Spring 2013 Updates


On March 20 and April 10, SCOMSA held its last two meetings of the spring semester in the Dean’s Conference room. The minutes from the meetings are included in the following links: 2013.3.20 SCOMSA Minutes and 2013.4.10 SCOMSA Minutes.


Student Group Activities:

Latino Medical Student Association


We have bought a small selection of medical Spanish books which we intend to lend out to members over the summer. Once those books come back to us we will keep lending them out as needed. We are also going to look through the books to flesh out a more concrete Spanish curriculum that can help us with Spanish tables next year.

OSIG (Orthopedic Student Interest Group)


The Orthopedic Student Interest Group (OSIG) held an informative meeting with three of BMC’s current resident orthopedic surgeons to discuss pathway’s into the field, current research opportunities, and the role and future of women in the field. Drs Lindsay, Bogdan, and Cooke spoke regarding their personal experiences and the expected trajectory of orthopedic practice in the future. The meeting was lead by OSIG chairs David Matherly and Florencia Rojas and a light breakfast was served. 20 first year students were in attendance.

CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association)


The Christian Medical and Dental Association held a Christian Cultural Awareness Social on Wednesday, May 1st. This event aimed to provided an opportunity for all BUSM students to get to know one another and to learn from each other. Multiple faculty spoke about their experiences regarding how their faith informed their work and their care for patients as well as how the patients’ faith affected the doctor-patient interaction. Afterwards, small groups were formed to discuss each attendee’s thoughts about what was discussed as well as whether they thought faith had a role in medicine. This event was a great way to meet Christian colleagues in order to gain an improved understanding of their life view and allowed everyone to get to know one another better and to share their experiences. We believe that this event will foster greater cultural awareness and improve future interactions with Christian colleagues and patients.

GHEP (Global Health Equity Program)


On April 29, 2013, the Global Health Equity Program and the Iranian Health Care Students Association welcomed Dr. Kamiar Alaei to the Boston University Medical Campus to speak about his award-winning work with HIV/AIDS in Iran. In 2008, he and his brother, Dr. Arash Alaei, were arrested and held as political prisoners in Iran for their efforts. Physicians for Human Rights and others organized a letter writing campaign in their support, which garnered considerable international attention. Both brothers were finally freed in November 2011, and they have since been recognized and honored for their courage, dedication, and leadership. Dr. Alaei shared his story with medical, public health, and dental students at this well-attended talk. 

This event was part of the Global Health Equity Program’s Speaker Series, which seeks to bring innovative speakers to BUSM as a way to promote student interest and involvement in global health equity.


As a fourth year medical student, Ashish Premkumar recently completed an away rotation at Lebanese American University in Social Medicine. With an interest in the intersections of reproductive health, medical anthropology, and social justice, he spoke about his personal experiences working with refugees from a clinical and research perspective. He discussed how criticism leveled against humanitarianism should be incorporated into medical education in these setting and how students can be an active part of this process.



BUSM’s AMA/MMS organization is very active in community events and legislation on a national level. On Friday, April 26th the group finalized plans to participate in the annual Boston Health Fair at the YMCA in Chinatown. Additionally, they selected student representatives to attend the national AMA conference in Chicago held this summer. Speakers included Eri Verter, on the volunteer events during the Health Fair, and Sawyer Emmer, on the organization of the Chicago meeting. Roughly 30 students attended and were fed Anna’s Taqueria. Afterwards, the group hosted an informal gathering at a local Boston pub.

Medicine & Public Health Association


The 2nd Annual MPHA Symposium revolved around the pertinent issue of gun control and the various public health approaches to addressing gun control in the United States. The four speakers were Dr. Michael Siegel, professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at BUSPH, Dr. Leonard Glantz, professor of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights and Associate Dean Emeritus of Academic Affairs at BUSPH, Dr. Terrence Keane, Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at VA Boston Healthcare System, and Dr. Peter Stringham from the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. 

Dr. Siegel spoke about his venture into gun control research due to the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook, Connecticut. He explained his study to determine the relationship between state gun ownership in the prevalence of homicide. His study, which found a moderate positive association between the two, is the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind done in the past 20 years. Dr. Glantz spoke on the legal issues surrounding gun control laws and how the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association) has historically made it difficult, and in some cases impossible, not only to pass gun control laws, but also to conduct research on the matter. Dr. Keane spoke about his career working with patients with PTSD and how addressing PTSD will be necessary to curbing the rate of gun related homicides in this country. Finally, Dr. Stringham spoke about his work addressing youth violence in East Boston and how an approach that strives to end the “cycle of vio! lence”, as well as enact stronger gun control laws, is necessary to successfully address the issue of gun control and gun-related homicide in the United States.


Disability: Detection? Prevention? Accomodation? Where Should We Spend Our Healthcare Dollars? 

This talk was given by Dr. Steven Ralston, MD, MPH, Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Ralston, a recent graduate (SPH ’11) of the BU School of Public Health, spoke mainly about the public health approach to screening for Down’s Syndrome. He began by discussing the historical evolution of Down’s Syndrome screening and then outlined currently available, and developing, tests that are more sensitive and specific. He then discussed at length the medical, ethical, and financial issues and implications surrounding these new prenatal technologies.

Dr. Ralston also spoke about his work at Beth Israel and his role as the director of the MFM department there.



MedGLO had a great turnout for our screening of the Oscar-nominated AIDS documentary “How to Survive a Plague.” Despite the late hour, many stayed behind after the film was over for an engaging panel discussion featuring three alumni of ACT UP, the AIDS organization the film focuses on, along with Drs. Deborah Cotton and Sharon Levine, two BMC physicians with enormous insight into the history of AIDS patient care and research. The panel discussion was lively and wide-ranging, covering everything from the very earliest days of the epidemic to the current challenges facing AIDS research and the gay community. Many lingered behind to chat with the panelists afterwards — it was a great event!


The LGBT Health Student Symposium (2013, April 5th-7th) is an annual event for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and allied students from across the United States. The 2013 LGBT Health Student Symposium showcased a dynamic line-up of speakers, including a charismatic opening speech by Councilmember John J. Duran, JD, who is one of the first HIV-positive and openly gay elected officials in the U.S.; Director of Health & Aging of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Shane Snowdon, MA, who gave us insightful pointers on how to make a difference as medical students; Director of the Transgender Health Program at LAGLC and an expert in Transgender healthcare, Madeline Deutsch, MD , who elucidated the many concerns and disparities in caring for transgender patients; and Mark Katz, MD, who closed the symposium with his vibrant speech on the past, present and f! uture of LGBT and LGBT health. In addition to the speakers, a variety of small-group workshops allowed more personal and in-depths conversations that facilitated our learning and networking. Overall, the fourth annual LGBT Health Student Symposium, which was held on the West Coast for the first time, was an educational, inspiring and gay experience. 



ACOG hosted a congratulatory dinner for 4th year Ob/GYN medical students who matched this year. There was a great representation of the 4th year Ob/GYN students who shared their experiences with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year medical students in a panel-led discussion, guided by Dr. Abbott and Dr. Sonalkar.

Family Medicine Interest Group


FMIG had a great turnout for our April 23rd national conference informational event. As attendees enjoyed the pizza we served, we discussed plans for the 2013 American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference in Kansas City, Mo., going over key events, networking opportunities, and chances to receive scholarships. A fourth year who had attended past conferences then reflected on her experiences.


The Family Medicine Interest Group held an informational panel open to first, second, and third year students to learn more about family medicine and general tips for how to be a competitive residency applicant. Dr. Hoffman, a family medicine attending and BUMC faculty member spoke about her journey to family medicine and how family practice has evolved in the northeast. Two family medicine residents also spoke about what makes a competitive family medicine applicant and how to plan third and fourth year schedules accordingly. Additionally, students learned about what being a family medicine physician entails and how to balance work and lifestyle. 

Additionally, we congratulated two fourth year students who recently matched in family medicine. They shared their perspectives on the matching process, how they chose family medicine, and advice for current BUSM students who think they might be interested in pursuing family medicine.

Over 50 students from three classes attended this event. It was a great success and a wonderful way to connect students interested in family medicine!

Plastic Surgery Interest Group


On Monday evening in April, 24 BUSM students and an alumni affairs staff member set out to hone their skills of observation through the practice of “life-study” i.e. drawing from a model. This was an opportunity for medical students to carefully observe and internalize the human form in a way that they are not able to in clinic. The hope is that in training the eye through art, we as physicians-in-training can become better observers in the clinic and thus better care-givers to our patients. The drawing class also provided an opportunity for training not found in the traditional medical curriculum, which was much appreciated by students, as well a relaxing activity and I chance for creative expression. 

The event was funded through the Plastic Surgery Interest Group and was organized with the help of the Arts Outreach Initiative between the College of Fine Arts and BUMC.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group


On April 11, the Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) held a residency match panel to promote interest in Emergency Medicine and a better understanding of the EM match process. Panel participants included an attending physician and six 4th-year students who recently matched in EM. To kick off the event, Dr. Atema, an attending in the BMC ED and one of the EMIG faculty advisors, spoke for twenty minutes from the perspective of someone involved with resident selection. She offered students insight into the application and interview processes, as well as advice on how to become a strong applicant beginning in the pre-clinical years. Following Dr. Atema’s presentation, the 4th years fielded questions about topics ranging from what is special about EM to residency selection to finding an away rotation. The event was very well attended, with about 40 pre-clinical stu! dents and a handful of 3rd years in attendance. The six 4th-year panel participants spoke with enthusiastic students for over an hour, staying well past the event’s scheduled end time due to interest. Lunch was served. 

EMIG hosts numerous events throughout the school year, including suture and EKG workshops. Interested students can contactemigatbu@gmail.com with any EM-related questions or to join the mailing list.

Dermatology Interest Group


The Dermatology Interest Group held a lunch panel on April 11th titled “Careers in Dermatology and Getting into a Competitive Residency”. The panel consisted of four members (3 of whom are current BUSM students and 1 who is a BU dermatology resident). The panel answered questions about how to prepare for a competitive residency in general, dermatology residency specifically, and the multiple career interests in the field of dermatology. The vast majority of attendees were first and second year medical students. Students asked the panel about what got them interested in dermatology and what they need to do in order to get accepted into a competitive specialty. Students who are and are not specifically interested in dermatology attended and found the panel to be quite helpful and informative.

Women’s Health Initiative


The WIC Program: A Personal Story 

The event began with a brief educational segment about the WIC program, including how it works, which resources it provides, and how a WIC consult would operate. This was followed by a presentation by a BUSM medical student about her personal experience with WIC. Her primary care physician failed to identify her as someone who could benefit from the program, so she is passionate about teaching her peers about the doctor’s role in the referral process as well as the huge impact it can have on patients’ abilities to provide for their children! She elucidated the experience of juggling medical school with raising her child and the integral role WIC played in this process. This experience gave students insight into this program, which 53% of American children benefit from.

CNS (Clinical Neuroscience Society)


CNS hosted an exclusive show for BUSM performed by the world renowned magician, George Sateriel, the world’s only winner of 2 gold medals in magic and BU’s own, Dr. Peter Bergethon, who performed (and revealed the secrets to) illusions of his own using neuroscience. 

Seventy five students form the medical school and depatrment of Anatomy and Neurobiology were in attendance.


Dr. Seth Elkin-Frankston ave a talk about the principles of transcranial magnetic stimulation accompanied with a demo. 

There were 40 students in attendance.

American Geriatric Society & Family Medicine Interest Group


Breaking bad news to patients and their families is one of a physician’s most difficult duties; however, medical education typically gives little formal preparation for this daunting task. Without proper training, the discomfort and uncertainty associated with breaking bad news may lead physicians to emotionally disengage from patients. Dr. Joanne Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health Sciences, spoke about how to break bad news to patients–especially the elderly and their families. She discussed the differences between diagnostic news and terminal news and how to approach different situations. She also gave specific strategies and examples that were insightful to students. Students were able to ask her questions and were very grateful for the experience.

CNS (Clinical Neuroscience Society)


The BUSM Historical Society hosted a lunch talk on April 2, 2013. We had the pleasure of having Dr. Jonathan Smith, Chair of the Department of International Health at BUSPH, as the guest speaker. The talk was regarding the history of pubic health and medicine in Boston. He spoke about many famous Bostonians and landmarks, including Paul Revere, Boylston, and the Harbor Islands. We had approximately 35 attendees for this event.



Fourth year BUSM students who matched in pediatrics (Kerin Arora – UCSF, Gabriela Vargas – Brown, Tanya Donahou – Yale) shared their experiences in the residency match process. They discussed their personal reasons for choosing pediatrics, considerations they made when choosing residency programs, and how their experiences in medical school shaped their decisions. A group of 35 students ranging from first through third years posed questions to the panel. “What do residency programs look for and how did you stand out?” “What made you choose pediatrics?” “What is the Med-Peds program designed for?” “How did you schedule your third and fourth year?” The panel of fourth year students offered their contact information and emphasized the use of mentors.

Medicine and Business Association


On April 1, 2013, Dr. John McCarthy gave a talk on “Non-Traditional Career Paths in Medicine.” This talk highlighted various career paths ranging from research to consulting and entrepreneurship. Dr. McCarthy, who has extensive background in bioinformatics, biotechnology, and consulting, described his own career path and the use of his MPH and MBA. 

Medical Students for Choice


MSFC held a film screening of “Motherhood by Choice, Not Chance.”  The film is a compilation of clips from the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning film series, CHOICE: From the Back-Alleys to the Supreme Court & Beyond.  The documentary included personal stories and insight from various points of view regarding abortion, as well as its history of challenges and triumphs in the United States.  The event was led by MSFC’s co-chairs, Vivian Chu and Katherine Januszewicz, with approximately 20 first year students in attendance.  A pizza lunch was served. 



The BU IHI Open School Chapter hosted a very successful panel discussion on Wednesday, March 27. With about thirty-five students in attendance, Open School Academic Advisor Dr. James Moses moderated a wide-ranging conversation about the current state of quality improvement research here at Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine. The conversation captured the impressive scope of research being conducted on campus: Dr. Jodi Abbot spoke about her research on high-risk pregnancies and reducing premature births and infant mortality, Dr. Michael Ieong about his efforts to combat infections in the hospital’s intensive care units, Prof. Gouri Gupte about her experience teaching QI methods at the School of Public Health, and third year medical student Jonathan Lichkus about his MPH research on a local community health center’s suboxone program. Th! e casual format allowed the participants to speak candidly about the highs, lows, and unexpected turns — both welcome and unwelcome — that they have encountered as researchers. The panel wrapped up with productive questions from the medical, public health, and management students in attendance, followed by more information over seconds of the pizza and salad that SCOMSA and the IHI Open School so generously helped fund. 

Student Oncology Society


On March 18, the Student Oncology Society, with the support of SCOMSA and the BU Alumni Association, held a Palliative Care Panel luncheon. Four speakers from BMC lent their perspectives on the issue of palliative care, including: Anne Carr, RN, MSN, GNP-BC, Clinical Service Manager, Palliative Care Consult Service; Samuel Lowe, M.Div., Ph.D., Staff Chaplain; Matt Russell, MD, MSc, Physician, Geriatrics/Palliative Care; and Amanda Wright, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker, Care Management Department. The panelists described their specific roles within the Palliative Care team and provided insight into how we, as future physicians, can help our patients through serious illness and end of life care. Specifically, we discussed the components and intricacies of the family meeting and the complexities involved in identifying a health care proxy and signing a DNR. Approximately 50 students attended.



Doctors for Global Health promotes health, education, art, and other human rights throughout the world. Dr. Lanny Smith is the founding president of Doctors for Global Health, and is Global Community Health Advisor in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Medical Deaconess Medical Center. After working in El Salvador, he recognized the need for an organization like Doctors for Global Health and pioneered the concept of Liberation Medicine, which focuses on the use of health to promote social justice and human dignity. 

In a talk organized by the Global Health Equity Program at BUSM, Dr. Smith spoke to students from all different schools (public health, medicine, dental) about the work the DGH has done in Latin America and how Liberation Medicine has shaped their work. He has contributed to raising student awareness about the structural forces that often contribute the health of the certain populations and provided students with possible outlets to pursue advocacy in social justice and health equity.

Internal Medicine Interest Group


On Wednesday, March 20th, the Internal Medicine Interest Group hosted a lunch panel with five current fourth year students at BUSM who recently matched in Internal Medicine residencies, including programs at Wake Forest, Massachusetts General Hospital, New York Presbyterian, Exempla Saint Joseph, and Mayo Clinic. They shared their reasons for applying internal medicine and their experiences with residency interviews, and answered questions about the process. Also present was Dr. Yadavalli, the Director of BUSM’s Internal Medicine Program, and he provided valuable insight into what makes a competitive applicant.

American Geriatric Society & Psychiatry Interest Group


On Wed. March 13, 2013, American Geriatric Society and the Psychiatry Student Interest group co-hosted a lunch-panel of physicians who spoke about the implications of Mental Health & how it affects the elderly. There were 24 students in attendance. 

The panelists included 2 physicians from BMC: Dr.Isidore Berenbaum and Dr. Margot Phillips. Also, there were two geropsychiatry fellows from Brown University, Dr. Stephanie Hill and Dr. Lauren Mercer, and the director of the geropsychiatry program at Brown, Dr. Robert Kohn.

The panelists fielded questions from BUSM students regarding the declining use of anti-psychotics, family involvement in geropsychiatry, cultural differences when dealing with an elderly population, psychiatry in nursing homes, and quality of life in patients with psychosis or dementia. Many of the students noted that this was their first experience with the subspeciality of Geropsychiatry. We hope that students will begin to see the need for competence in Geriatrics and Psychiatry because major problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and dementia overlap in many other areas of Medicine. It was a thought-provoking and informative experience and the students felt fortunate to have many perspectives to answer their questions.

Global Health Equity Program


Global Health Spanish Immersion Program – Puerto Escondido, Mexico 

Ten BUSM students are pairing up with Child Family Health International and traveling to the coast of Mexico to enhance their existing Spanish proficiency and gain advanced clinical experience! This is one of the first abroad experiences at BUSM that pairs both first and fourth year students and is bound to cultivate BUSM camaraderie while developing our presence as Global Health Providers.

Ob/Gyn Department


Last week (Feb 26-March 1), accompanied by Drs Abbott, Gittinger, Sia, and Mazul, our fabulous chief residents Chris Curry and Pooja Mehta, and our tireless clerkship and residency coordinators Makeba Kent and Megan Barnes, I attended the CREOG/APGO yearly conference. Much to my February-slump delight, the conference was held this year in beautiful/warm/SUNNY Phoenix, AZ. As some of the ob/gyn inclined among us may know, CREOG/APGO are the educational associations in ob/gyn who develop graduate and undergraduate curricula, residency training guidelines, and essentially work to enhance learning in the field of ob/gyn. I was lucky enough to have my abstract regarding curriculum I had designed for the M3 clerkship chosen for a poster presentation at the conference. From beginning to end this was a fantastic experience, particularly having recently submitted my rank list an! d having that stress behind me. The talks I chose to attend while not standing by my poster were largely focused on advocacy in ob/gyn and specifically the role we as educators play as advocates for our patients. As someone just on the brink of residency, it was inspiring and incredibly motivating to listen to some of these brilliant speakers. So even though my poster did not win an award, still a fantastic experience that I hope some of our upcoming future ob/gyns will be able to enjoy as well!

Otolaryngology Interest Group


On February 20, 2013, the Otolaryngology Interest Group (OIG@bu.edu) held a great lunch seminar open to all BUSM students. Dr. Devaiah, an associate professor from the Department of Otolaryngology, presented a patient case at the seminar. Specifically, Dr. Devaiah presented a clinical vignette, MRI images, and nasal endoscopy videos, which led us to the diagnosis of Kartagener’s Syndrome. We had a strong turnout at the event, and students enjoyed a delicious lunch from Flour Bakery.

Unite for Sight


The Boston University Medical Campus chapter of Unite For Sight and the Ophthalmology Interest Group hosted a guest speaker event led by Dr. Stephen Christiansen, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Christiansen spoke about his local work as an ophthalmologist and about his groundbreaking international work in Rwanda. His talk, entitled “Preventable Blindness in Rwanda – A New Strategy”, described how his team is working to send ophthalmologists and provide cataract surgery training in Rwanda. Dr. Christiansen focused on what it takes to bring international aid to another country and how the process works. Unite for Sight is a 501(c)(3) non-profit global health delivery organization that empowers communities worldwide to improve eye health and eliminate preventable blindness. Our chapter here at the Boston University Medical Campus involves s! tudents from GMS, MED, and SPH in both community and global health initiatives, with an emphasis on the field of ophthalmic care.

BUDDS (Boston University Developmental Disabilities Awareness Group)


At this talk Dr. Florez discussed his work as a part of the Mass General Hospital Down Syndrome Program. He went into detail about his role as a part of a multidisciplinary team of providers caring for people with Down syndrome of all ages. 

He then discussed his role as the older brother of a sister with Down Syndrome and his family’s navigation of the healthcare system throughout his sisters’ life.


The BU Developmental Disabilities Awareness student group (BUDDs) hosted a lunch talk on Wednesday, January 30th from 12-1pm in Room L-203. 

The speaker was Dr. Sharon O’Brien, a pediatric cardiologist, who gave a presentation on Common Cardiac Disorders in Children with Developmental Disabilities to a room full of interested first and second years.



Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Megan O’Brien


I have been partaking in research in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Boston and our abstract, “The Effect of an Evidence Based Guideline on Rates of Diagnostic Testing in Pediatric Syncope” was selected as one of the premier abstracts for the conference. I was able to present my poster at the “Gallery of Excellence” and gave a 10 minute talk on the research and our conclusions in a session on pediatric decision tools in the emergency department. I also was nominated for the Medical Student award and submitted an manuscript in order to qualify. It was a lively and exciting conference with an abundance of information and talks and was a fantastic experience!

Ujas Parikh


I was very fortunate to have completed Interventional Radiology research with Dr. Warren Swee and Dr. William Julien at South Florida Vascular Assoc. that ultimately culminated in a research abstract and future manuscript on the acute complications of arterial procedures done in an endovascular lab setting. I presented my research at the 38th Annual Society of Interventional Radiology Scientific Meeting in New Orleans on May 14th in the form of a poster reception. I was able to attend a dinner conference for residents-in-training and medical students, and learn about the history and applications of IR, all the while meeting some incredible and influential physicians and residents. 


Xu Xu


I attended the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 61st Annual Clinical Meeting (ACM) in New Orleans, LA at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from May 5-7. I was presenting a research poster of research done at BMC/BUSM’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. My research is titled, “Decreasing Surgical Site Infection (SSI) after Hysterectomy: Does Broader Anaerobic Coverage Help?” Other authors of this project include Professor Lynn Borgatta MD, MPH, former BMC OBGYN resident Scott Shainker MD, and OBGYN Department Interim Chair Paul Hendessi MD. In addition to presenting my research, I also attended the following lecture: the John I. Brewer Memorial Lecture “New Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines.”

Nikil Moodabagil


I have been accepted to present my research done at the Veterans Affairs-Boston Healthcare System (VA-BHS) with Dr. Mary Daly (Associate Professor at BUSM/BMC and Chief of Ophthalmology at the VA) at the annual Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference in Seattle from May 5th-May 9, 2013. This meeting is a gathering for all subspecialties of Ophthalmology as well as basic science researchers involved in Ophthalmologic research. I will be presenting my poster, titled “Impact of changes in attending staffing on major cataract complications at Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System”. 

Ammarah Iqbal


Over the first weekend of May, I attended the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington DC. This is a research based international meeting where presenters and attendees come from all aspects of the world to share their expertise in child health. It ranged from health policy to global health in developing countries to hospital specific protocol, etc. I was fortunate enough to present a poster on my research on the prevalence of economic hardship among families of newborns in an inner city hospital. I learned from the presentations and from the suggestions of the attendees. Thank you to SCOMSA for helping me achieve this experience 

Lauren Scott


Acute Presentations Workshop: Using Simulation to Teach “High Stakes” Clinical Situations in a Safe Environment. 

Presented May 2, 2013 in Baltimore, MD as part of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Spring Conference

presented by: Hoffman, Miriam; Cohen-Osher, Molly; Wiecha, John; Dreyfus, Deborah; Scott, Lauren

attended by: Family Medicine educators (pre- and post-graduate) from medical schools around North America

Realistic simulation of “high-stakes” clinical situations such as cardiac arrest is a relatively new method of medical training, and can be used for student education in a safe learning environment.
The BUSM Family Medicine clerkship currently includes a module in which third-year students care for a simulated patient who presents with difficulty breathing in the office. As the interaction continues, the patient has an acute MI. Students must manage the decompensation and initiate CPR in most cases for the first time in their medical careers. The interaction is followed by an extensive debrief.

Conference participants were invited to comment on videos showing real students in this simulation scenario. Discussion was facilitated which focused on: the importance of simulation in striking the balance on the anxiety/learning curve, and the importance of “good stress” making a lasting impression on students, and the high value students placed on the activity based on feedback from students.

The presentation was incredibly well-received, and participants were actively engaged in discussion. They wanted to know how the simulation was structured, and how students felt about this activity.

Nikil Moodabagil


I was lucky to be able to attend this year’s Combined Otolaryngology Section Meeting (COSM) in Orlando, which is an academically oriented conference that is coordinated by the subspecialty organizations and the Triological Society. There, I presented a poster titled “Analysis of Roles for an Emergency Medicine Physician versus Role for a Consulting Otolaryngologist in Management of Patients with Suspected Peritonsillar Abscess” based on work done at BUMC with Dr. Grundfast in the department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and Emergency Medicine. I was also able to attend lectures on topics such as alternatives to free flaps for deficits resulting from surgery for head and neck tumors and a discussion of the evolution of modern facial plastic surgery. 

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Liliana Castelblanco


I recently presented my research at the American Laryngological Association’s 2013 Spring Meeting at COSM in Orlando, FL from April 10-12th. This is a national conference held every year and brings together several otolaryngology associations to present research as posters and platform talks. I presented a poster titled “Correlating Singing Voice Handicap to Videostrobolaryngoscopy in Healthy Professional Singers” which was the culmination of my research project in the Otolaryngology Department at BU with Dr. Pieter Noordzij. This was a chance to present the results of our research project and network with physicians, residents, and other medical students. I was proud to explain our research to anyone interested and was delighted to learn about all the interesting otolaryngology research being pursued at institutions all over the country.

Alexander Lankowski


I attended the Consortium of Universities for Global Health 4th Annual Conference in Washington, DC, this past March 14th and 15th. The conference was an excellent opportunity to hear from global health leaders and policy makers. There was an especially outstanding showing of speakers from the US government agencies that deal with public health and biomedical research, given the location in Washington, DC. Among the highlights were talks by NIH Director Francis Collins, NIAID Director Tony Fauci, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, and US PEPFAR Ambassador Eric Goosby. There was also a very interesting panel where the Dean of the newly established Northern Ontario School of Medicine spoke about his school’s efforts to promote training of students with aboriginal descent to practice medicine in rural underserved areas. In addition to attending the talks, I also presented a! poster entitled “The University Global Health Impact Report Card: An Assessment of Research Universities on Technology Access, Innovation, and Student Empowerment”, which is based on some ongoing work that I do in my capacity of a leader of the international student group, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.

Thiago Oliveria and Daniel Silva


Thiago Oliveira and Daniel Silva presented their poster titled “TB Index Case Factors Associated with TST Conversion in Household Contacts” at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health 4th annual meeting in Washington D.C. 

The poster was the result of research they completed in Vitoria, Brazil, along with classmates Nichole Starr and Konrad Karasek, the previous summer supported by the BUSM International Health Summer Scholarship. Their project was part of a collaboration between Boston Medical Center’s Section of Infectious Diseases and the Federal University of Espirito Santo’s Infectious Disease Center aimed at characterizing household transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thank you to Drs. Jones-Lopez, Ellner and Hochberg for their mentorship and support!

~Daniel Silva


The theme for the third annual counseling psychology research conference in Vancouver BC was, Making an Impact: Diversity, Social Justice and Socially Responsible Practice. The conference invited submissions from career counselling and development, health and wellness, counselling process, therapeutic interventions, and multicultural counseling. Researchers, trainees, educators, and practitioners attended to share their knowledge with the hopes that their diverse perspectives on making a difference in the world may further dialogue among mental health practitioners.

For my Master’s thesis research in Cross-Cultural Psychology at Western Washington University, I examined the effects of domestic violence and self-silencing on depression with immigrant women in Vancouver, B. C. The study found many cultural-specific counseling and social service practices voiced by the women that effectively help these women to better their situations and depression. During the conference I had the privilege to give a one-hour talk to share the quantitative and qualitative results from the two-year study with the counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists that work with this specific population in British Columbia.

~Thiago Oliveira

Lauren F Kelly


The Keystone Symposia Conference “Host Response in Tuberculosis (X7),” a joint meeting with “Tuberculosis: understanding the enemy (X8),” took place from March 13 through March 18, 2013 at the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. I presented a poster “Helminth co-infection modulates innate immunity and FOXP3+ Tregs in human tuberculosis” from research conducted while spending three months in Vitoria, Brazil at a site of international collaboration. The Principal Investigator is Dr. Jerrold Ellner, Section Chief of the Department of Infectious Diseases at BUSM/BMC. In addition to presenting the poster, I attended talks given by world experts on tuberculosis with the meeting goal of “to reassess our current understanding of disease mechanisms, discuss the most recent advances in the field, and identify critical questions and future research directions – a key focus of the meeting will be the innate, acquired, and immunopathologic responses that occur in the host following exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Joyce Wang


From March 1 to March 5, I attended the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Florida. As a student, I was given the opportunity to give a powerpoint presentation on the fourth day of the conference at the Dermatology Teachers Exchange Group, a forum for discussing exciting topics in Dermatology education. I presented on the Integrated Skin Exam (ISE) Project, a research study led by Boston University but involving educators from 8 U.S. medical schools that seeks to narrow the practice gap related to the skin cancer examination (SCE) amongst medical students. Our aims are to promote the integration of the SCE into routine or focused physical examination, increase awareness of high risk patient groups and anatomic sites and to enable the detection of suspicious pigmented lesions. I presented results from a portion of our study: baseline predi! ctors of skill and intent to practice the ISE and the effect of the ISE film.

Madhura Bhadra


The theme for the third annual counseling psychology research conference in Vancouver BC was, Making an Impact: Diversity, Social Justice and Socially Responsible Practice. The conference invited submissions from career counselling and development, health and wellness, counselling process, therapeutic interventions, and multicultural counseling. Researchers, trainees, educators, and practitioners attended to share their knowledge with the hopes that their diverse perspectives on making a difference in the world may further dialogue among mental health practitioners. 

For my Master’s thesis research in Cross-Cultural Psychology at Western Washington University, I examined the effects of domestic violence and self-silencing on depression with immigrant women in Vancouver, B. C. The study found many cultural-specific counseling and social service practices voiced by the women that effectively help these women to better their situations and depression. During the conference I had the privilege to give a one-hour talk to share the quantitative and qualitative results from the two-year study with the counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists that work with this specific population in British Columbia.

Michelle Min


I thank SCOMSA for its generous funding, making it possible for me to travel to Miami, FL this February-March to give an oral presentation on my research from the Rhoda Alani lab (Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine). My accepted abstract was titled, Evaluation of Novel Biomarkers of Melanoma. I was allowed 15 minutes to present the significance and future impact of my research, explaining the methodology and approach of our quantification of possible diagnostic biomarkers that follow the progression of melanoma. I am happy to say that my oral presentation was followed with many questions due to excitement and curiosity from the audience regarding the implications of my research. 

The conference spanned 4 days. During this time, I listened to other graduate students present their research as well as attended a poster presentation session. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to hear what other students are investing their time in as well as meeting other medical students from the east coast. We had a great time spending time with each other. In addition to presentations, we heard many guest speakers discuss not only their research but their vision for the future of research – mainly discussing the role of genetics – as well as their advice on how to happily balance practicing as a clinician and a researcher.

This was a wonderful opportunity for me, and I feel quite fortunate to have had such support in my research endeavors. Thank you again!


Katherine Riedy


The Eastern-Atlantic Student Research Forum is an international research conference held annually at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The conference brings together medical, graduate and MD/PhD students, as well as resident physicians to present original research in both basic science and clinical research. Speakers and faculty preceptors foster an environment of interdisciplinary collaboration among the participants, and leadership in both student and physician-initiated research is emphasized. As a conference participant, I gave an oral presentation on my own student research that has been ongoing under the direction of Dr. Rhoda Alani, Chair of the Dermatology Department at BUSM. My research and presentation focused on the expression of NRP-2 in melanoma of the lentigo maligna subtype and it evaluated its potential utility as a novel biomarker. 

Nina Farivari


I presented my summer MSSRP research at the American Heart Association: International Stroke Conference in Honolulu, HI on 2/7/2013. The title of my poster was “Stroke risk after blunt cerebrovascular injury with dissection.” I presented alongside Dr. Thanh Nguyen, of the BMC Department of Neurology, who served as my research mentor throughout the summer. conducted. 



Student Attendance at National Conferences:

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting


The 2013 ARVO Annual Meeting took place in Seattle, WA from May 5th to May 9th. With financial support from SCOMSA, I was able to attend the meeting to present my research comparing refractive outcomes following cataract surgery in patients with and without glaucoma. The meeting was a great opportunity to discuss my work with other clinician researchers in the field. From these discussions, I gained valuable insight that will influence my project’s future direction. Additionally, the lectures throughout the week provided exposure to the latest in vision research and ocular disease management. Among the colleagues I was able to interact with were ophthalmologists at the institution where I matched for residency. 

~ Greg Bever

The Structural Competency Symposium


The Structural Competency Symposium on April 12 and the 5th Biennial National Conference for Physician-Scholars in Social Sciences and Humanities, Vital Signs on April 13 at UCSF served as an excellent platform for panel discussion with multidisciplinary experts and showcasing research from students across the country interested in the effects of race and class on health and illness. On Friday, students and professionals varying in their training joined together for a common interest, understanding the role of the structural obstacles, affected by socioeconomic status and race, in obtaining health. The symposium included keynote speakers such as Dr. Nancy Scheper Hughes, and a panel of experts in the field of medical anthropology including Dr. Babak Tofighi, MD and Dr. Vincanne Adams, PhD. Each panel was followed by lively discussion. The following day, a few selected s! tudents, including Boston University’s very own, Ashish Premkumar, presented their papers in the varying subjects of ethics, structural violence, and political economics. Each session consisted of 20 minutes paper-presentations, and a vibrant discussion. Ashish Premkumar’s paper presentation was very well received, and several people in the audience inquired about when he plans to write his first book.

Pediatrics Combined Annual Meeting


I attended the Association of Pediatric Program Directors and Coucil on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics Combined Annual Meeting. During this even my research on Evaluating Medical Students Oral Presentations was presented by the Principal Investigator as 1 of 5 platform presentations of the conference. Additionally, I attended educational workshops on medical student and resident education, specifically on how to foster mentor/mentee relationships as well as how to appropriately self-assess to direct continued learning. 

~Gabriela Vargas

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


I attended the 2013 Annual Medical Education Conference in Louisville, KY. I attended Step I preparation lectures, various workshops (such as the Business of Medicine), and clinical skills sessions. I also served as one of the delegates for Boston University School of Medicine for SNMA Region VII in the House of Delegates, where all policy and decisions concerning the SNMA were made. Finally, I was able to network during the exhibitors’ fair and various receptions by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Harvard Medical School resident recruitment. This was my fourth attendance at a SNMA annual meeting, and I cannot wait until next April for AMEC 2014 in Washington, D.C.! 

~Jade Anderson


I have been a member of the Student National Medical Association for several years and have always looked forward to attending the Annual National Conference. The 2013 conference was filled with educational workshops, networking opportunities and fun times. Afterwards, I returned to Boston with a renewed and refreshed purpose for my academic and clinical goals. I am excited to continue to serve as an active member in SNMA.

~Mwia Mutua

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons


I attended the 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Chicago. I attended workshops focused on various aspects of orthopaedics (such as an instructional course on knee replacements), the scientific exhibits, and the lectures provided by the different orthopaedic societies associated with the AAOS. I also networked and was able to set up a shadowing experience in August with the team physician for the New Orleans Saints! This was an amazing opportunity to be in attendance where over 14,000 surgeons convene annually. 

~Jade Anderson

American Medical Student Association


The 2013 AMSA national conference is open to all members of AMSA. The goal of this convention is to educate medical students on issues that affect them, including important topics such as advocacy, career development, international health, wellness, professionalism, and public health. We hope that the members attending this conference are exposed to new ideas regarding their medical education, and that they incorporate those ideas they learned into new and educational events for next year. Several excellent speakers were also there including Dr. Nash, Dr. Quinones, and Dr. Angell. In addition, a poster session took place that one of our students participated in, which was a great way to expose students to the research of their peers. 

~Anjali Rai


Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine