November 2013 Updates

On November 6th, SCOMSA held its third meeting of the 2013-2014 academic year in the Dean’s Conference room. Please follow this link to view the meeting’s minutes: SCOMSA November 6th Meeting Minutes

Student Group Activities

BUSM Historical Society


Dr. Rafael Ortega, Associate Dean and Vice-Chairman of Academic Affairs, gave a talk on the History of Anesthesia. In 2006, he published the book, Written in Granite, and with the proceeds from the book, he spearheaded the restoration of the Ether Monument in the Boston Public Garden. This was a lunch talk, and we had over 40 people attending.  

Christian Medical and Dental Association 


On November 22nd, CMDA hosted the final part of our Embracing Homelessness series. Part 5 of Embracing Homelessness was a movie screening of The Soloist. We were very encouraged to see how we have all gained a better understanding of homelessness and have an increased compassion for this diverse community. We hope that all participants are now better equipped to respectfully engage those experiencing homelessness on a person-to-person level and be able to provide the best possible care for them in the future.



On November 18, MedGLO hosted a lunch talk with Dr. Daniel Shumer, a pediatrician with Gender Management Services at Boston Children’s Hospital. He delivered a fascinating presentation explaining the various psychosocial and medical issues facing pediatric patients with gender dysphoria, and he discussed the age-specific treatment protocols his clinic is using, detailing how thinking about this patient population has changed recently. More than 35 students were in attendance, and the audience’s questions really enhanced the experience for everyone.


Health education manager and bisexual health advocate, Julie Ebin, discussed bisexual health care issues, health disparities, and how physicians can advocate for their bisexual patients.



SNAAC hosted Claire Blais, RD, CDE, LDN for a dinner talk on Thursday November 14th. Ms. Blais is the Manager of Wellness Initiatives for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and oversees nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention activities statewide. She gave a talk on the population based approaches the Massachusetts government is using to combat obesity. Topics covered included “Mass in Motion”, Mass government Media Campaigns, changes to school nutrition, and The Prevention and wellness trust fund. 

IHI Open School


The Director of the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at MGH, Dr. Lisa Iezzoni, will be giving a lunch talk on her health services research related to patients with disabilities. Healthcare disparities and solutions for providing culturally competent and equitable care for this population will be discussed. Dr Iezzoni will also integrate pertinent personal experiences that she has had as a person living with a physical disability.

Medical Students for Choice


This year the Medical Students for Choice Annual Conference on Family Planning was held in Denver, CO from November 9-10th. The conference is a great opportunity for students to enhance their family planning and abortion knowledge while networking with medical students and reproductive health physicians from around the world. The conference allows students to learn about different forms of contraception, receive hands-on training in a variety of skills and explore the nuanced policy issues surrounding abortion and family planning world wide. This year the key note speaker was Kierra Johnson, the executive director of Choice USA, who gave an exhilarating speech about the great power and responsibility reproductive health care workers have. In addition, there was a great lecture on addressing health care disparities through family planning education by OB/GYNs! from UCSF as well as deep discussion about the roles men play in abortion decision making by Dr. Costescu-Green from Canada. The conference proved once again to be a great experience for medical students at any stage in their education.

Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN)


The Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) proudly held its fall neurology panel titled, “SIGN Neurology Panel,” on Friday, November 8th in L206 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The panel featured physicians and residents from both Adult and Pediatric Neurology: Dr. Anna Hohler, Dr. James Otis, and Dr. Karl Kuban, all of whom are highly respected teachers and clinicians, as well as the wonderful residents Dr. Kate Daniello (Neurology resident) and Dr. Monideep Dutt (Pediatric Neurology resident). The panel discussed what life is like as neurologists and pediatric neurologists, and addressed audience questions regarding both adult and pediatric neurology. This event effectively served to increase awareness of the fields of neurology and pediatric neurology, and sparked the interest of medical students in those fields. Finally, the success and achievement of the SIGN Ne! urology panel’s goals were made possible by the efforts of the participating physicians, to whom the Student Interest Group in Neurology is immensely thankful, and the illuminating discussions that ensued.

Christian Medical and Dental Association


For Part 4 of the Embracing Homelessness Series we had a panel discussion on caring for the medical needs of the homeless population. Dr. Jessie Gaeta, medical director at Healthcare for the Homeless, and Xiuhuan Yan, a BMC NP who engages in homeless outreach with Starlight Ministries, joined us as panelists to talk about how to better care for this underserved population and to give us important insights about the state of our homeless healthcare system.

Medicine and Public Health Association


This was our fall speaker event and dinner. We were privileged to have Dr. Michael Siegel, a BUSPH faculty member who discussed his research into gun violence and public health. He went through an insightful discussion of the current state of affairs and engaged the audience very well. We had over 40 students in attendance!

Student Presentations at National Conferences

 11th Annual AMA Research Symposium


The event was the 11th Annual AMA (American Medical Association) Research Symposium. It took place on November 15th and the morning of November 16th, 2013 in National Harbor, Maryland. Participants presented posters and judges went around to ask about the research and provide feedback. I presented “Demographic Determinants of Treatment Choice in a Cohort of Prostate Cancer Patients at a Diverse Academic Medical Center”, which is research that I conducted in the Department of Radiation Oncology under Dr. Ariel Hirsch. – Alexander Rand

Student Attendance at National Conferences

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines


Between November 15 and 17, 2013, I attended the annual national conference of the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. The organization (which has its chapter also at BUSM) aims to develop responsible licensing practices among academic institutions to secure that new medical innovations are available to the world’s population at affordable prices. During the conference, we discussed the strategies for chapter organization at individual campuses, issues of recruitment and relationship with technology transfer offices at local universities. In her keynote speech, Sophie Delaunay, Executive Director of Doctors without Borders USA, emphasized the importance of collaboration in improving access to medical care in developing countries – a mission that we will cultivate here at BUSM also through our ! UAEM chapter.– Marek Mateusz Kowalski

American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene Annual Meeting


The American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene is by their own description “a worldwide organization of scientists, clinicians and program professionals whose mission is to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor.” The 2013 ASTMH Annual Meeting was held from November 13-17. On November 14th, I participated in a small satellite meeting jointly organized by the Pan American Health Organization and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative titled, “Advancing Life-Saving R&D Innovations for People Living with Chagas Disease – The Silent Killer.” In addition, on November 15th I presented a poster of original research results from a project I am leading titled, “Evaluating the Interruption of Trypanosoma cruzi Transmission in Communities with Reemerging Vector Popula! tions.” This is a systematic review of approaches to and indicators for evaluating vector control programs for Chagas disease. On November 16th, I attended a session in which research I co-authored was presented by a colleague from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. This work is titled “Multi-scale migration patterns of T. infestans in an urban environment and implications for long term prevention of Chagas disease.” This work was presented as part of a session on “Kinetoplastida: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment.” – Jennifer Manne

American Medical Association


AMA National Interim Conference – To participate in AMA policy decision-making, network with doctors and fellow medical students from across the country, and learn more about various medical specialties. – Chi-Fong Wang


I attended the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 62nd Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Our abstract describing data from a Brazilian cohort of tuberculosis household contacts was selected for oral presentation and representing our group, I gave the talk “The utility and discordance of latent tuberculosis diagnostics in household contacts from Vitoria, Brazil.” Additionally, I attended scientific oral and poster sessions devoted to topics in tropical medicine and global health, as well as mentoring workshops and networking events connecting students and faculty from around the globe. The goals of the ASTMH include:
-Improving the health of people worldwide
-Advancing research on tropical diseases
-Fostering international scientific collaboration
-Supporting career development in tropical medicine and global health
-Educating medical professionals, policymakers and the public about tropical medicine and global health
-Promoting tropical medicine/global health science-based policies gRecognizing tropical medicine/global health excellence
Lauren Collins

Family Medicine Education Consortium


I attended the Family Medicine Education Consortium Northeast Region Meeting on the weekend of November 1-November 3, 2013. During the conference, I had the chance to listen to talks by some very influential figures in the field of family medicine, including Dr. Ted Epperly, a past president of the AAFP who has testified before Congress multiple times about health care reform. I also attended numerous clinical workshops directed towards medical students including one on common women’s health procedures and another on giving joint injections. I heard presentations from researchers studying everything from concussion screening in high school athletes to methods of preparing adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for mammograms. I also attended a residency fair, where I had the chance to speak with residency directors and current residents from over 70 p! rograms in the Northeast. I learned so much about family medicine over the course of just two days, and am so happy to have had the chance to attend this conference. – Julia Bartolomeo

Group National Conference Attendance

American Medical Association


The American Medical Association held its Interim Meeting on November 14-20 in National Harbor, MD. From the resolution business of the assembly proceedings in the morning to the wide-ranging programming throughout the day, this gathering included community service, policy, professional development, networking, the business of medicine, advocacy and many more opportunities.This year, the Interim National Service Project, a health fair at Glover Park Village, targeted the needs of senior citizens living in the Glover Park Village community. Activities included checking blood pressure readings, participating in a cooking demo with healthy eating suggestions and testing memory.Due to increased funding, the meeting also included programming and speaker lineup with something for just about everyone. The Governing Council brought incredible value to our members with new and innovative events such as the Board of Trustees Open Forum. Other programs included a Professional Advocacy Training Workshop, a Leadership School, a program on “Making Research Work for You in Med School and Beyond,”, and a residency panel on “How To Be A High-Yield Medstud.” We were also able to attend the first “Residency Networking Reception for MS3s and MS4s” where upperclassman could network with residents from their chosen specialty. Beyond exclusive and informative programming, we were honored to hear from U.S. Representative Tom Price, an orthopaedic surgeon from Georgia, as our keynote speaker who challenged us to be “the voice for our patients and profession.”Thirdly, the AMA research symposium, which took place on November 15 th , included more than 300 poster presentations and nearly 30 oral presentations as part of the competition.Lastly, the BUSM delegation was crucial in the passing of many resolutions in both the Medical Student Section and Hall of Delegates. Specifically, we were able to assist in the following items:1. Evaluation of Step 2 Clinical Skills: The AMA committed to rigorously study the USMLE Step 2 Clinical
Skills exam in order to evaluate its cost/value equation, benefits, and role in medical training. It will
also explore barriers to receiving meaningful examination feedback for examinees and will provide
recommendations based on its findings.2. Privacy Issues for Minors and Insurance Company Explanation of Benefits: The AMA committed
to study this complex issue in order to protect dependents from privacy violations resulting from their
parent or guardian receiving sensitive medical information in their Insurer’s Explanation of Benefits

3. Medical Ethics in Medical School Curriculum: The AMA reaffirmed its commitment to ethics in the
Undergraduate Medical Education curriculum. With this on record, our MSS Committee on Bioethics and
Humanities will work closely with the Governing Council and AMA Staff to submit curriculum
recommendations to the LCME this year.

4. Gun Safety Counseling in Medical Education: The AMA now opposes restrictions on any member of
the physician-led health care team to counsel patients on firearm safety issues.

5. Athlete Concussion Management: The AMA now supports evidence based guidelines for evaluating
and managing concussions by all athletic organizations.

We would like to thank the AMA-BUSM Chapter, Massachusetts Medical Society, and SCOMSA for permitting us to make a difference.

– Rima Shah, Nick Woolf, Brad Zehr, Chi-Fong Wang, Jay Schmakel



Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine