Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: A. T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
In the short 18-month existence of the internal medicine interest group (IMIG) at A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), the students have had a great opportunity to gain invaluable exposure to internal medicine prior to their clinical years. At ATSU-SOMA, students have only one year on campus with the rest of their peers before they venture literally across the country from New York to Hawaii, or Alabama to Washington, to gain clinical experience in community health centers. Because of this, the leadership of the club, consisting of IMIG Liaison, President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Activities Chair, is provided mainly by first year medical students, with one upper-year student as the club's Chief Executive Office and mentor. This organization design allows for smoother transition, applicable guidance, and an early start to activities year-to-year. Along with the student leadership, the club has been graced with enthusiastic guidance by two faculty advisors who have an infectious passion for internal medicine.
Because the club consists mostly of first year medical students, the ATSU-SOMA IMIG is putting together an activities sequence throughout the year. This program of activities is designed to gradually introduce students to general internal medicine and further into the variety of opportunities available within the realm of internal medicine. The intent of the sequence is to give students an understanding of internal medicine to help guide them through the next three clinical years. The year starts with a wonderful presentation and question-answer session by the club advisors, which addresses what internal medicine is. Then the year progresses with presentations by subspecialists in various fields to gain exposure to the opportunities within internal medicine. Throughout the year, the club meets bi-monthly to discuss journal articles and further learn how to analyze and interpret journal articles. Also, the club meets outside of the walls of the school through such activities as volunteering at local free health clinics and even a marathon. Lastly, as the year winds up, the club arranges a residency panel consisting of interns and residents from a few of the internal medicine residencies in the Phoenix area to provide further guidance as to what comes ahead.