October 2012 Updates


On Wednesday, October 3, 2012, SCOMSA held its second meeting of the year. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link 2012.10.3 SCOMSA Minutes. On October 5, 2012, we held our annual Fall BBQ, and it was huge success with awesome fall weather!


Student Group Activities:

BUSM Historical Society


For the occasion of the Evans Memorial Medicine Department’s 100th Anniversary, Dr. Aram Chobanian, an expert in the study and treatment of hypertension and also a BUSM dean emeritus and a Boston University President emeritus, returned to the medical students to talk about the history of the medicine department and the medical school. The talk was very interesting and it was great to hear about the history of the hospital and the medical school from someone who had so much person experience with it. 

We at the BUSM Historical Society will be holding more talks in our speaker series throughout the year, so stay tuned!

BUSM Historical Society Event Photo



Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The SNMA celebrated this month by hosting a luncheon where the keynote speaker, Dr. Ortega, spoke about the history and migration of Latinos; and acknowledged those that had a significant impact on the face of medicine.



MedGLO had a lunch talk given by Professor Karen Warkentin, an Associate Professor of Biology at the Charles River Campus. She teaches a graduate course in Phenotypic Plasticity among others. Her talk was entitled, “Evolutionary history, developmental mechanisms, and the diversity of human sexuality.” She discussed the evolutionary background of sexuality in various organisms as well as the developmental mechanisms that might occur in an individual to give a biological and historical context of sexuality and gender in the human species.


Professor Vincent, a Boston University Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature, gave a talk entitled “What is Queer Theory and Why Should Medical Students Care?” The talk educated the BUSM community about the history of queer theory as well as explained the importance of gay history and culture in the context of the medical profession, specifically with safe sex education and AIDS awareness. The talk was well attended by students directly affiliated with MedGLO and ally students who are not active members of the club. The talk was open to the BUSM community and all students. Faculty members also attended.

Internal Medicine Interest Group


Dr. Felicia Patch came to speak about Internal Medicine as a specialty. Despite a last minute room change, the turnout was excellent with a large number of both first-years and second-years in attendance. Following a catered meal from Grill 705, students brought up many questions including life as a hospitalist, means of sub-specializing, tips for getting good recommendations in third-year, and in what cases one should consult a specialist. The event was a great success, and IMIG recruited many students for free student membership in the American College of Physicians (ACP) giving us a means of funding for other events this academic year. We are all very grateful to Dr. Patch for sharing with us her knowledge and insight.

Clinical Neuroscience Society


Dr. Sanford Auerbach speaks on REM sleep and its links to and effects on mood disorders, memory, dreams, parasomnias and neurodegenerative disorders. An insight into sleep research and REM sleep, the talk was informative and interesting, and well attended by student in both first and second years.

Otolaryngology Interest Group


On September 19, 2012, the Otolaryngology Interest Group (OIG) organized a lunch seminar to introduce medical students to the field of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery. Dr. Devaiah, an associate professor from the Department of Otolaryngology, was the guest speaker. Topics discussed included sub-specialties in the field, types of cases Dr. Devaiah sees, procedures he performs, and residency advice. 

This seminar was open to all medical students. OIG provided a delicious Italian lunch, and has plans to host several more exciting events throughout the year.



The AMA/MMS hosted a discussion of current issues in the health care system and potential solutions with fellow students to accompany the screening of the movie, Escape Fire, at BUSM. We hosted a dinner for all of the students who attended the event to discuss integral issues that we would all face as future physicians and as future patients. We attracted a wide audience and had a healthy discussion of what we as leaders in the healthcare field can do today that would create a better future for medicine through policy, leadership, and the day-to-day practice of medicine.



ACOG, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, held an event at the medical school where Dr. Sarita Sonalkar talked about OB/Gyn in general and about her specific experiences. She led an informal discussion where students asked her their questions. Pizza and soda were served.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group


On September 17, 2012 the Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) held its first event of the year: “Intro to Emergency Medicine with a panel discussion”. During this lunchtime event, students listened as practicing emergency physicians described the profession and their path from medical school. The panel members addressed the role of emergency medicine in the face of healthcare reform and detailed various career options in emergency medicine. Afterwards, panel members took questions from the audience over lunch. The speakers at this event were Drs. Lauren Nentwich, Andrew Ulrich, Brendan Magauran, Gina Lopez, and Ravi Murthi from the Emergency Department at Boston Medical Center, and approximately 30 first and second year medical students attended the event.

Global Health Equity Program


Dr. Kiran Martin, founder and director of the Asha Society (www.asha-india.org), inaugurated Boston University School of Medcine’s (BUSM) Global Health Speaker Series with an inspirational talk about her work in the slums of Delhi. On a sunny Friday afternoon, the room was packed with first and second year medical students, public health students, and faculty from across the Boston University Medical Campus. Dr. Martin shared her story how she started Asha as a pediatrician treating patients suffering from an outbreak of cholera in the slums of Delhi. The social inequities facing Dr. Martin’s patients were undeniable. She aptly summarized her drive to start Asha, “seeing your patients again and again with the same disease you have to do something! Or else what is all your medical education good for?” Dr. Martin refocused her medical career by becoming a communit! y organizer and advocate, and “gave hope to the people who need it most.” Dr. Martin described Asha’s successful programs spanning from women’s empowerment, prenatal care, education and financial inclusion, highlighting their unique partnership with India’s Minister of Finance. Students and faculty alike were inspired by Dr. Martin’s philosophy of human rights, and awed by her perseverance overcoming slum lords, social stigma and politics with an attitude of goodwill. After her talk, Dr. Martin spent time talking with eager global health and donated a copy of a report on Asha by the Nossal Institute For Global Health entitled “Asha: Hope and Transformation in the Slums of Delhi,” which can be found in the BUSM Office of Enrichment.


Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Andrew Platt


I attended the XXVIIIth International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference (IPNC) from Sept. 10-14 in Wurzburg, Germany. The meeting featured attendees from academic institutions across the globe, as well as major pharmaceutical companies invested in the development of vaccines to protect against Neisseria species. The conference centers on the study of the two major pathogenic species of Neisseria, N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae. While at the conference I presented research I performed in the lab of Dr. Lee Wetzler on the innate immune response to the N. meningitidis outer membrane protein PorB. Other presentations at the conference focused on gene regulation in the bacteria, on the performance of existing and new vaccines, on the spread of antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea, and on mediators of the adaptive immune response to Neisseria species.

Matthew Fleming


I presented, along with two fellow BU Biomedical Engineering graduates (BU BME 2010), our senior design project entitled “Design and Manufacture of a Robust Solar Powered Pulse Oximeter” at the 2012 World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Beijing, China on May 27th, 2012. The special session on undergraduate biomedical engineering projects was focused around the topic of improving health in developing countries and was chaired by Dr Herbert Voigt, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and Associate Research Professor of Otolaryngology at Boston University School of Medicine. We presented our design for a solar powered pulse oximeter that we hope will be used as part of a robust diagnostic ‘toolkit’ by community health workers in rural and underserved nations to help decrease the unacceptably high mortality due to pneumonia in ! children under 5 years. 

Matt Fleming Event Photo


Student Attendance at National Conferences:

Lauren Hart


I attended the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association portion of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Scientific Assembly in Denver (10/6-10/8). I was able to attend lectures on the field which included information about residencies and fellowships in emergency medicine. I was also able to attend the residency fair which had over 120 residency program representatives present.

Matt Nolan


Timmy Global Health is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that works to expand access to healthcare, while empowering student and medical volunteers to engage directly in global development and tackle global health challenges firsthand. In collaboration with its international and US partners, Timmy facilitates medical brigades and channels financial, medical, and human resources to community-based projects in the countries where it serves. 

The 2012 Timmy College Conference was a chance to bring together college students from across the country interested in global health and medicine in order to build connections and further education on global issues. It was truly inspiring to see the dedication, creativity, maturity, and leadership that these young people showed in their desire to make a difference both locally and internationally, and it was therefore an honor to have the chance to speak to them about my own international experiences working in Ecuador as well as my experience as a medical student.Matt Nolan Event Photo


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