November 2012 Updates


On Wednesday, November 7, 2012, SCOMSA held its third meeting of the year. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link 2012.11.7 SCOMSA Minutes (2).

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, twenty-one BUSM students, ranging from first years to fourth, ventured out to Shelburne Farm in Stowe, MA for some autumnal fun. Students picked a variety of apples and pumpkins, while enjoying mulled cider and freshly baked cider donuts. It was a great opportunity for students to bond with each other and to make connections with students from different class years. This event was made possible by the generous support of OSA’s Wellness Program and SCOMSA.

Apple Picking 2012 - 2

Apple Picking 2012 - 6_______________________________________________________________________________________

Student Group Activities:



Dr. Feinberg will be giving an introductory talk about the field of ophthalmology to first- and second-year medical students. He will speak particularly to how to spend the summer between first and second year if ophtho is a career consideration. Additionally, he will introduce other options to learn more about the field of ophthalmology (such as shadowing experiences, research, etc.)



Dr. Deborah Bershel came to give a personal account of her transition from male to female while also practicing family medicine in Sommerville. She provided an introduction to transgender health care that included a way to conceptualize gender as well as the protocols for standard of care. Dr. Bershel also discussed the need for empathy and the way one can show it in interviewing patients.

Student Oncology Society


The Student Oncology Society is sponsoring a catered lunch panel next Tuesday, October 23rd, from 11am-12pm, in room R-103. 

The panel will consist of a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, and surgical oncologist. Each individual physician will be able to shed light on the varying aspects of the different oncology specialties in terms of preparation during medical school, residency selection, and career path. Students will be encouraged to ask questions and will gain a more informed perspective of the divisions within the field of oncology.

Medicine and Public Health Association


The Medicine and Public Health Association Introductory Meeting started off with an icebreaker activity to help attending SPH and medical students get to know each other and to get to know what health meant to them as future practitioners of differing but intimately related professions.

Student Nutrition Awareness and Action Council


SNAAC presented the first of a lecture dinner series on “Socioeconomic Issues in Nutrition.” Dr. Alan Meyers, a Professor of Pediatrics at BUSM, discussed the ramifications of food policy, food advertising, and how it applies to the patient population in Boston. He is a primary care pediatrician at BMC and attends in the Nutrition and Fitness for Life clinic, BMC’s weight management program for children and youth. This lecture is part of an annual joint lecture series organized by the Boston Medical Student Committee on Nutrition (BMSCoN), which consists of nutrition medical student interest groups from Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School. 


Family Medicine Interest Group


As part of National Primary Care Week, the Family Medicine Interest Group hosted a discussion about the Patient Centered Medical Home and what it means for the future of primary care. Led by family medicine physician and BUSM faculty member John Wiecha, students learned about what a PCMH entails and how this model of care can better serve patients. This event was attended by over 30 first and second years, and the enthusiasm and energy the students showed for primary care was a wonderful way to wrap up National Primary Care Week. Through our future events, we would like to ensure that the conversation about primary care continues throughout the year . 

Global Health Equity Program


For the second installment of the Global Health Equity Program’s Speaker Series, Dr. Heidi Behforouz was invited to speak. Dr. Behforouz is the director of Partners In Health’s (PIH) Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment (PACT) program. Her talk explored PACT’s findings that well-supported and well-integrated community health workers enable care teams to improve their patients’ health outcomes and reduce expenditures on healthcare. Thirty individuals from the medical school, the school of public health, and the BMC staff attended this talk.

Internal Medicine Interest Group


As a part of primary care week, IMIG hosted an informational session on Med-Peds. Med-Peds physicians were invited to speak about their experiences in the field and how the field is different from a categorical internal medicine and pediatrics training. The event was concluded with a Q&A session where students were able to ask questions about residencies and career opportunities in the field.

American Medical Women’s Assoication


Boston University School of Medicine’s American Medical Women’s Association chapter held a National AMWA Nosh event on Tuesday, October 9th at 5:30pm. 

AMWA National Student President, Linda Wang, an M3 Harvard University MD, MBA candidate, gave an overview presentation on the American Medical Women’s Association. Linda described the many ways students can get involved in AMWA activities at the local, state, and national levels. She also covered the numerous benefits of becoming a national member, which include networking and leadership opportunities, scholarships, global health programs, test prep discounts, and giveaways!

Several first and second year medical students in attendance registered at the end of the meeting to become National AMWA members!

This event was sponsored by National AMWA, SCOMSA, and catered by Viga Italian Eatery.

American Geriatric Society


On Oct. 9, the student geriatrics interest group hosted a lunch to discuss Elder Abuse. Clare Wohlgemuth RN, GCNS-BC, who is the director of nursing for the geriatrics section spoke on identifying elder abuse, the various forms of abuse(verbal, emotional, psychological), neglect and related consequences as it relates to abuse, detection of abuse, and treatment of elders who have been abused. She had some very interesting, specific examples from her experiences in home health care in Boston. There were 16 students in attendance and based on evaluations given afterwards, all were very impressed by the lunch quantity and the speakers’ presentation. 

We hope this talk will benefit students in their awareness of the topic and hopefully influence their clinical practice with the elderly in the future.

BU Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter


Dr. Leigh Simmons, an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Physician Fellow at the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation joined 55 BUSM students for a discussion of how shared decision making in a clinical setting can improve health outcomes. She spoke to benefits of a patient centered approach and led an interactive exercise in shared decision making.

BUSM Historical Society


On Friday, September 28, South End historian Alison Barnet took a group of 15 on the BUSMHS’s 2nd Annual Historical Campus Tour. Alison discussed the origins and development of Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals. Stops on the tour included the sites of the original City Hospital buildings, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and the old St. James Hotel. We will repeat the event next fall.


Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Divya Ahuja


The AMA held it’s interim meeting November 8th – November 12th. I had the wonderful opportunity to present my research at the 10th Annual AMA Research Symposium. I learned about research conducted by fellow medical students in a many different fields such as cancer biology, neuroscience, and public health and epidemiology. I also shared my own research on cancer disparities at BMC with numerous medical students and physicians who were very interested in our work. It was an exciting opportunity to learn from and network with students and physicians from medical schools nationwide. 

Manasa Kanneganti


This event was the research symposium part of the AMA/MSS conference. I was able to go to the conference and present the research that I had done in the GI department of Boston University School of Medicine for the past year and a half. There were many other residents and medical students presenting other research projects. In addition, there were many other interesting speakers about health policy and other relevant medical topics.

Peter Hoang


The annual meeting of the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology (ASHNR) is a meeting to showcase current research in Neuroradiology and also provided current up to date advances in the field of Neuroradiology. This year’s meeting took place in Miami, FL. Research presentations, poster sessions, and lecture series were a part of this 5 day meeting. During this meeting, I displayed my poster on my Osteogenesis Imperfecta research conducted during the summer in the department of Neuroradiology at BMC as part of the MSSRP. I also attended the research presentations and the lecture series. This meeting is great for those currently involved in the field of Neuroradiology as well as students interested in the field. 


Student Attendance at National Conferences:

Medical Students for Choice


Five second-year students attended the Medical Students for Choice Conference on Family Planning this past weekend, November 9-10, 2012, in St. Louis, MO. There was a fabulous keynote address by Dr. Joseph Speidel, MD MPH on the world population problem and the necessary role for abortion as well as family planning. Afterwards, we attended smaller sessions on issues such as barriers to birth control, global advocacy for reproductive health, techniques of surgical abortion, and men’s perspectives on partner’s abortions. One of the most popular features of this conference is always the panels of abortion providers where students can ask specific questions of those physicians that choose to perform this necessary, wanted, but highly contentious service in various ways. Throughout the conference students enjoyed being surrounded by other pro-choice individuals, which al! lowed us to investigate issues with nuance and depth in a supportive environment. It was also an excellent opportunity to connect with medical and nursing students, as well as residency directors and physicians from across the country (and in several cases, around the world) and to learn about further opportunities to pursue a career in reproductive health care.

Jason Leung


Annual combined meeting of Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) scheduled from Oct. 17-21 in San Diego, CA. IDWeek is a recognized forum for peer-reviewed presentations of new research on scientific advances and bench-to-bedside approaches in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiology of infectious diseases, including HIV, across the lifespan. 

Alexander Lankowski


This past weekend I attended the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual conference in San Diego, California. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to stay apprised of the latest research and guidelines in the field of infectious diseases. One highlight of the symposium was a talk by Myron Cohen, senior author of the HIV “treatment as prevention” paper that was voted by Science magazine as the most influential science publication of 2011. Dr. Cohen spoke with optimism about the role of different prevention stategies for curbing the HIV pandemic. Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet administrators from the National School of Tropical Medical at Baylor College of Medicine (where I am scheduled to interview next month for the Med/Peds residency) to learn more about how residents can get involved in research and other training opportunities at their ins! titution. Overall, this was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the field that I plan to enter, as well as make some new contact with individuals who may be future research collaborators and colleagues.

Nirav Bhavsar


Anesthesiology 2012, the annual meeting organized by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, took place from October 12th to October 17th, 2012 in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The venue was the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, DC. The Convention Center was beautiful and massive and able to accommodate the vast number of attendees, exhibits, and presentations. The attendees included a mix of anesthesiologists, fellows, residents, medical students, researchers, and industry vendors. 

Most of the sessions and events targeted for medical student attendees took place starting Friday evening up until Sunday. Student presenters usually stayed longer during the week for poster presentations.

Friday evening, there was a Medical Student and Resident welcoming reception and mixer. The organizers provided drinks and snacks while we were able to mix and mingle among our peers. It was a wonderful event for ‘breaking the ice’ with fellow attendees at or near the same level as us medical students.

Saturday involved a Medical Student Delegate meeting where they held an election for the new officers and discussed relevant issues among medical students pursuing a career in anesthesiology. We were given presentations by multiple anesthesiologists ranging from grassroots involvement in policy to information regarding new combined-residency programs. As a fourth year medical student, the talk about “What Program Directors Look For” session was the most helpful. Dr. Lee from UC San Diego gave a wonderful honest talk about that. The evening on Saturday included one of the best events for medical students: The Meet & Greet with Program Directors and Residents. Approximately 75% of the anesthesiology residency programs were represented. They set up multiple booths around in a large conference hall. It was almost like residency program speed-dating. Programs brought cupcakes, candy, and other goodies to lure the medical students in so we could learn about their program. We had t! he opportunity to speak with the program directors as well as representative residents of the programs. The setting was quite informal and friendly without any intimidation, especially for us fourth year medical students. The forum was very casual and eye-opening. It was wonderful to meet face to face with many program directors that might have corresponded with us via e-mail or phone calls during the residency application process.

Sunday morning involved medical student workshops hosted by the Georgetown University and George Washington University Anesthesiology departments. I attended the workshop at Georgetown University with 25 other fellow medical students. The workshop was titled Regional Anesthesia and Airway Management. The workshop started with the program director introducing us to their residency program and then giving us a brief overview of the workshop. We then broke up into 7 groups to 7 different stations. The stations were run by the program director, the chief of anesthesiology, and multiple residents and volunteer students. The stations were set up so we could learn to use and perform techniques such as intubation, ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, fiberoptic laryngoscopy, as well as work with various different intubation tools. It was a wonderful experience.

The rest of the conference involved various sessions and poster presentations. I attended a session on Sunday afternoon titled “Electronic Revolution in Learning Anesthesia in the 21st Century”. Then I attended a session on Monday morning titled “Leadership in Information Technology for Anesthesiologists”. They were excellent sessions in subjects I am interested in. I also took some time to walk around the vendor exhibit halls where I had the opportunity to see many new things the industry is working on to improve technology and workflow in the field.

Overall, the weekend was full of fun and learning. It was a well spent weekend constantly engaged with new people, unlimited learning, and helpful advice. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone interested in anesthesiology

Jamie Sparling


I’m so grateful to SCOMSA for the funding that allowed me to attend Anesthesiology 2012/Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). I was able to attend all of the activities of the Medical Student Component (MSC), including talks about the future of Anesthesiology, a resident panel, a program on what program directors are looking for in applicants, and learn about research opportunities funded by the ASA Patient Safety Foundation. During our meetings, I was elected to the national Governing Council of the Medical Student Component (MSC). I also attended a meet & greet with residents and program directors from programs all over the country, which was a wonderful opportunity to get to learn a bit about the programs themselves and inform my choice of where to apply next year. I attended number of talks and events aimed at the larger ASA audience! , as well, including a Pro-Con debate on whether to mask ventilate prior to administering neuromuscular blocking agents, which was really information. I also learned a lot through the opening session where political commentators discussed the implications of the upcoming presidential election on the future of healthcare in our country, as well as in the patient safety lecture which was given by the former administrator of the CMS. All in all, it was an exceptional conference, and I learned a lot! I’m looking forward to next year’s event already, and again, I’m very thankful to SCOMSA for the opportunity to attend.

Faris Azar


I attended the American College of Surgeons annual clinical congress in Chicago. The program began on September 29th and ran until October 4th. A medical student meeting for members of the ACS and nonmembers was held from the Sunday, September 30th, until Tuesday, October 2nd. The medical student sessions were helpful for medical students of all years. For example, first through third years were able to sit in on discussions related to life as a surgeon and different ways of getting into certain subspecialties. Fourth year students who applied to surgery were able to attend mock interview sessions, a program on professional dress, and a reception to meet with numerous surgical residency program directors. About 10,000 surgeons attended the clinical congress, which had many lectures by experts in various fields of surgery; these lectures were also great opportunities to ! meet faculty of surgical residencies in which a fourth year student may be interested. Finally, there were many companies on site that were advertising surgical equipment, from biological mesh to surgeon-controlled robots. Students had the opportunity to explore and were given the chance to learn laparoscopic techniques, to use various surgical instruments, and to test the robot on a practice setup. All in all, a great experience with plenty of chances to learn and network for medical students of all years who are interested in surgery.
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