October 2013 Updates


On October 2nd, SCOMSA held its second meeting of the 2013-2014 academic year in the Dean’s Conference room. Please follow this link to view the meeting’s minutes: SCOMSA October 2nd Meeting Minutes

Student Group Activities

BU Christian Medical Dental Association


HHIE, OVP, and CMDA joined humanitarian forces again for part 3 of the embracing homelessness series on Friday, 10/25. Starlight Ministries joined us once again, but this time brought in four special guests who live on the streets of Boston. The ~30 attendees gathered into four small groups with one of our guests each to learn from their experience. While enjoying delicious sandwiches and cookies from Flour, attendees connected with someone who has experienced the marginalization of homelessness and has likely lived a life very different from their own. We believe that the humble human-to-human connections fostered by the event will impart an improved appreciation of the challenges of the homeless lifestyle as well as greater empathy for those in a state of homelessness, preparing students to better serve the homeless in their future careers.
part 3 of CMDA

American Geriatrics Society


Dr. Brandeis gave a talk regarding the current state of nursing home medicine and its future as we enter an age of ACOs. Students from M1 and MR attended and found the session very informative.

BU Christian Medical Dental Association


Embracing Homelessness: Part 2 took place on Oct 11th at 12:30pm. It was an outreach training session provided by Starlight ministries, a community devoted to homeless outreach that conducts these trainings for various groups all over Boston. This training session helped attendees understand the importance of the extensive support systems in their own lives and how this support system is often lacking in those who are homeless. This session also taught attendees how to respectfully form relationships with people on the streets. Through a didactic session and reflection, attendees were able to acquire the tools and confidence to better form connections with Boston’s homeless.

Family Medicine Interest Group


On Friday, October 11th, in celebration of Primary Care Week, the Family Medicine Interest Group hosted a lunch talk with Dr. Christine Odell, the medical director of BMC’s Family Medicine Department. Dr. Odell discussed the impending changes in the Affordable Care Act and the role that family physicians will play in the success of the new law.

American Medical Women’s Association


American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) hosted its second event of the year: a screening of Orgasm Inc., a controversial and humorous documentary about the pharmaceutical industry and the medicalization of sexual dysfunction in women. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Michelle Sia, an OB/GYN DO at BMC, and Sophie Godley, a clinical professor at BUSPH who has expertise in sexual health. We had a lively discussion debating the legitimacy of female sexual dysfunction as a disease, sex education in our schools, and how the definition of normal is shaped in our society.Next month, AMWA in association with Women’s Health Initiative will be hosting a panel discussion of female physicians in all medical fields. Stay tuned for even more events, including talks on abortion, how to balance life/work, and the history of women in medicine.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group


On October 10, 2013, the BU Emergency Medicine Interest Group hosted a panel discussion with 5 Boston Medical Emergency Department attending physicians (Lauren Nentwich, Jeffery Schneider, Annemieke Atema, Morsal Tahouni, Gabrielle Jacquet). The audience included first and second-year medical students. The discussion began with an introduction from each physician describing their decision to enter emergency medicine, their career interests and pursuits, and a general description of their typical work-day. This was followed by an open question-and-answer session from students. We feel that this introductory event for the EMIG year was successful in introducing students with a perspective into emergency medicine. We counted attendance at approximately 50 students. Lunch was served.
attending panel


Integrative Medicine


Integrative Medicine Student Interest group participated in the Primary Care Week on October 10, 2013. We hosted a lunch talk called “What is integrative medicine?” where we screened several clips from “Escape Fire” and facilitated discussion among students. This allowed medical students to ask questions about integrative medicine and its various branches, as well as learn more about the upcoming National Student Conference on Integrative Medicine.
Integrative Medicine

Internal Medicine Interest Group


The IMIG held a panel discussion, “What is Internal Medicine?” on 10/4 as our first event of the semester to introduce what internal medicine is all about. Four BMC-affiliated physicians–two from outpatient and two from inpatient–were invited to speak on their unique career paths within internal medicine and their reasons for choosing the field. Students especially seemed to appreciate the diversity of careers and interests among the four physicians, which ranged from international health in Haiti to women’s health. The IMIG hopes to further introduce various aspects of internal medicine to the BUSM community; please join us for our next couple events involving patient-centered healthcare and sub-specialty fellows panel.

Student Attendance at National Conferences

American Academy of Pediatrics 


This year, over three hundred medical students attended the 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. The National Conference and Exhibition (NCE) allowed us to gather with hundreds of medical students and thousands of pediatricians in order to gain new ideas on how we can support child health through education, advocacy, service, and research.The first day of the NCE featured a Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees (SOMSRFT) Medical Student Plenary Session. As I currently serve as the Editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Student News publication, I had the opportunity to give a short presentation about the publication. AAP Medical Student News is a national publication featuring content written by medical students and young physicians with a readership of over 1,500 medical students and academic faculty members at medical schools across the country: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/Committees-Councils-Sections/Medical-Students/Pages/Newsletters.aspx. During this session, I informed students about they can get involved in publishing their work in AAP Medical Student News, with the goal of connecting students interested in advocacy and educating students about important news in pediatric medicine.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Nicole Paradise Black, Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Program at University of Florida, with a focus on how medical students can become successful pediatric residency applicants. Following the keynote address was a panel discussion designed to offer students a broad perspective on the residency application process. The panel discussion, consisting of five residency program directors from programs across the country, was an invaluable opportunity for medical students to ask important questions about the process of applying to residency programs and to gain unique perspectives from the experts. The culminating event of the SOMSRFT Medical Student programming was the “Subspecialty Speed-Dating” session. Students had the opportunity to meet with pediatric subspecialists in fields including Neonatology, Pulmonology, Critical Care, Surgery, Cardiology, Infectious Diseases, and Hospital Medicine. Medical students sat with p! ediatric subspecialists for a “speedy” information session on their field, with each meeting lasting about seven minutes- just enough time to learn a bit about unique aspects of each field.

While at the NCE, expert presenters guided us through best practices in patient care and what to expect on the horizon of pediatric research. Seasoned advocates taught us about what we can do at the local and national levels to serve children through legislative advocacy. Attending the 2013 AAP NCE was an opportunity for medical students to sit down and talk with many leaders in pediatric medicine and to gain valuable insights on how to build a successful career in pediatric medicine and how to most effectively advocate for child health in the future.

– Kristin Schwarz


Integrative Medicine National Student Conference


On October 26-27, I attended the National Student Conference on Integrative Medicine in Chicago. The conference was a hands-on experience in which I learned many different integrative modalities that can be used by practitioners. Conference workshops included mindfulness meditation, herbalism, basics of acupuncture, healthy cooking, and shamanic journeying. – Sukhmani Gill


The National Student Conference on Integrative Medicine was an incredible opportunity to meet medical students and other healthcare professionals around the country sharing a mutual interest in integrative medical practices. It was great to attend small group sessions, many of which were very hands-on to learn about different practices from naturopathic medicine to acupuncture and shamanism. I attended a total of 6 sessions. During the session on naturopathic medicine, we had students currently pursing degrees in NP teach us about different medicines that can be used for patients with various clinical symptoms. There was also a session run by Dr. Kathryn Hayward, author of Odyssey Family Systems, to learn about a more collaborative approach to medicine as well as understand how we can provide better care to patients by being caregivers versus caretakers. It was definite! ly one of my favorite sessions and was a great way to let us open up to those around us and address our own behavioral patterns in our lives and medical practice. There was also a phenomenal session on Shamanic Journeying led by Adam Rindfleisch who took us through a shamanic journey so that we could really understand it. The session on acupuncture was very informational and allowed us to understand the benefits of this practice and how medical professionals can be certified to practice acupuncture properly. I also very much enjoyed the large group session on energy medicine and understanding how negative and positive energy from the people and events around us can influence our own inner energy and strength. Overall, this was a wonderful conference that helped me broaden my horizons in medicine and made me more aware of all the various medical practices that can be used to provide a holistic treatment plan for patients in the future. – Mounica Donepudi


I attended the 2013 National Student Conference on Integrative Medicine hosted by Feinberg University. I attended several group sessions on both Saturday, Oct. 26 Sunday Oct. 27. The most notable sessions for me were 1) the talk led by three 4th-year naturopathic students on botanicals. I actually found it very informative on how certain herbs actually can enhance the way that the digestive tract processes different types of food. I also learned that it is actually common in modern society to be malnourished – not eating enough of the right nutrients – without being associated with poverty. The second most memorable session was one on Shamanic healing. A physician taught us about the role of the Shaman in indigenous tribes and led us through breathing exercises in order to “access” spiritual energy. He said that the exercises could help one tap into the inner ene! rgy in all of us. The main point I took away from this talk was that breathing exercises can help me summon energy in times of need! Lastly, another session had us reflect on our pasts and understand how the people in our lives have shaped us. We were then split into groups and had to discuss ways in which we felt that we were healing ourselves, whether it be dancing, meditating, or eating foods that made us feel certain emotions. It was an interesting and introspective session in which we were able to bond with other students while simultaneously exploring our self-development. – Jacob Kneeman


The National Student Conference on Integrative Medicine was held in Chicago this year. Students from across the country gathered in Chicago to gain hands-on experience with integrative medicine. There were small group sessions on acupuncture, healthy eating, herbal medicine, family systems, and shamanic journeying. Guest speakers included Dr. Ka-Kit Hui, MD from UCLA’s Center for East-West Medicine, Dr. Aviad Haramati, PhD from Georgetown University, and Dr. Jeffrey Feldman, PhD from Wake Forest University. With the small group structure, students were able to connect with each other and share what they are doing in integrative medicine at their respective institutions. We learned valuable self-care practices and specific tools to share with our patients. – Stephanie Shaw

31st World Conference of Endourology


The World Congress of Endourology Conference is a meeting for endourologists across the country to meet and discuss new technology regarding techniques for minimally-invasive procedures in the field of urology ranging from ureteroscopy for diagnosis and stone disease, robotic surgery for cystectomy, prostatectomies and partial nephrectomies and laparoscopy for renal and adrenal tumors. The conference also hosts plenary sessions for world-renown surgeons to discuss controversial topics regarding management and treatment of urologic diseases. Throughout the week there are also moderated poster sessions during which research abstracts can be presented with a 3 minute powerpoint presentation in addition to a displayed poster. The poster presented by Didi Pathak was research conducted with the Department of Urology at Boston University School of Medicine with Dr. David Wang,! Dr. Mark Katz and Dr. Richard Babayan. The presentation presented by Didi Pathak, titled, “Ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy in patients with neurogenic bladder:Safety and efficacy” discusses the stone-free and complication rates of ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy, a method of kidney stones located in the ureter and kidney, in a particular group of patients, those with neurologic conditions. Patients with neurologic conditions often have neurogenic bladders, resulting in urinary stasis and increased risk of stone formation. Per the results of the study, although these patients have increased risk of urinary tract infections with stone formation, the procedure is safe with low complication, similar to those found in the general population. – Didi Pathak
31st world congress

American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting


I traveled to San Francisco, CA from October 11-October 16, 2013 to represent Boston University School of Medicine as a Medical Student Component Delegate at the annual American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) 2013 Conference. At the conference, I attended many events including the Resident and Medical Student Welcome Reception, Residency Program Meet and Greet, and the Medical Student Component Governing Council meeting, where I had the opportunity to vote on proposed resolutions/bylaw changes and council elections for 2013-2014 council positions. The best aspect of my trip was attending varied lectures and talks on the Surgical Home model for perioperative care, learning about the Lifebox pulse oximetry initiative, and the opportunity to interact with medical students and residents from across the nation who all share a common interest in Anesthesiology and optimizing! patient safety in the operating room. – Claudia Lucia Sotillo


I recently attended the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, thanks in part to funding from SCOMSA. At the conference, I fulfilled my responsibilities as a member of the ASA Medical Student Component (MSC) Governing Council for this past year. On Friday night, I attended a resident and medical student welcome reception, along with other BUSM students. On Saturday, I attended the opening session where there was a keynote address regarding patient safety. The address featured videos of the actor Dennis Quaid speaking about his family’s personal experiences in patient safety. I also visited the main exhibit halls where BMC faculty were presenting research. The highlight of the weekend was participating in the MSC Residency Director Meet & Greet. I was able to speak with program directors, other faculty, and residents from o! ver half of the programs I applied to! It was an invaluable experience to get a better sense of the programs before the interview. Finally, on Sunday, we held the MSC House of Delegates, where we conducted elections for the Governing Council positions. We also had several distinguished speakers including a past president of the ASA, the current and incoming ASA presidents, a representative from the ASA’s research foundation, a program director from a top anesthesiology program, and a resident panel. They spoke about the future of anesthesiology, what residencies are looking for in applicants, and answered questions about the nuts and bolts of residency applications. Finally, I had a lot of fun joining other medical students, residents, and anesthesiologists for social outings! Thank you to SCOMSA for the funding that allowed me to attend. – Jamie Sparling


This October, I attended the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. To start off the conference, I attended a welcome reception on Friday night and had an opportunity to meet other medical students interested in Anesthesiology. On Saturday morning, I attended a medical student workshop at San Francisco General Hospital led by the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). This workshop consisted of four learning stations led by faculty and residents – simulated patient scenarios, airway management, IV access, and problem-based learning cases. Following the workshop, I visited the main exhibit halls at the conference and then attended Resident Research Forum. Lastly, I attended the Residency Program Director Meet & Greet session where I met program directors and residents from many of the ! programs I applied to for this year’s match. – Alec Peniche

18th World Congress on Advances in Oncology


I attended the 18th World Congress on Advances in Oncology and 16th International Symposium on Molecular Medicine in Crete, Greece and presented my poster, which was titled “Epigenetic regulation of tumor suppressor genes including imprinted gene ARHI and micro-RNAs in cancer cells’. Presenters from around the country gathered to discuss clinical and molecular oncology, and I was able to attend several different sessions that covered a broad range of topics. Many of the presentations that I attended discussed research that was similar to my own, focusing on molecular and epigenetics of breast and ovarian cancer. In addition, I had the opportunity to attend several clinical sessions that covered a wide range of topics, such as neoplastic meningitis. During the poster symposium, I had an opportunity to discuss my research with many other physician-scientists, as well as l! earn about other people’s research. There were several social events and dinners throughout the weekend, and we had the opportunity to see traditional Greek dancing and music, while enjoying amazing Greek food. I had a great time at the conference and am extremely thankful to have been able to attend. My research abstract was published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine because of my poster submission to this conference.-Shannon Byler


American College of Surgeons


The American College of Surgeons invites medical students from around the country to attend the Medical Student Program at their annual Clinical Congress meeting. This year the meeting was held in Washington, DC. Students are invited to attend various sessions appropriate to their level of knowledge. Topics include navigating the residency application process, lifestyle in a surgical residency, and suturing workships. The keynote speaker this year was Dr. William Schecter, a renowned surgeon from UCSF who spoke about dealing with mortality in surgery, and offered thoughts and anecdotes from his international career in Samoa, South Africa, and Israel. Also incorporated in this program was the Medical Student Program Poster Session: 40 students from around the country presented their research on surgical topics in poster form. – Nichole Starr

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine