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Although the Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) at Edward
Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) is one of the youngest
clubs on campus, it is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing
groups. In our short three-year history we have discovered that
many of our first year students do not fully understand what
internal medicine is and what this exciting field has to offer.
Therefore, we have made it our primary goal to both educate and
excite our student body about internal medicine.
Our club is sponsored by John M. Kauffman, Jr., DO, FACP, and
under his guidance the club leadership includes Jonathan H.
Smeltzer (President); Vignesh Rajan (Vice President); Amit Patel
(Vice President of Activities); Kristen Lynch (Vice President of
Information); Shay Ahmad (Secretary); and Mehdi Pourmorteza
(Treasurer). Membership of the IMIG at VCOM is primarily comprised
of first and second year medical students because the third and
fourth year students are off campus on rotations all over the
Appalachian region. Our club also includes a unique office in order
to better serve its members. Once a club president promotes to
third year and a new club president is elected, the past president
may become the IMIG Third Year Liaison. That office is currently
held by past club President Thamiris Palacios. The third and fourth
year liaisons make themselves available to the club members to
answer questions regarding rotations, board exams, the match and
residency. Our club liaisons provide a unique and fresh perspective
to educating our members.
Our club sponsors several events each year, but our biggest and
most popular event is called "Speed Dating Docs." For this event,
we invite physicians who either practice internal medicine or one
of its many subspecialties to join club members in a casual
environment and help students learn more about each of their
specialties. The students divide into groups of 5-8 and sit down
with one of the doctors. After a brief introduction to the field by
the physician, the students are free to ask the doctor any
questions about their career that they would like. Typical
questions include likes and dislikes, a typical day, schedule,
lifestyle, and why they chose their specific specialty. This format
has proven to be a great way for students to ask questions that
they would really like answered, but may have been too nervous to
ask in a traditional setting. After a few minutes with one of the
doctors, the group of students rotates to another doctor and starts
the process again, like speed dating. In the past two years we have
had participation from physicians representing fields of internal
medicine, hospital medicine, cardiology, nephrology, pulmonology,
endocrine, geriatrics, sleep medicine, allergy/immunology, and
palliative care, as well as internal medicine residents. This event
is one of the most anticipated events at VCOM for students and
With a school-wide commitment to "care for those in most need,"
VCOM has become known throughout the Appalachian region as the
"Missions Medical School." VCOM has school-sponsored clinics in El
Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic and sends groups of
faculty and students to these sites, as well as many others,
several times each year. In looking to the future, the IMIG started
fund-raising in March with the goal of sponsoring one of these
mission trips within the next year, and hopes to commit to
cosponsoring an international trip to a third world clinic
We would like to thank ACP for their generous sponsorship which
makes events like "Speed Dating Docs" possible. Also, I would like
to thank Dr. Kauffman for his amazing support and for constantly
working around the students' schedules to be there for of our
meetings and events. As we get ready to pass the torch to the next
set of club leaders, I know that the club is in great hands.
If you have any questions about the Edward Via College of
Osteopathic Medicine's Internal Medicine Interest Group, please
contact Jonathan H. Smeltzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 2010 Issue of IMpact
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