Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: University of North Dakota
The Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UNDSMHS) is the largest and most popular of the interest groups on campus. Since internal medicine offers students such a well-rounded background in all aspects of medicine and allows them either to focus on primary care or specialize, it seems to attract almost all students. The IMIG has been around for well over 10 years.
The leadership of the group is headed by two second year medical students, an MD advisor, and a few faculty from the office of medical education. The IMIG advisor is LaVaun McCann, MD, FACP. She is a practicing internal medicine doctor who graduated medical school from UNDSMHS and did her residency in internal medicine at the University of North Dakota Affiliated Hospitals in Fargo, North Dakota. She is very dedicated and helps set up all the meetings and arrange the physicians for shadowing.
Each year we have many activities and meetings that expose students to the world of internal medicine. Every fall we have a panel of physicians from various specialties who come and talk about their career paths and why internal medicine was their residency choice. This gives the students insight into the many different and exciting options available with a career in internal medicine. In the winter we coordinate shadowing opportunities with the local hospital and allow students to spend an afternoon with the specialty of their choice, helping them transition from the classroom to the clinic. This activity also helps students narrow down what type of medicine they want to go into. During the winter semester when we focus on the cardiovascular system, we have an EKG review night where we bring in a cardiologist and go through EKG cases. This helps tie in the classroom book with everyday cases that most internists encounter. Every spring we have weekly USMLE Step 1 review lectures that help the students better their score and make residency matching a little less stressful.. At the end of the year we bring in a couple of fourth year medical students who have just matched in internal medicine to speak about their experiences and offer advice for choosing the right residency program.
Our IMIG is also very involved in the community. In the spring the IMIG and another student group help organize a health fair at the local Walmart. This health fair offers blood pressure screenings and glucose and cholesterol checks, performed by the students at no cost. Both the students and the community enjoy this event and feel it strengthens the bond between the medical school and the citizens who need it most.
Tom Miskavige, MS-II
University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 2012