November 2015 Updates

Student Group Events

BUSM Sports Medicine Interest Group


Dr. Alysia Green, who specializes in Sports Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at BMC, and the Sports Medicine Interest Group hosted an interactive knee exam workshop for medical students. During the workshop, Dr. Green gave students a brief introduction to Sports Medicine, reviewed the anatomy of the knee, went through mechanisms of injury, and taught students how to perform a proper knee exam. Afterwards, students were able to practice their newly acquired skills on each other. – Neha Gangasani

BUSM Christian Medical and Dental Association


The BU Christian Medical and Dental Association held a dinner discussion on November 30, 2015 titled Where is God in Suffering?. A brief theological exposition was addressed by Adam Mabry MDiv and personal/patient accounts were given by Dr. Stephen Christiansen and Dr. Paul Long. This was a great opportunity for us to learn how faith often times plays a central role in our patient’s lives and how we, as healthcare providers, should be encouraged to understand their perspective to provide them the most comprehensive healthcare. – Maria Geba

BUSM Internal Medicine Interest Group and BUSM Pediatrics Interest Group


The IMIG and the Pediatrics Interest Group held a joint Clinical Case Conference event, focused on building the kinds of clinical reasoning and information gathering skills that students will need as 3rd year medical clerks. The case was led by Dr. Vishu Avutu from the Harvard combined residency program. Discussion focused on the initial patient presentation, HPI, PMH, differential diagnosis, as well as treatment and management of the underlying condition. – Gabriel Lerner

BUSM American Medical Women’s Association


The BUPD Safety Discussion/Demo was run by Sgt. Burke. He discusses everyday crime & other incidents & how to avoid them; about how to avoid becoming a victim by risk reduction, risk recognition & risk avoidance; and how simple life style changes can help you greatly reduce crimes of opportunity. Students participated in a demonstration of some basic self defense techniques. – Mythri Subramaniam

BUSM Clinical Neuroscience Society


Dr. Cummings lead a group of students through a brain cutting. We reviewed neuroanatomy as well as pathology as would be done in autopsy. – Katelyn Trecartin

BUSM Global Health Equity Program


The Global Health Equity Program warmly welcomed Dr. Lara Antkowiak, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital. Students enjoyed hearing about her work in maternal and child health in the Dominican Republic, the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to child health worldwide, and the amazing opportunities that exist when collaborating with Community Health Workers. – Victoria Gore

BUSM Outreach Van Project, Advocacy Training Program, Internal Medicine Interest Group, Emergency Medicine Interest Group


Over 80 students came together to learn about the severe addiction epidemic that is occurring in Massachusetts. Alex Walley came and shared about the experience of working with individuals with substance abuse issues and shared practical ways in which students can get involved. Importantly, students were taught the correct way to approach someone who may be overdosing and what steps that they could take in such an emergency. Students also received information about picking up narcan kits at Shapiro Pharmacy. The event concluded with a hands-on naloxone administration training with practice kits. – Saikrishna Kugabalasooriar

BUSM Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association


BU APAMSA traveled to San Fransisco to attend the 2015 Hepatitis B/C Conference hosted by the national medical student association APAMSA. We had the privilege to hear from some of the most prominent experts in their field who are also familiar with the health disparity regarding Hepatitis B and C in Asian communities. – David Hui, Jessica Ng, William Kim 


BUSM Integrative Medicine


A mix of first and second years attended this meditation session led by one of BMC’s Integrative Medicine physicians. Dr. Saper talked about his path towards meditation, how he has strengthened his practice, and how his practice has been a source of strength during challenges in medicine. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences and goals in coming to meditation session. Then he lead students in a 25 min guided loving kindness meditation. Afterwards we shared our reactions to the exercise. Overall, students were exposed to a unique form of meditation, guided loving kindness, and learned one example of how a practicing physician relies on such practices to protect against burn out. – Lisa Voltarelli20151112_MeditationWithDrSaper


BUSM American Medical Association/ Massachusetts Medical Association


The BUSM chapter of AMA/MMS attended the AMA Medical Students Section 2015 Interim Conference in Atlanta, GA this month, along with 750 other medical students. While representing our school, the state of Massachusetts, and the New England region, we engaged in lively debates about such important topics as the use of incentives to increase the national organ donor pool, the disclosure of drug use history in public assistance programs, clinical documentation, and autonomy in clinical decision-making for patients with differences of sexual development. Many resolutions were passed by the students’ section on to the physicians’ section of the AMA, with the opportunity of then becoming official AMA policy. – Rohan Rastogi12241283_10153318496143727_439660355038053235_n

BUSM Clinical Neuroscience Society

We invited a magician and a neurobiologist to explain illusions. It was a very well-attended events with over a hundred participants including graduate students. The students and faculty enjoyed it very much. – Jessica Ng

BUSM Integrative Medicine and Student Nutrition Awareness and Action Council

On November 10, Integrative Medicine and SNAAC co-hosted an event with Tracey Burg, who spoke to a large group of M1 and M2 students about both mindful and mindless eating. She asked students to think through questions on eating habits, discussed portion sizes that lead to mindless eating, and incorporated an interactive mindful eating activity with raisins. Students learned many tips from the event and enjoyed catered food along with butternut squash soup made by Tracey Burg from ingredients at BMC’s food pantry. – Lisa Voltarelli11102015-Mindful-Eating

BUSM Historical Society

BUSM historical society hosted a lunch talk by Joe Blansfield, MS, RN, ANP-BC. For the last 20+ years Joe has been the Trauma Program Manager for the Department of Surgery at BMC responsible for all the requirements of maintaining a Level I Trauma Center. He is also an avid history buff with a keen interest in medical history and Boston City Hospital.
In this lunch talk, Joe talked about the Cocoanut Grove Fire, the biggest nightclub fire in history (492 deaths). He described how the fire started, how its spread through the venue, and all the chaos that ensued. Joe also discussed the aftermath of the fire, how Boston City Hospital managed burn victims, how the victims were reunited with their families, the safety reforms that were established, and the many lessons we were able to learn about this incident. For example, Joe explained how the Cocoanut Grove Fire led to the establishment of burn wards, discoveries regarding inhalation deaths, safety regulations requiring that exit signs have a separate power source and that emergency exits open outwards, and a number of other things. This was an amazing lecture with great attendance. – Nathan BarrIMG_6962


Student Attendance at National Conferences

Exponential Medicine

Exponential Medicine is a conference put on by Singularity University to discuss the future of healthcare and medicine. They discussed the impact on self-driving cars on healthcare including allowing blind, elderly, and people without limbs to drive. Solar powered drones will allow delivery of medical equipment further distances. IBM’s Watson could contribute significantly to physicians if taught relevant medical literature. Another company has created an algorithm to pre-bend rods in spinal reconstruction. I learned a tremendous amount about where the field of healthcare is going and how it will affect me. – Brandyn Castro

Student Presentation at National Conferences

Society for Neuro-Oncology

Society for Neuro-Oncology is the main national neuro-oncology conference. There were 915 abstract submissions and my abstract was selected as 1 of 92 to present in the form of a 5 minute oral presentation. I presented in front of over 100 PIs, neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuro-oncologists, neuropathologists, and neuroradiologists. I went to sessions by Dr. Peter Fecci, Dr. Duane Mitchell, Dr. Carl June, and Dr. Will Curry on Immunotherapy. This was an amazing opportunity for me to present my research and network with prominent researchers in the field of neuro-oncology. – Brandyn Castro

Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America

I attended the 21st Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America held in Las Vegas from November 19-22. At the conference I presented my research on the use of phenylephrine in the treatment of ischemic priapism during a moderated poster presentation session. The presentation was a great experience for me as I was able to receive feedback on my research from experts in the field. The conference was also very educational for me as I had the opportunity to attend other presentations and workshops related to sexual health. Overall, I had a great experience at the conference and am grateful for the opportunity to attend. – Douglas Ridyard

13th Annual American Medical Association Research Symposium

I attended the 13th Annual AMA Research Symposium held November 13, 2015, in conjunction with the 2015 AMA Interim Meeting in Atlanta, GA. During the research symposium I presented a poster on “Readability of Spine-Related Patient Education Materials from Leading Orthopedic Academic Centers,” a project on health literacy that I had worked on as a 3rd year medical student. It was interesting to see how other students approached health literacy in a different manner, and I was impressed with the various other types of projects medical students were becoming involved with. I also enjoyed meeting medical students from all over the country. – Justine Ryu

13th Annual American Medical Association Research Symposium

I attended the annual AMA research symposium for medical students, held on November 13th in Atlanta, Georgia where I presented a research project titled “Quantifying discrepancies between the popular media and academic literature regarding robotic surgery”. My work evaluated the implications of misleading and often incomplete patient education material currently presented to patients regarding robotic surgery. This conference gave me an opportunity to only present my own data, but also receive feedback from colleagues to help me improve the study moving forward. Additionally, this was a great opportunity to practice my presentation skills and meet other researchers in my field of interest. – Kevin J. WongWong_K


Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse Conference

I attended and presented at the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) conference. The conference was held in Washington DC and substance abuse providers across the country gathered to discuss research and teaching initiatives in substance abuse. I presented in a Hepatitis C focus session. My presentation was titled “Hepatitis C Virus Testing and Treatment Among Persons Receiving Buprenorphine in an Office-Based Program for Opioid Use Disorders”. – Kate Carey
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