles, we have two co-presidents that oversee operations. The IMIG at the CUSOM has been fortunate to have a very supportive team of advisors who are always available to offer ideas and advice and to provide their network connections to make our events possible. We also work closely with the Colorado Chapter of ACP. Larry Feinberg, MD, FACP, the current governor of the Colorado Chapter, has given several talks for the IMIG, attends some of our meetings, and works with us to ease the financial burden for students wishing to attend conferences. We continually encourage our classmates to attend ACP conferences and events and hope that our relationship with the ACP will continue to grow in the coming years.
Nicole Nghiem, Class of 2014
2011-2012 IMIG President