March 2014 Updates

To view SCOMSA minutes from March’s meeting, click here.

Student Group Events


Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG)


The Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG) hosted a lunch talk discussion with a panel of three newly matched fourth-year medical students on 3/31/14 as 12:30pm in R115. The fourth years answered many questions about their residency application and interview experiences and shared advice about their general experiences and impressions of ophthalmology. This event was well attended by students. -Tina Shiang


BU Advocacy Training Program (Spectrum of Physician Advocacy)


On Monday, March 31st thirty BUSM students attended a training about the proper use and administration of the opiate antagonist, naloxone (Narcan) used in clinical practice to reverse an opiate overdose. According to the CDC, the number of overdose deaths caused by heroin increased by 55% between the years 2000 and 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder recently called the increasing number of heroin overdoses in the US a “public health crisis.” (See the video here.) Sparked by the stark increase in overdose deaths in Massachusetts and across the country, naloxone is increasingly being viewed as an important tool in the fight against opiate overdose.

The hands-on training was led by Heriberto Sanchez, Program Manager for the Narcan/Overdose Prevention Program at the Boston Public Health Commission. Mr. Sanchez described the most recent public health statistics related to opiate use and misuse and students learned the indications for using naloxone. The group also discussed how to advocate for patients at high risk of overdose by discussing naloxone and teaching patients the proper method of administration. Through this interactive training, students had the opportunity to practice the administration of intranasal naloxone using sample kits. At the conclusion of the one hour training session, students registered and received their own naloxone kits and are now armed with the knowledge, skills, and tools to prevent overdoses in our community. -Nicole Economou

Spectrum of Physician Advocacy

BUSM Latino Medical Student Association


The BUSM Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) hosted a talk by Leda Muñoz and Elida Acuña, from the BMC interpreters services. Leda and Elida presented on the different ways to adequately use interpreter services at BMC, when it is appropriate to call for an interpreter, what is the role of the interpreter, what are some common mistakes that physicians tend to make regarding interpreters services, what are some federal regulations regarding interpreters, etc. They also addressed the role of interpreters in how medical students can best interact with their patients and gave tips on how to interact with the large Latino patient population of BMC.In the end we also reenacted some common clinical encounters. More specifically, what happens when family members help translate, or what happens when patients are left alone with interpreters. This event was well attended.


Medicine and Business Association


The Medicine and Business Association presented a lunch talk on Thursday March 27th, 2014 by Dr. Abdulmaged Traish, PhD, MBA. Dr. Traish is a Professor of Urology and Biochemistry at BUSM. Dr. Traish gave a presentation on leadership in medicine, the advantages/disadvantages of pursuing the MD/MBA, and the opportunities an MD/MBA provides in biotechnology and other fields. He also answered questions the students had about the MD/MBA dual degree. -Steve Han


Integrative Medicine


The Integrative Medicine Interest Group presented a lunch talk on Tuesday March 25th, 2014 by Dr. Linda Barnes, PhD, MA, MTS. She is currently the Director of Medical Anthropology at GMS, Professor of Family Medicine, and a Professor of Religious and Theological studies at GMS. The lunch talk was titled: “Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): What YOU need to know. Our goal was to facilitate a discussion regarding how patients and clinicians view Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) along with cultural and ethical implications. Dr. Barnes talked about how patients view their illnesses and how the medical opinion of physicians only partially contributes to the patient’s perception of their illness.
Integrative medicine Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School


The IHI chapter at BUSM hosted Dr. Brian Jack, chair of family medicine at BMC, for an in-depth presentation and case discussion concerning Project RED on Monday, March 24 from 4:30-6 p.m. in Evans 720. Project RED (Re-Engineered Discharge) is an internationally recognized quality improvement initiative that dramatically reduces 30-day hospital re-admission rates by providing patients with a easy-to-understand and personalized booklet at the point of discharge that clearly communicates information to the patient about post-hospital lab work, follow-up appointments, medications, and in-home care. Approximately 12 medical students attended this inspiring, energizing, round-table case discussion. 


Clinical Neuroscience Society


Following his popular talk on the use of cannabinoids in headache medicine, the Clinical Neuroscience Society and the Student Interest Group in Neurology welcomed back Dr. Brian McGeeney for an engaging presentation on the use of hallucinogens in cluster headaches. Dr. McGeeney discussed the historical context, regulatory considerations, and research findings relating to the use of hallucinogens in medicine, followed by the clinical presentation of and current treatment modalities for cluster headaches. Dr. McGeeney closed the presentation by describing the use of hallucinogens by patients with refractory cluster headaches, noting the legal and social ramifications of managing their condition with a controlled substance. -Bardia Abbasi


BUSM Historical Society


BUSM historical society was delighted to host a talk by Dr. Doug Hughes, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. During this talk, he discussed the life of Dr. Charles Eastman, BUSM class of 1890 and the first Native American to graduate from a medical school in the United States. Charles Eastman was the first physician to attend to the victims of the massacre at Wounded Knee and later became an advocate for Native Americans and civil society in the United States and Europe.Dr Hughes also presented an oak framed picture of Dr. Eastman as well as a framed biographical blurb of Eastman’s life. These items will be hanged in the BUSM hall of history. We had an attendance of 69 people

Student Presentations at National Conferences

Student Attendance at National Conferences

Doctors for America Leadership Conference


The Doctors for America Annual Leadership Conference was held in Washington, DC. This was an excellent opportunity to meet individuals across the country that support the Affordable Care Act and believe strongly in physician advocacy. There were many physicians, medical students, recent college graduates, nurses, and public health students at the conference. The conference was a mixture of panel discussions, speakers, small workshops, and poster presentations. The enthusiasm and experience from everyone at the conference was inspiring. – Rauvynne Sangara


The 2014 Doctors for America National Leadership Conference was hosted in Washington, D.C. on March 21. Attendees were medical students, residents, and attendings from across the country. The focus of the conference was on leadership in medicine, through civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and creativity. One of the biggest highlights was hearing from Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, subject of the popular Atul Gawande article “Hotspotting”. His focus was on changing the way primary care physicians arrange their practice, in order to compete with low reimbursement rates and rising costs. A TED version of his talk can be found here: Attendees listened to talks about the importance of the ACA, coverage as good medicine, and the importance of medicaid expansion. Attendees met with other health professionals in their regions to d! iscuss local strategies that would be successful moving forward. It was an extremely valuable experience to meet and network with many of the talented individuals in attendance, and to speak personally with panel members like Judy Palfrey (past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics) and Jeffrey Brenner. -Nick Smith



American Academy of Dermatology


I attended the 2014 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, where I had the privilege of presenting two posters and an oral presentation. My first poster discussed the presentation and treatment for an atypical case of merkel cell carcinoma. The second poster, also the topic of my oral presentation at the AAD Gross and Microscopic Symposium, was on an unusual presentation of erythema multiforme in a patient with scleroderma/mixed connective tissue disease. I was also invited to attend the AAD Medical Student Core Curriculum Workgroup at this year’s AAD; I attended as a guest and presented my work on DermTerms: The Morphology Workspace, an interactive educational tool that I developed over the past year and piloted at BU.   – Joyce Wang


On 3/20-3/23, I attended the Medical Dermatology Society and American Academy of Dermatology Annual Conference in Denver, CO. I gave a poster presentation and an oral presentation at these conferences to other medical students, residents, and physicians. It was a great opportunity to share the research I’ve been working on over the past year, and also gave me an opportunity to attend lectures/seminars given by experts in the field. I’m thankful that SCOMSA gave me the opportunity to attend these conferences and present my work. – Justin Besen


American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery


I recently attended the national conference of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery. I attended lectures including Women and Bone Health, Patient-centered care, and recent research on the management of arthritis and patients long-term outcomes. As I will be pursing a career in primary care, I found these lectures very helpful towards the medical management of very common outpatient issues. – Kristen Hysell

From 3/10 to 3/15/2014, I attended the annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. There, I presented a podium presentation titled “Open Fractures Of The Proximal Ulna Have Similar Injury Patterns And Outcomes As Closed Fractures.” This presentation was from research I conducted with the BU Orthopaedic Surgery department under Dr. Andrew Jawa. In addition to this podium and presenting a few other poster and scientific exhibit presentations, I was able to attend multiple talks and educational sessions. Thank you to SCOMSA for their support of academic scholarship. – Paul Yi


Latino Medical Student Association Northeast Regional Conference


On 3/1/14, I attended the Latino Medical Student Association’s Northeast Regional Conference in New York. The day was filled with speaker events, panel sessions, workshops, and a residency/enrichment program fair. The conference ended with the House of Delegates meeting, which allows representatives from each LMSA chapter in the NE to give updates about their chapter’s activities and upcoming events. I represented BUSM’s LMSA chapter. During the meeting, our chapter was considered among the candidates to host next year’s regional conference, but in the end Johns Hopkins’s chapter was chosen to host. I had a wonderful time at the conference and I’m grateful for SCOMSA’s support in making my attendance possible. – Lizzeth Alarcon

Student Conference for Integrative Medicine


On March 3, 2014 I attended the 2nd Annual Student Conference for Integrative Medicine (ASCIM 2014) in Los Angeles, CA. The conference focused on the science and art of whole person medicine and included hands-on workshops that demonstrated a biopsychosocial, nutritional, and environmental framework for health cultivation (including Tai Chi, Yoga, Creative Arts Therapy, and Chinese Herbal Medicine), a diverse health professional student panel, and keynote addresses from prominent leaders in integrative healthcare. – Sukhmani Gill
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine