Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) was revitalized in 2009 after a hiatus of a few years when the group went inactive. Since 2009, the group has grown in size and popularity, starting off with only one officer in 2009. It now has four officers, as well as class representatives from each of the four classes at the UAMS College of Medicine. The officer positions include president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Officers and class representatives are elected by general election conducted via the UAMS e-mail listserver. This year, we have also added an appointed position for a community service coordinator, which will transition to being an elected position in the following years.
Our IMIG puts on activities that we hope will be beneficial to all of the classes at UAMS. We hold monthly lunch meetings where we invite physicians from internal medicine and its subspecialties to speak to anyone interested. These meetings regularly have an attendance of 60 to 75 students, and the attendees are generally students from the preclinical years. Recent speakers have included Dr. Robert Bradsher from the UAMS Division of Infectious Diseases; Dr. Robert Hopkins, director of the UAMS Med-Peds Residency Program and outgoing Arkansas ACP governor; Dr. Michael Saccente, the UAMS internal medicine residency program director; and Dr. John Williams, one of the UAMS internal medicine chief residents.
We also hold functions aimed specifically at students in the clinical years who are interested in internal medicine as a career. For the past two years, we have held dinners for seniors applying to medicine where they can speak with current internal medicine residents at UAMS to discuss issues regarding residency applications and interviews. At the end of the year, we hold a dinner where juniors considering internal medicine can speak with seniors who have matched into medicine to discuss issues regarding planning the senior year and applying to residency programs. This year, we have appointed a senior student as the community service coordinator with the goal of initiating community service projects sponsored by our IMIG.
Dr. Sara Tariq is our faculty advisor, and she works with the group's officers to help plan our meetings. She has also served as an advocate for our group when it comes to generating funding for our activities. She has been a vital resource to our group, and we couldn't do it without her! Each fall, the Arkansas Chapter of ACP holds a poster competition at UAMS. Our IMIG has worked to increase the number of students who submit and present posters at this competition. There are two separate categories for student posters: "Best Clinical Case Poster" and "Best Research Poster." The winners of these posters receive sponsorship to present their posters at the annual national ACP meeting.
We feel that internal medicine is gaining in popularity here at UAMS. Since the revitalization of our group three years ago, we have worked to increase the number of student members of ACP at our institution, as well as within our own IMIG. Last year, we had unprecedented interest from students wishing to be involved with our group. The officers and class representatives of our IMIG are passionate about internal medicine, and we work to share that passion with our classmates at every opportunity. We feel that the success of our interest group is due largely to the passion and dedication of our officers, class representatives, and faculty support!
Thomas Stewart Atkinson
UAMS, Class of 2012