October 2013 Updates

November 6th, 2013


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

Summer & September 2013 Updates

September 18th, 2013


On September 4th, SCOMSA held its first meeting of the 2013-2014 academic year in the Dean’s Conference room. Please follow this link to view the meeting’s minutes: SCOMSA Sept 4th Meeting Minutes

Student Group Activities

Christian Medical and Dental Association


The Christian Medical and Dental Association teamed up with the Outreach Van Project and the Homeless Health Immersion Experience for a lunch-time screening of two short documentary films on homelessness to kick off our 5-part Embracing Homelessness series! The documentaries called “Human First” and “Starting Over with Nothing” were shown and served as a platform on which discussion about homeless were based. We broke up into small groups to discuss what we took away from the films, the impact that they had on us, factors that work against those who are trying to get off the streets, and so forth. The discussions were very enriching, and we can’t wait to continue with this series!

APAMSA (Asian Pacific American Medial Student Association)


Event Title: Asian-American Health Care Issues
Speaker: Dr. Teresa Cheng
Date: 9/24/2013
Attendees: 30 1st/2nd year students
Lunch Talk with Vietnamese Sandwiches 

At lunch on Tuesday 9/24, Dr. Teressa Cheng discussed cultural beliefs and health-care issues that affect the Asian-American community. She focused on what students need to consider when caring for Asian populations in the Boston Area. After the talk, attendees had the opportunity to practice their clinical interviewing skills during mock cases that centered around these important topics. Students reflected with the group after the mock cases about their feelings on handling these specific issues. Overall, attendees were able to appreciate the different factors involved in caring for these Asian-American populations.





American Geriatrics Society


On September 6, Dr. Thomas Perls, MD, MPH, spoke on his work with The New England Centenarian Study.
We learned that the ability to live into the 100s has a very strong genetic component. Additionally, there was some discussion of what lifestyle choices and health habits are important. Dr. Perls also spoke of the importance of eating less meat, exercising regularly, and a stress reducing support system(family). Lastly, he warned about the anti-aging gimmicks out there and how to effectively counsel patients on healthy aging. Ultimately, this talk was very important as the current population is living to longer ages and as physicians we’ll have to know how to treat their conditions.

Family Medicine Interest Group


The Family Medicine Interest Group held its first event of the year on Friday September 6th, a lunch time talk about the exciting field of Family Medicine! After a presentation to the first and second year attendees introducing the specialty, we were joined by a current family medicine resident and a fourth year medical student who is applying to family medicine residency programs. They shared their stories about why they chose to go into family medicine, taught us about the various things that a family physician can do, and answered lots of questions.

Ophthalmology Interest Group


Edward Feinberg MD, MPH gave a presentation to learn more about ophthalmology as a career. He also spoke about the different sub-specialties and what the process is like to apply to residency programs. Dr. Feinberg told students the options available to them to get involved in the ophthalmology department. 56 students attended the event.

BU Advocacy Training Program


Dr. Rob Chamberlin, a former BUSM and BUATP student, came to campus to share three tips on becoming a physician advocate. He was introduced by Dr. Witzburg, the original faculty sponsor of the Advocacy program, who also gave closing remarks. Students, residents and faculty enjoyed dinner prior to the talk.



So you know your LGBT (maybe), but how familiar are you with your LGBTQIA? Interested in learning the differences between sex, gender, sexuality, orientation, etc.? Then come to this week’s informative “LGBT Lingo” discussion hosted by MedGLO. Learn the terms that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people use to describe themselves as well as the appropriate ways to apply them in the clinic. All questions welcome and all discussions open and judgement free! A delicious pizza lunch will be provided!



SNAAC hosted Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN for her talk titled, “How to Win the Weight Loss Battle.” She is an expert in the field who has regularly appeared on the Fox TV Morning news nutrition segment with practical nutrition advice. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor from BU Sargent College and has authored several books, including “Nutrition and You, Core Concepts for Good Health”.This was an excellent talk that provided practical information in a very engaging way to help medical students with their personal eating habits as well as give some ideas on how to counsel their future patients.

Integrative Medicine Interest Group


This will be the first lunch talk for the Integrative Medicine Interest Group where Dr. Lisa Conboy will present her research regarding acupuncture therapy for Gulf War Veterans after Agent Orange exposure.

Maimonides Society


Dr. Grodin was the faculty speaker at the “History of the Maimonides Society” lunch. As faculty advisor for the Maimonides Society for more than 30 years, he began by discussing all the different activities and lectures that have occurred in the Maimonides Society in the past. He also discussed Maimonides and how he was both a physician and a Jewish religiousleader. We then spoke about the events that some of the students may be interested in organizing and attending this year. We discussed the possibility of having Jewish Medical Ethics talks in combination with the law school and the exchange program and option of an away rotation fourth year in Israel at Hadassah Hospital.

Clinical Neuroscience Society


The Clinical Neuroscience Society, in collaboration with SCOMSA, welcomed back George Saterial and Dr. Peter Bergethon for their presentation on “The Neurobiology of Magic and the Magic of Neurobiology.” Mr. Saterial opened the show with exciting illusions for the audience of first- and second-year students, followed by a demonstration of how magicians can misdirect our attention to create a successful illusion. Dr. Bergethon then closed the evening by presenting the neuroscience behind perception and illusions, followed by engaging demonstrations of how audience members’ brains could be tricked with proprioceptive or visual inputs.

Student Presentations at National Conferences

American Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS Annual Conference and Expo


Event: American Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS Annual Conference and Expo, Vancouver, CA, Sept 2013
Date: September 28 – October 2, 2013
Attendees: Christopher Tonn 

The AAO-HNS Annual meeting is the largest international annual meeting in the field of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. This year it was held in Vancouver, CA at the Vancouver Conference Center overlooking the banks of the Vancouver harbor. For five days, the mornings were filled with seminars ranging from how to run a successful private clinic to recent advancements in trauma care and research oral presentations. The afternoons included a variety of lectures, workshops and seminars. In addition to this, the expo center featured a large hall of research posters and vendors catering to the field.
My place in all of this was to set up and present my research poster, entitled “Reduction Chondrolaryngoplasty: No disruption of the suspensory ligaments of the anterior commissure and no sequelae from reduction of the thyroepiglottic ligament” with senior author, Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel, best known for his work in facial feminization operations. My poster focused on the effects of the procedure entitled above, also known as a tracheal shave, designed to reduce the aesthetic appearance of the Adam’s apple. The danger lies in disrupting the anterior connection of the vocal cords to the thyroid cartilage as well as the epiglottic connection the thyroid cartilage. We had not reported any long-term post-operative symptoms suggesting that these connections were disrupted to the point of dysfunction.
It was my first international conference and I did all I could to soak it in. I also spent time touring the city and surrounding area. I was able to steal away for an afternoon and hike up Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver during a cold rainy day. All in all, the experience was great, and I can’t wait to go to AAO next year in Orlando!

- Christopher Tonn

christopher tonn

American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)


Hi, I’m a 4th year medical student at BUSM, and I gave an oral presentation at the 2013 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting held in Atlanta, GA, September 22-25, 2013. ASTRO’s Annual Meeting is the premier radiation oncology scientific event in the world and draws more than 11,000 attendees each year. During the 2013 Annual Meeting, focus was held on patient-centered care and the importance of the physician’s role in helping with patient reported outcomes and the quality and safety of patient care.My talk was on the topic of secondary uterine corpus cancer following prior pelvic radiation therapy. My study showed that receiving radiation to a prior pelvic cancer, other than uterine, is not associated with an increased risk of secondary uterine cancer. However, we found that these patients had greater than expected incidence of secondary uterine cancer greater than 5 years out from the initial pelvic radiation treatment, developed more aggressive tumors, and had worse prognosis when compared with those who had pelvic cancers and did not receive pelvic radiation.Overall, I had a great time presenting at my first national conference, and I hope that it is a sign of things to come. 

- Jacob Shin



Poster presentation titled : ” Early Volumetric Response to preoperative chemoradiation for rectal cancer predicts for pathologic complete response”
This poster was presented at the American Society of Radiation Oncology in Atlanta on Sept 24, 2013. The project defined gross tumor volumes by following weekly cone beam CT scans during preoperative chemoradiation and the objective was to look at how it could predict for pathologic complete response at time of surgery. The significant conclusion of this project was the rate of change (RoC) of gross tumor volume at week 4 preoperative chemoradiation was much higher in those who were going to achieve pathologic complete response. Therefore assessment of gross tumor volumes by cone beam CTs during preoperative chemoradiation can perhaps influence radiation therapy and help achieve pathological complete response at time of surgery for rectal cancer patients.

- Arvind Reddy Devanabanda


ASTRO’s Annual Meeting is the premier radiation oncology scientific event in the world and draws more than 11,000 attendees each year. This year it was held in Atlanta, GA. At the meeting, I presented a poster entitled, “The Evaluation of Chemoradiotherapy Toxicity and Outcome in Head and Neck Cancer.” My research dealt with the use of induction chemotherapy prior to concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy, for the treatment of head and neck cancers. Our results showed that head and neck cancer patients who received induction chemotherapy prior to concurrent treatment suffered from more acute toxicity compared to patients receiving concurrent treatment alone. The greater toxicity in the induction patients was attributed to more hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicities. Yet, no major differences were noted in treatment outcome or survival between the two patient! groups. We hope to publish our research soon. 

- Jennifer Logue



I attended the ASTRO (American Society for Radiation Oncology) 2013 conference in Atlanta, GA from Saturday, September 21st to the Monday, September 23rd with my classmate and fellow radiation oncology researcher, Rani Chudasama. At the conference, I presented my poster, Demographic Determinants of Mortality in Prostate Cancer Patients at a Diverse Academic Medical Center. I also attended meetings, including the conference’s Presidential Symposium, saw other posters, and spoke to other medical students as well as BUSM alumni. From the event, I gained knowledge and connections in the field of radiation oncology that I hope to use to pursue further research and ultimately residency. 

- Alexander Rand

alex astro


I recently attended the ASTRO 55th annual conference to present my research on breast cancer treatment disparities and how this affects mortality rate for our BMC patient population. The conference was very well organized and I was able to meet with residents and other medical students to discuss their research within the field of Radiation Oncology.  

- Rani Chudasama

rani astro

Student Attendance at National Conferences

New England American Urological Association


The New England Section of the American Urological Association held its annual meeting this year in Hartford, CT from September 25th until September 28th, 2013. The Section consists of private practice urologists and academic urologists from the states of Conneticut, Maine, Massachussetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Boston University School of Medicine and its Urology Department were well-represented by its Urologic residents Ashley Brandon, Elizabeth Phillips, Nannan Thirumavalavan, Urology Department Faculty Dr. Babayan (Chairman), Dr. David Wang, Dr. Linda Ng, and Dr. Lori Lerner, as well as medical student Arun Rai. Conference topics included Endourology, Uro-oncology, Incontinence, Sexual Medicine as well as a Video Session regarding surgical techniques.  

-Arun Rai

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

I had the opportunity to attend the American Academy of Family Physicians Scientific Assembly in San Diego, California, where I was selected to give a poster presentation on my work with Dr. Ramon Cancino titled “Finding Meaning in Meaningful Use: Can Health IT change provider behavior and improve patient outcomes?” I was an honored to present my research and even more so when I was awarded the second place prize for medical student posters at this national conference. I was pleased to be able to also attend multiple lectures on a variety of family medicine topics from leaders in the field, and network with military family medicine members as part of the USAFP chapter reception. 

- Kirsten Lyman


Student National Medical Association


The conference that I attended was this year’s second National Leadership Institute (NLI)– of the administrative year, Friday, September 6th – Sunday, September 8th in Rochester, MN. The host for this quarter’s meeting is the Mayo Clinic. This training session is for all members including those currently holding or interested in SNMA leadership positions at the Chapter, Regional and National levels. We do encourage those considering national and regional leadership positions for the 2014‐2015 administrative year toattend.
The September NLI focused focus on providing attendees with the tools necessary to fulfill personal
goals of academic and personal success. Sessions include Board Development lead by the
SNMA Strategic Planning Council, residency panels, and a keynote speaker from our host
institution! The SNMA has an important mission focused on both the advancement of our
membership and the betterment of our community. It is only through the effective
development of future leaders of medicine that these goals will be met.

- Michael Harrell

American Diabetes Association


I had the opportunity to attend the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago, Illinois, where I was selected to give an oral presentation on my work with Dr. Sayon Roy titled “Connexin 43 Downregulation Promotes the Development of Vascular Lesions in the Diabetic Retina.” My abstract was one of eight presented in the oral session on June 23 entitled “Advances in the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy.” It was an honor to present my research to some of the brightest and distinguished scientists in the field.  

- Thomas Tien

ADA graphic


Leadership & Education Program for Students in Integrative Medicine


At LEAPS into Integrative Medicine, I was one of thirty medical students from across North America to participate in an intensive week-long retreat led by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine in collaboration with the American Medical Student Association Foundation and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I attended lectures, discussions, and workshops that enhanced my understanding of health, disease, and Integrative Medicine. Additionally, I enhanced my leadership skills in order to advance Integrative Medicine at BUSM. Furthermore, I developed a project with the support from the LEAPS Core Faculty. This project is focused on building upon and further developing the MEDYoga group that I helped to lead this year at BUSM. 

- Rachel Goldstein


Spring 2013 Updates

May 30th, 2013


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


February 2013 Updates

February 24th, 2013


On Wednesday, February 6, SCOMSA held its second meeting of the spring semester in the Dean’s Conference room. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link: February SCOMSA Meeting Minutes.


Student Group Activities:

Global Health Equity Program


Dr. Demet Güral is Pathfinder International’s Vice President of Technical and Program Strengthening and a physician and a public health specialist with more than 25 years of experience in sexual and reproductive health programs and primary health care management. She spoke at BUSM as 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. Her well-attended talk focused on the provision of sexual and reproductive health in wide variety of international settings.

BUSM Historical Society


Dr. Brust’s talk, co-hosted by the BUSM Historical Society and Sullivan Academy, was a great success! Lots of students, faculty, deans, and alumni turned out to hear Dr. Brust talk about the history of BUSM, from its early days as the New England Female Medical College all the way through to the modern day. In case you missed the event, it was videotaped and the recording will be made available soon. As always, keep your eyes and ears open for more upcoming events from the Academies and from the BUSM Historical Society!

Family Medicine Interest Group


On February 6th, the Family Medicine Interest Group hosted a lunch talk on Homelessness and Addictions given by Dr. Jim O’Connell. Dr. O’Connell graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1982, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1985. In 1985, Dr. O’Connell began fulltime clinical work with homeless individuals as the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Dr. O’Connell is now President of the program, which serves over 11,000 homeless persons each year in two hospital-based clinics and over 75 shelters and other outreach sites in Boston. Working with the MGH Laboratory of Computer Science, Dr. O’Connell designed and implemented the nation’s first computerized medical record for a homeless program in 1995. 

Dr. O’Connell spoke to students about common barriers faced in caring for homeless patients and some strategies to think about when treating the most vulnerable individuals. The talk was attended by over 60 students and many raised thoughtful questions about how best to care for this population. The overwhelming interest in this subject shown by the student body serves as a testament to the fact that BMC’s mission of serving the underserved resonates with many students. Further programming in adovcacy and training on working with hard to reach populations is not only wanted, but very much needed in order to best care for our future patients.


Latino Medical Student Association


On 1/30/13, BUSM’s LMSA hosted a lunch talk on “Language Barriers and Medical Interpretation.” Our speaker was Dr. Eric Hardt, Associate Professor of Medicine and Board Director of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, who works in the Department of Geriatrics at BMC. Dr. Hardt discussed research outcomes that have shown the importance of facilitating medical interpretation for patients with limited English proficiency and how policy has changed in the last 25 years requiring health-care institutions to provide interpreter services. In addition, Dr. Hardt touched on how BMC deals with issues of language barriers through its Interpreter Services, and how students can feel more comfortable using medical interpretation in their future patient encounters as to minimize language-based disparities and deliver better care. 

Overall, LMSA was honored to have Dr. Hardt as a speaker and to have a wonderful turnout (~38 people) from our student body. Thanks to Dr. Ortega, our faculty advisor, we were able to raise the supplemental funds needed to make this event possible. Catering was provided by Grille 705.

To learn more about LMSA and learn about upcoming events, like our Facebook page: facebook.com/busmlatino.


Medicine and Business Association


Leadership in Medicine: Occupational Medicine as a Career Path combining Academics, Administration and ConsultingJanuary 23, 2013 

Dr. Stephanos Kales, Chief of Occupational & Environmental Medicine and Medical Director for Employee Health & Industrial Medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance, presented the field of occupational health and the pathway leading to it to first and second year medical students. He described the advantages and disadvantages of going into the field and the various roles a physician can play within it. This is a topic that we are not very exposed to in medical school, making it a unique talk. Dr. Kales went on to describe his role as a medical director and the way that he obtained this position. He discussed his various responsibilities and the tasks of a leader in medicine. This was an amazing talk that numerous people enjoyed and we hope to have Dr. Kales come speak again. The Medicine and Business Association will be hosting more talks just like this one as well as workshops to expose medical students to the business and leadership side of medicine.




The Student Nutrition Action and Awareness Council (SNAAC) hosted a lunch talk given by Kathy Ireland, a clinical dietitian who works at the Nutrition for Life Clinic at BMC, on January 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There were approximately 30 people in attendance. Her talk focused on how to eat healthy while on a budget. She gave great tips on navigating grocery stores, how to read nutrition labels, and how to purchase cost effectively. SNAAC will be having two more lunch talks this semester, one of which will most likely be on the topic of maternal nutrition during breast feeding. Consider attending one of these exciting lunch talks hosted by SNAAC.

Student Interest Group in Neurology


On January 10, Dr. Anna Hohler of the Department of Neurology brought to the event a patient from her clinic to demonstrate a neurological exam. First and second year medical students attended and had the opportunity to hear from a patient about their experiences with their diagnosis and ask the patient questions. Dr. Hohler also described the cause and clinical presentation of Parkinson’s disease and demonstrated parts of the neurological exam.

Global Health Equity Program


The Global Health Equity Program is student-run group dedicated to facilitating the study and promotion of global health equity among the BUSM community. As a part of this mission, we have established a speaker series, which we hope will stimulate discussion and provide inspiration to get involved with global health. 

As part of this series, we hosted Dr. Rishi Rattan, a surgical resident at Tufts who works with Physicians for Haiti. Dr. Rattan collaborates with the Haitian government to strengthen their water infrastructure, and advises the United Nations on its responsibilities with respect to Haiti’s water security. His talk focused on the social justice perspective of physician activism in underprivileged areas.

About thirty people from throughout the BMC community attended this talk.




Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Charles Gruver


The experience I had at the 8th Annual Academic Surgical Congress was phenomenal. General surgeons, researchers, and medical students traveled from across the country to present original research, test out new ideas, and engage in dialogue for the betterment of surgical practices. I had the opportunity to present research regarding the prevention of adhesions, which normally occur as inevitable sequelae of open abdominopelvic surgery. Specifically, I gave a PowerPoint podium presentation on how the histone deacetylase inhibitor sodium valproate modules the in-vitro expression of known adhesiogenic genes, and how these biochemical pathways may be promising therapeutic targets. The talk went smoothly, and the poignant questions that I received from established surgeons, all of whom displayed genuine interest in my research, highlighted the easily forgotten connection between bench research and clinical practice. Lastly, the suggestions I received from other researchers helped spawn new goals for the continuation of the research already. conducted.

Brian Currie


I attended the 8th Annual Academic Surgical Congress in New Orleans on February 5th 2013 to present my research on adhesiogenic pathways induced by open abdominopelvic surgeries. As a joint venture between the Association for Academic Surgery and the Society of University Surgeons, the conference is an opportunity to “hear and discuss the latest scientific advances in all disciplines pertinent to academic surgery.” These investigations were conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Arthur Stucchi in the Department of Surgery here at BUMC. 



Student Attendance at National Conferences:

Department of Molecular Medicine


I recently attended a Keystone symposium titled Mitochondria, Metabolism and Myocardial Function. This event allowed me to connect with internationally-renowned researchers in the field in order to further my research in cardiac lipid accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction. Characteristic of a Keystone conference, unpublished results from basic science as well as clinical research were presented over the course of four days, which has afforded me some valuable insight into the field as I continue to forge collaborations and build my dissertation project. 

~Aly Elezaby

Student National Medical Association


The conference that I attended was this year’s third and final National Leadership Institute (NLI)– of
the administrative year, Friday, January 25 – Sunday, January 27, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV. The host
for this quarter’s meeting is the University of Nevada School of Medicine‐Las Vegas campus.
This training session is for all members including those currently holding or interested in SNMA
leadership positions at the Chapter, Regional and National levels. We do encourage those
considering national and regional leadership positions for the 2013‐2014 administrative year to

The January NLI will focus on providing attendees with the tools necessary to fulfill personal
goals of academic and personal success. Sessions include Board Development lead by the
SNMA Strategic Planning Council, residency panels, and a keynote speaker from our host
institution! The SNMA has an important mission focused on both the advancement of our
membership and the betterment of our community. It is only through the effective
development of future leaders of medicine that these goals will be met.

~Michael Harrell



The AMA/MMS held a policy update of the upcoming effects of Obama Care and its impacts on legislation. Ankit Agarwal, a second year, held a presentation that included the future trajectory of healthcare in Massachusetts. Forty students attended to engage this topic and join both the AMA national association and the MMS. 

~David Matherly

January 2013 Updates

January 22nd, 2013


On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, SCOMSA held its sixth meeting of the year, the first of the spring semester. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link January SCOMSA Minutes.


Student Group Activities:

Christian Medical Dental Association


At this event, a number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students met and discussed the meaning and impact of faith and spirituality on BU’s medical campus and in the lives of medical students. Using an article as our topic of discussion, CMDA was able to provide an open and welcoming forum for the exchange of different thoughts and ideas that students may not normally have the chance to discuss in a typical academic setting. It was a very enjoyable and fruitful experience for all of the students.



BU Developmental Disabilities Awareness Group and its associated service learning elective, BU Down Syndrome Program, hosted a holiday party in December for its participants. BUDS pairs first and second year medical students with teens and young adults from the Boston community with Down syndrome, and this party was an opportunity for all of the pairs to get together to eat, socialize and play some fun party games. Everyone enjoyed meeting other people in the program and seeing how far pairs had come in getting to know one another since the beginning of the semester. BUDDS and BUDS hope to host more activities like this in 2013 in addition to upcoming lunch talks with Dr. O’Brien, Pediatric Cardiologist at BMC, January 30th and Dr. Florez of the MGH Down Syndrome Program, February 7th. Contact budsprogram@gmail.com to get involved.



December 2012 Updates

December 23rd, 2012


On Sunday, December 2, 2012, SCOMSA held its fourth meeting of the year in the home of SCOMSA’s former faculty adviser, Dean Phyllis Carr. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link: 2012.12.2 SCOMSA Minutes. Flowers and a crystal vase with individual thank you cards written by SCOMSA members were presented to Dean Carr.



Student Group Activities:

The Maimonides Society


The Maimonides Society’s annual Hannukah party was a great success this year, with over 30 students and several faculty from all schools on the BU Medical Campus attending. Students and faculty made festive Hannukah-themed clay crafts, played fast-paced dreidel games. A delicious lunch, including the traditional Hannukah treat of sufganiot (jelly donughts) was thoroughly enjoyed. Candles and menorahs were given as party favors. A lovely time was had by all in attendance. To keep posted about upcoming Maimonides Society events, just email maimosociety@gmail.com and ask to be added to our email list! 

Medical Students for Choice


We had a wonderful, insightful panel discussion on Thursday night, Dec. 6th on the role of men in reproductive choice. Dr. Noah Rindos and Dr. David Kattan, both Ob/Gyn, discussed their experiences as men working in women’s health care, the changing demographics of obstetrics, and the importance of men’s role in the reproductive rights movement. Dr. Kattan, who is currently completing a two-year fellowship in family planning, encouraged all students to do whatever specialty calls most strongly to them, whether or not that might be “a women’s field.” Dr. Rindos led us through an interesting exercise highlighting the importance of abortion availability throughout the United States just by looking at the numbers. Sixteen first and second year students were able to attend, ask questions, and share their own concerns about gender dynamics in women’s health care and the r! eproductive rights movement in general. Medical Students for Choice was happy to host this event and hopes to be able to do a similar event in future years.

Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group


Dr. Thomas Einhorn, Chief of Orthopaedics at BMC, came to speak to first and second year medical students about the specialty of orthopaedics. Topics included grades required, application process for residency, a day in the life of a resident, the future of orthopaedics, new advancements in surgical instruments, and new discoveries in basic science research that will help propel the field forward. The meeting was from 7-8:15am, breakfast was served, and 32 students attended. The event was a great success!

Family Medicine Interest Group


On December 6th, the Family Medicine Interest Group and the Global Health Equity Program hosted an informal lunch meeting for first year students on how to plan for a fun and productive summer. A large contingent of second year students were on hand to share their experiences, and collectively they participated in a variety of programs including MSSRP (research), the Family Medicine Externship, the Other Side of the Bed VA Program, and various global health opportunities. The session included information about searching for and applying to the many opportunities available to first year medical students. The 50-plus first year students in attendance left with a better idea of what options were available to them and where to focus their planning based on their interests.

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)


BU’s American Medical Women’s Association chapter held an event entitled “Women in Medicine: How Far We’ve Come, and Where to Go From Here” on December 5th 2012 in Hiebert Lounge. There were over 70 RSVPs for the event, with 10% male attendance. 

This dinner event began with a presentation by Betty Yang on the history of women in medicine, featuring important figures and milestones. The end of the presentation also touched on the current state of affairs, particularly about the persisting pay inequities between men and women, and some strategies at the individual, institutional, and federal level to try to right the issue.

Dean Phyllis Carr followed with a presentation on a more in-depth look at the inequities between female and male physicians today, with results from her research and other studies on the issue. She discussed tips and strategies to navigate pay discrimination in our careers. After her presentation, she fielded questions about what we as students can do now in preparation for these issues in the future.

BUSM Historical Society


The second event of the 2012-2013 BUSM Speaker Series was quite a hit! Dr. Robert Beazley gave his talk titled “Making Order Out of Chaos: Dr. John Billings” to a packed room. Everyone seemed to enjoy the talk about Dr. Billings, who responsible for saving hundreds or even thousands of lives during the Civil War as well for organizing two of the world’s most prominent libraries. He was a man who did great things but always remained behind the scenes, avoiding the spotlight while aptly performing tasks that he saw worthwhile, not those that would bring him great acclaim. 

The next event in the Speaker Series will take place in February 2013, so stay tuned!
In addition, keep an eye out for our student-published history of medicine journal Aceso, which will be released mid-December 2012.

Radiology Interest Group


The first Radiology Interest Group meeting of the year was a great success! Approximately 50 students attended the event, which featured a discussion of Radiology as a career and fellowships such as Interventional Radiology. Finally, we discussed an Interventional Radiology interactive case. Thanks to scomsa, we were able to provide burritos for all the attendees!

Spectrum of Physician Advocacy


Our annual dinner panel was a huge success this year – over 50 students from all four years attended! Dean Witzburg moderated a panel of 4 physicians, each of whom shared their experiences with advocacy work. Themes included the necessity of addressing social determinants of health and greater societal inequities/injustices through advocacy, the unique role of the physician as an advocate, and striking a synergistic balance between caring for individual patients and advocating for change on institutional, community, state, national, and global levels.

MedGLO and AGS


MedGLO and AGS welcomed a panel to discuss the topic of LGBT* Aging: Addressing Disparities and Health Care needs of Older Adults (*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender). The panelists included:
Mark Simone-Skidmore, MD, a geriatrician in the Division of Aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Bob Linscott, an educator and community leader committed to issues of equality and social justice, and currently the Assistant Director of the LGBT Aging Project, a non-profit organization based in Boston that is dedicated to education, outreach and advocacy for LGBT seniors and caregivers.
Matt Russell, MD, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Geriatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
We also were able to screen excerpts from the powerful and critically acclaimed documentary “Gen Silent.” 




MedGLO hosted a panel discussion about LGBT Elderly Health Care. Specific disparities and barriers were discussed including financial, institutional and cultural ones. 

Dr. Mark Simone-Skidmore
Dr. Matthew Russel
Bob Linscott

Dermatology Interest Group (DIG)


Dr. Amy Chen, a new faculty member at BU’s Dermatology Department presented information about skin cancer and photo protection in a fun and interactive format. She presented information by encouraging students to participate in a Jeopardy-like game. Facts presented were surprising as well as educational and appropriate for first and second year students. Approximately 50 first years attended, and a dozen second years attended. We hope to repeat this event in two years because it was so well-received by students!



APAMSA sponsored an event titled “Asian American Health Care Issues” on November 19, 2012. Dean Hughes and approximately 35 students attended the event. The speaker, Dr. Teresa Cheng gave a lecture about working with the Asian-American community in Boston, highlighting Asian health care issues, cultural beliefs and health practices. Dr. Cheng included cases that illustrated relevant issues encountered in patient visits where cultural barriers may negatively impact the doctor-patient relationship. She encouraged student discussion on how to facilitate communication between doctor and patient. In addition, Dr. Cheng provided a brief visual tour of the different Boston Asian communities. This gave students who are not from the area a chance to familiarize themselves with this demographic and enhance their cultural competency, as well as provide an opportunity to ask Dr! . Cheng what it is like to work with this patient population firsthand.

Ophthalmology Interest Group (OIG)


The Ophthalmology Interest Group held a lunch talk entitled “Introduction to Ophthalmology as a Career” on 11/16/2012. Dr. Edward Feinberg, Chairman Emeritus of the Ophthalmology department at BUSM was our speaker. He discussed the major reasons why individuals pursue ophtho as a career (most citing the opportunity to combine surgical practice with long term clinical care). He also introduced us all to the multitude of different career opportunities available within the field, including international health. Finally, he spoke on how first years can utilize the time between first and second year to learn more about ophthalmology as a future career path. Subway lunch was served, and we had a large turnout (~40 students).

Clinical Neuroscience Society (CNS)


The Clinical Neuroscience Society proudly hosted a lunch talk by Dr. Andrew Budson of BU’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center entitled “New Frontiers in Alzheimer’s Disease”. Dr. Budson is a leading expert on the topics of memory and Alzheimer’s Disease. His current research uses the techniques of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to understand memory and memory distortions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. The talk will included novel treatment for AD, including the use of music to enhance memory. The talk took place Nov 16 and had 45 attendees.

Family Medicine Interest Group


On November 8, the Family Medicine Interest Group hosted an informal dinner with the aim to give first and second year students who want to learn more about family medicine access to third and fourth year students who are pursuing this specialty. We had a turnout of over 25 first and second year students, and we split up into three groups to encourage more participation. We then had four 4th year students rotate amongst the groups to talk at length about family medicine, what led to their decision to pursue the speciality, and answer any questions the underclassmen had. During the last half of the event, the 4th years addressed the group as a whole and gave an overview of the Family Medicine Scholars Program. They also presented a number of ways for students to become involved in family medicine and spoke about their own specific projects and experiences. 

The goal of the event was to open channels of communication between classes for all students who were interested in hearing more about family medicine. We were very excited to involve students that were unsure of what family medicine was and were hoping to learn more about it by having 4th year students present their paths through medical school and answer questions. Students had a wonderful time interacting with other classmates and the event was a success! We look forward to hosting more informal, educational, dinners in the future.

Global Health Equity Program


The Global Heath Equity Program recently co-sponsored an event with the International Health Department in the School of Public Health, entitled “Crisis Mapping,” on November 6, 2012. Dr. Jennifer Chan spoke to a packed room of more than 60 public health, medical, dental and forensic anthropology students and faculty about using Geographic Information Systems and crowd-sourcing to aid in humanitarian response. 




Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Alec Kherlopian


I attended the 24th Annual National Forum hosted by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in Orlando, FL. The community participating in the forum ranged from national to international students, 

physicians, hospital administrators, and other health care professionals. The agenda of the national forum included Keynote speakers, specialized workshops, networking opportunities with healthcare innovators, and poster presentations on quality improvement in health care. The environment of the national forum facilitated discussion on improving quality in health care, especially during the IHI Open School Chapter Congress session, which I attended. The latter session included an audience that consisted of students and faculty of health-professional schools; it was led by Dan Heath, a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center and author of two best-seller books. With th! e lead of Dan Heath, the students and faculty collaborated with one another to develop a communication framework that would encourage the growth of health care improvement ideas, even in politically contentious environments.

During the day of poster presentations, I presented a poster on the ability of a post-procedure checklist to improve quality in the interventional radiology department of Boston Medical Center. The presentation was successful in initiating discussion with hospital administrators and nurses on the value of checklists in the hospital setting.

Carolyn Smith-Lin


I was awarded the opportunity to present my poster at the Research Symposium as a part of the AMA-MMS Interim Meeting on November 9th, 2012. My summer research aimed to determine the efficacy of an interdisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation program to improve the functional status of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. I built a multivariable model to predict which Parkinson’s disease patients would most benefit from inpatient rehabilitation. The symposium was the afternoon of November 9th. I presented my poster to two judges and my peers at the Medical Student section of the AMA Research Symposium. My poster was assessed as a part of the medical student poster competition and I received feedback from the judges on my work. Through the symposium, I met other student presenters from across the country. 

Alex Rittenberg


I participated with other students from Boston University in representing the state of Massachusetts at the American Medical Association 2012 Interim Meeting in Honolulu. The meeting entertaining with important debate on relevant topics to medical students in this day in age. I additionally presented research at the symposium on proinflammatory response regulation by Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor oligomeric state and caveolin interaction. The Interim meeting provided ample opportunity to interact with current and future leaders in the medical field and was an all-around phenomenal event. 



Student Attendance at National Conferences:

American Medical Association


Over the weekend of Nov 10th, 2012, medical students from all across the United States converged to join the American Medical Association for the interim meeting in Hawaii. The conference included research presentations, educational programs, community service, and public policy advocacy training. Furthermore, medical students banded together to help define American Medical Association national policy which is an extremely influential factor in changing American health policy at the state and federal levels. 

~ Daniel Sternberg

The AMA-MSS Interim Meeting was held in Honolulu, Hawaii from November 8 through November 10, 2012.

I attended the conference as a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society Student Section, and one of the representatives for BUSM. Over the course of the meeting, I participated in caucus sessions for Massachusetts and Region 7 (comprised of medical schools from the Northeast), and gave testimony on student resolutions at both the Reference Committee meeting on November 9 and the General Assembly meeting on November 10.

In addition to participating in the advocacy section of the conference, I attended the Research Symposium in support of the BUSM students presenting their posters.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip, with many networking opportunities and chances to polish professionalism and public speaking skills. Representation from BU far outnumbered some of the other medical schools!

~ Betty Yang

AMA-Medical Student Section Interim Meeting

November 8-10, 2012
Hawaii Convention Center
Honolulu, HI

This meeting is a time for medical students from around the country to network and participate in
shaping our future health care environment. I attended the meeting as part of the Massachusetts and BUSM delegation. During the meeting I was elected as one of the Alternate Regional Delegates for Region 7.

~Nahiris Bahamon

The AMA-MSS Interim meeting began on November 8, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii and included over 500 medical students from across the nation. As a member of the logistics committee, my responsibility was to help organize the assembly meetings and make sure the technical aspects ran smoothly. We also attended the regional and assembly meetings, where we were able to discuss all of the resolutions and provide testimony on the behalf of our school, state and region. Many members ran for state and regional positions, and we were able to elect our future leaders of the AMA-MSS.

~Sweta Bodepudi

American Academy of Pediatrics


This year, over two hundred medical students from schools across the country attended the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition, thirty of whom received generous support for travel and accommodations with a scholarship from the AAP. New Orleans provided us with a fantastic opportunity to immerse ourselves in the vibrant culture of the “Big Easy” and to enjoy its unique traditions of southern heritage. More importantly, the 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition (NCE) allowed us to gather with hundreds of medical students and thousands of pediatricians and child health professionals in order to renew our commitment to children through continued education, advocacy, and service.While at the conference, expert faculty and presenters guided us through best practices in patient care and what to anticipate on the horizon of pediatric research. Seasoned advocates taught us about what we can do at the local and national levels to serve as “the voice” for children. We met with representatives from innovative companies that provide the technology, products, and services that impact how pediatric medicine is practiced today. Preventing child health inequities is one of the AAP’s core values, and the NCE featured a track on child health equity designed to inform attendees about what can be done to improve access to quality healthcare in our communities through advocacy. 

The first day of the NCE featured a Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees (SOMSRFT) Medical Student Plenary Session. Student representatives from the SOMSRT Medical Student Subcommittee opened the event with an overview on the SOMSRT’s mission, activities, and opportunities for students. As I have recently been appointed as the Editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Student News publication for a two year term, I had the opportunity to give a presentation about the publication. This is a national publication featuring content written by medical students with a readership of over 1,000 medical students and academic faculty members at medical schools across the country. During my presentation at the AAP NCE, I informed students about the process involved in publishing works and made recommendations on how students can get more involved in publishing their work in both the AAP Medical Student News publication and other publications.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Jeffrey McKinney, the Department of Pediatrics Residency Program Director at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. McKinney offered the audience insightful advice on ways we can expand our knowledge and skills in order to become excellent contributing members to residency programs in the future. He discussed the best methods to becoming a successful residency applicant, with an emphasis on the importance of being well-rounded, free-thinking, and willing to take on challenges for the benefit of patients.

Following the keynote address was a panel discussion designed to offer students a broad perspective on the residency application process. We were fortunate to hear from a number of experienced panelists who offered candid insights and thought-provoking advice. The panelists included Dr. Teri Turner- Director of the Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship Program at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Lynn Gardner- Associate Program Director of the Pediatrics Residency Program at Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Rachel Dawkins- Associate Program Director of the Pediatrics Residency Program at Louisiana State University New Orleans, and Dr. Lisa Costello, PGY-2, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at West Virginia University. The panel discussion 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 different experts. The panel proved to be a phenomenal way to learn ab! out some of the similarities and differences between programs in regards to the residency selection process.

Not only was this session informative and enriching, it was also a lot of fun! Students met and mingled with others from medical schools across the country. As a creative way for us all to “make our mark” among children in New Orleans, attendees designed hundreds of colorful bookmarks that were then donated to children at a local library.

The culminating event of the SOMSRFT Medical Student programming was the first annual “Subspecialty Speed-Dating” session. Students had the opportunity to meet with pediatric subspecialists in fields including Neonatology, Pulmonology, Critical Care, Surgery, Nephrology, Sports Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Hospital Medicine, and Hematology-Oncology. Medical students sat with pediatric subspecialists for a “speedy” information session on their field, with each meeting lasting about 8 minutes- just enough time to learn a bit about unique aspects of the field and to ask some questions. Students left with a better understanding of the breadth of career opportunities available under the umbrella of pediatrics.

The SOMSRFT Medical Student session was a tremendous opportunity for students to gather, connect with other students from around the country, and to gain some useful advice from seasoned pediatric physicians. The physicians who visited the session were excited about students’ education and enrichment, and eager to share their own experiences in their careers in pediatrics.

Children truly are our future, and the optimization of children’s physical, mental and social health is paramount. As future pediatricians, the sooner in our careers that we reach out and take action, the more we will learn and the more we will be able to impact child health in the future. Isaac Newton once wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” To train in medicine is, undoubtedly, to build upon the research and intellectual pursuits of those who came before us. Attending the annual AAP National Conference & Exhibition was an opportunity for medical students to sit down and talk with many of the intellectual ‘giants’ of pediatric medicine, and to learn from them so that we, in turn, may continue to see further.

~ Kristin Schwarz

November 2012 Updates

November 24th, 2012


On Wednesday, November 7, 2012, SCOMSA held its third meeting of the year. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link 2012.11.7 SCOMSA Minutes (2).

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, twenty-one BUSM students, ranging from first years to fourth, ventured out to Shelburne Farm in Stowe, MA for some autumnal fun. Students picked a variety of apples and pumpkins, while enjoying mulled cider and freshly baked cider donuts. It was a great opportunity for students to bond with each other and to make connections with students from different class years. This event was made possible by the generous support of OSA’s Wellness Program and SCOMSA.

Apple Picking 2012 - 2

Apple Picking 2012 - 6_______________________________________________________________________________________

Student Group Activities:



Dr. Feinberg will be giving an introductory talk about the field of ophthalmology to first- and second-year medical students. He will speak particularly to how to spend the summer between first and second year if ophtho is a career consideration. Additionally, he will introduce other options to learn more about the field of ophthalmology (such as shadowing experiences, research, etc.)



Dr. Deborah Bershel came to give a personal account of her transition from male to female while also practicing family medicine in Sommerville. She provided an introduction to transgender health care that included a way to conceptualize gender as well as the protocols for standard of care. Dr. Bershel also discussed the need for empathy and the way one can show it in interviewing patients.

Student Oncology Society


The Student Oncology Society is sponsoring a catered lunch panel next Tuesday, October 23rd, from 11am-12pm, in room R-103. 

The panel will consist of a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, and surgical oncologist. Each individual physician will be able to shed light on the varying aspects of the different oncology specialties in terms of preparation during medical school, residency selection, and career path. Students will be encouraged to ask questions and will gain a more informed perspective of the divisions within the field of oncology.

Medicine and Public Health Association


The Medicine and Public Health Association Introductory Meeting started off with an icebreaker activity to help attending SPH and medical students get to know each other and to get to know what health meant to them as future practitioners of differing but intimately related professions.

Student Nutrition Awareness and Action Council


SNAAC presented the first of a lecture dinner series on “Socioeconomic Issues in Nutrition.” Dr. Alan Meyers, a Professor of Pediatrics at BUSM, discussed the ramifications of food policy, food advertising, and how it applies to the patient population in Boston. He is a primary care pediatrician at BMC and attends in the Nutrition and Fitness for Life clinic, BMC’s weight management program for children and youth. This lecture is part of an annual joint lecture series organized by the Boston Medical Student Committee on Nutrition (BMSCoN), which consists of nutrition medical student interest groups from Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School. 


Family Medicine Interest Group


As part of National Primary Care Week, the Family Medicine Interest Group hosted a discussion about the Patient Centered Medical Home and what it means for the future of primary care. Led by family medicine physician and BUSM faculty member John Wiecha, students learned about what a PCMH entails and how this model of care can better serve patients. This event was attended by over 30 first and second years, and the enthusiasm and energy the students showed for primary care was a wonderful way to wrap up National Primary Care Week. Through our future events, we would like to ensure that the conversation about primary care continues throughout the year . 

Global Health Equity Program


For the second installment of the Global Health Equity Program’s Speaker Series, Dr. Heidi Behforouz was invited to speak. Dr. Behforouz is the director of Partners In Health’s (PIH) Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment (PACT) program. Her talk explored PACT’s findings that well-supported and well-integrated community health workers enable care teams to improve their patients’ health outcomes and reduce expenditures on healthcare. Thirty individuals from the medical school, the school of public health, and the BMC staff attended this talk.

Internal Medicine Interest Group


As a part of primary care week, IMIG hosted an informational session on Med-Peds. Med-Peds physicians were invited to speak about their experiences in the field and how the field is different from a categorical internal medicine and pediatrics training. The event was concluded with a Q&A session where students were able to ask questions about residencies and career opportunities in the field.

American Medical Women’s Assoication


Boston University School of Medicine’s American Medical Women’s Association chapter held a National AMWA Nosh event on Tuesday, October 9th at 5:30pm. 

AMWA National Student President, Linda Wang, an M3 Harvard University MD, MBA candidate, gave an overview presentation on the American Medical Women’s Association. Linda described the many ways students can get involved in AMWA activities at the local, state, and national levels. She also covered the numerous benefits of becoming a national member, which include networking and leadership opportunities, scholarships, global health programs, test prep discounts, and giveaways!

Several first and second year medical students in attendance registered at the end of the meeting to become National AMWA members!

This event was sponsored by National AMWA, SCOMSA, and catered by Viga Italian Eatery.

American Geriatric Society


On Oct. 9, the student geriatrics interest group hosted a lunch to discuss Elder Abuse. Clare Wohlgemuth RN, GCNS-BC, who is the director of nursing for the geriatrics section spoke on identifying elder abuse, the various forms of abuse(verbal, emotional, psychological), neglect and related consequences as it relates to abuse, detection of abuse, and treatment of elders who have been abused. She had some very interesting, specific examples from her experiences in home health care in Boston. There were 16 students in attendance and based on evaluations given afterwards, all were very impressed by the lunch quantity and the speakers’ presentation. 

We hope this talk will benefit students in their awareness of the topic and hopefully influence their clinical practice with the elderly in the future.

BU Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School Chapter


Dr. Leigh Simmons, an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Physician Fellow at the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation joined 55 BUSM students for a discussion of how shared decision making in a clinical setting can improve health outcomes. She spoke to benefits of a patient centered approach and led an interactive exercise in shared decision making.

BUSM Historical Society


On Friday, September 28, South End historian Alison Barnet took a group of 15 on the BUSMHS’s 2nd Annual Historical Campus Tour. Alison discussed the origins and development of Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts Memorial Hospitals. Stops on the tour included the sites of the original City Hospital buildings, the Church of the Immaculate Conception, and the old St. James Hotel. We will repeat the event next fall.


Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Divya Ahuja


The AMA held it’s interim meeting November 8th – November 12th. I had the wonderful opportunity to present my research at the 10th Annual AMA Research Symposium. I learned about research conducted by fellow medical students in a many different fields such as cancer biology, neuroscience, and public health and epidemiology. I also shared my own research on cancer disparities at BMC with numerous medical students and physicians who were very interested in our work. It was an exciting opportunity to learn from and network with students and physicians from medical schools nationwide. 

Manasa Kanneganti


This event was the research symposium part of the AMA/MSS conference. I was able to go to the conference and present the research that I had done in the GI department of Boston University School of Medicine for the past year and a half. There were many other residents and medical students presenting other research projects. In addition, there were many other interesting speakers about health policy and other relevant medical topics.

Peter Hoang


The annual meeting of the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology (ASHNR) is a meeting to showcase current research in Neuroradiology and also provided current up to date advances in the field of Neuroradiology. This year’s meeting took place in Miami, FL. Research presentations, poster sessions, and lecture series were a part of this 5 day meeting. During this meeting, I displayed my poster on my Osteogenesis Imperfecta research conducted during the summer in the department of Neuroradiology at BMC as part of the MSSRP. I also attended the research presentations and the lecture series. This meeting is great for those currently involved in the field of Neuroradiology as well as students interested in the field. 


Student Attendance at National Conferences:

Medical Students for Choice


Five second-year students attended the Medical Students for Choice Conference on Family Planning this past weekend, November 9-10, 2012, in St. Louis, MO. There was a fabulous keynote address by Dr. Joseph Speidel, MD MPH on the world population problem and the necessary role for abortion as well as family planning. Afterwards, we attended smaller sessions on issues such as barriers to birth control, global advocacy for reproductive health, techniques of surgical abortion, and men’s perspectives on partner’s abortions. One of the most popular features of this conference is always the panels of abortion providers where students can ask specific questions of those physicians that choose to perform this necessary, wanted, but highly contentious service in various ways. Throughout the conference students enjoyed being surrounded by other pro-choice individuals, which al! lowed us to investigate issues with nuance and depth in a supportive environment. It was also an excellent opportunity to connect with medical and nursing students, as well as residency directors and physicians from across the country (and in several cases, around the world) and to learn about further opportunities to pursue a career in reproductive health care.

Jason Leung


Annual combined meeting of Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) scheduled from Oct. 17-21 in San Diego, CA. IDWeek is a recognized forum for peer-reviewed presentations of new research on scientific advances and bench-to-bedside approaches in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and epidemiology of infectious diseases, including HIV, across the lifespan. 

Alexander Lankowski


This past weekend I attended the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual conference in San Diego, California. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to stay apprised of the latest research and guidelines in the field of infectious diseases. One highlight of the symposium was a talk by Myron Cohen, senior author of the HIV “treatment as prevention” paper that was voted by Science magazine as the most influential science publication of 2011. Dr. Cohen spoke with optimism about the role of different prevention stategies for curbing the HIV pandemic. Additionally, I had the opportunity to meet administrators from the National School of Tropical Medical at Baylor College of Medicine (where I am scheduled to interview next month for the Med/Peds residency) to learn more about how residents can get involved in research and other training opportunities at their ins! titution. Overall, this was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the field that I plan to enter, as well as make some new contact with individuals who may be future research collaborators and colleagues.

Nirav Bhavsar


Anesthesiology 2012, the annual meeting organized by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, took place from October 12th to October 17th, 2012 in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The venue was the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, DC. The Convention Center was beautiful and massive and able to accommodate the vast number of attendees, exhibits, and presentations. The attendees included a mix of anesthesiologists, fellows, residents, medical students, researchers, and industry vendors. 

Most of the sessions and events targeted for medical student attendees took place starting Friday evening up until Sunday. Student presenters usually stayed longer during the week for poster presentations.

Friday evening, there was a Medical Student and Resident welcoming reception and mixer. The organizers provided drinks and snacks while we were able to mix and mingle among our peers. It was a wonderful event for ‘breaking the ice’ with fellow attendees at or near the same level as us medical students.

Saturday involved a Medical Student Delegate meeting where they held an election for the new officers and discussed relevant issues among medical students pursuing a career in anesthesiology. We were given presentations by multiple anesthesiologists ranging from grassroots involvement in policy to information regarding new combined-residency programs. As a fourth year medical student, the talk about “What Program Directors Look For” session was the most helpful. Dr. Lee from UC San Diego gave a wonderful honest talk about that. The evening on Saturday included one of the best events for medical students: The Meet & Greet with Program Directors and Residents. Approximately 75% of the anesthesiology residency programs were represented. They set up multiple booths around in a large conference hall. It was almost like residency program speed-dating. Programs brought cupcakes, candy, and other goodies to lure the medical students in so we could learn about their program. We had t! he opportunity to speak with the program directors as well as representative residents of the programs. The setting was quite informal and friendly without any intimidation, especially for us fourth year medical students. The forum was very casual and eye-opening. It was wonderful to meet face to face with many program directors that might have corresponded with us via e-mail or phone calls during the residency application process.

Sunday morning involved medical student workshops hosted by the Georgetown University and George Washington University Anesthesiology departments. I attended the workshop at Georgetown University with 25 other fellow medical students. The workshop was titled Regional Anesthesia and Airway Management. The workshop started with the program director introducing us to their residency program and then giving us a brief overview of the workshop. We then broke up into 7 groups to 7 different stations. The stations were run by the program director, the chief of anesthesiology, and multiple residents and volunteer students. The stations were set up so we could learn to use and perform techniques such as intubation, ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, fiberoptic laryngoscopy, as well as work with various different intubation tools. It was a wonderful experience.

The rest of the conference involved various sessions and poster presentations. I attended a session on Sunday afternoon titled “Electronic Revolution in Learning Anesthesia in the 21st Century”. Then I attended a session on Monday morning titled “Leadership in Information Technology for Anesthesiologists”. They were excellent sessions in subjects I am interested in. I also took some time to walk around the vendor exhibit halls where I had the opportunity to see many new things the industry is working on to improve technology and workflow in the field.

Overall, the weekend was full of fun and learning. It was a well spent weekend constantly engaged with new people, unlimited learning, and helpful advice. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone interested in anesthesiology

Jamie Sparling


I’m so grateful to SCOMSA for the funding that allowed me to attend Anesthesiology 2012/Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). I was able to attend all of the activities of the Medical Student Component (MSC), including talks about the future of Anesthesiology, a resident panel, a program on what program directors are looking for in applicants, and learn about research opportunities funded by the ASA Patient Safety Foundation. During our meetings, I was elected to the national Governing Council of the Medical Student Component (MSC). I also attended a meet & greet with residents and program directors from programs all over the country, which was a wonderful opportunity to get to learn a bit about the programs themselves and inform my choice of where to apply next year. I attended number of talks and events aimed at the larger ASA audience! , as well, including a Pro-Con debate on whether to mask ventilate prior to administering neuromuscular blocking agents, which was really information. I also learned a lot through the opening session where political commentators discussed the implications of the upcoming presidential election on the future of healthcare in our country, as well as in the patient safety lecture which was given by the former administrator of the CMS. All in all, it was an exceptional conference, and I learned a lot! I’m looking forward to next year’s event already, and again, I’m very thankful to SCOMSA for the opportunity to attend.

Faris Azar


I attended the American College of Surgeons annual clinical congress in Chicago. The program began on September 29th and ran until October 4th. A medical student meeting for members of the ACS and nonmembers was held from the Sunday, September 30th, until Tuesday, October 2nd. The medical student sessions were helpful for medical students of all years. For example, first through third years were able to sit in on discussions related to life as a surgeon and different ways of getting into certain subspecialties. Fourth year students who applied to surgery were able to attend mock interview sessions, a program on professional dress, and a reception to meet with numerous surgical residency program directors. About 10,000 surgeons attended the clinical congress, which had many lectures by experts in various fields of surgery; these lectures were also great opportunities to ! meet faculty of surgical residencies in which a fourth year student may be interested. Finally, there were many companies on site that were advertising surgical equipment, from biological mesh to surgeon-controlled robots. Students had the opportunity to explore and were given the chance to learn laparoscopic techniques, to use various surgical instruments, and to test the robot on a practice setup. All in all, a great experience with plenty of chances to learn and network for medical students of all years who are interested in surgery.

October 2012 Updates

October 14th, 2012


On Wednesday, October 3, 2012, SCOMSA held its second meeting of the year. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link 2012.10.3 SCOMSA Minutes. On October 5, 2012, we held our annual Fall BBQ, and it was huge success with awesome fall weather!


Student Group Activities:

BUSM Historical Society


For the occasion of the Evans Memorial Medicine Department’s 100th Anniversary, Dr. Aram Chobanian, an expert in the study and treatment of hypertension and also a BUSM dean emeritus and a Boston University President emeritus, returned to the medical students to talk about the history of the medicine department and the medical school. The talk was very interesting and it was great to hear about the history of the hospital and the medical school from someone who had so much person experience with it. 

We at the BUSM Historical Society will be holding more talks in our speaker series throughout the year, so stay tuned!

BUSM Historical Society Event Photo



Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The SNMA celebrated this month by hosting a luncheon where the keynote speaker, Dr. Ortega, spoke about the history and migration of Latinos; and acknowledged those that had a significant impact on the face of medicine.



MedGLO had a lunch talk given by Professor Karen Warkentin, an Associate Professor of Biology at the Charles River Campus. She teaches a graduate course in Phenotypic Plasticity among others. Her talk was entitled, “Evolutionary history, developmental mechanisms, and the diversity of human sexuality.” She discussed the evolutionary background of sexuality in various organisms as well as the developmental mechanisms that might occur in an individual to give a biological and historical context of sexuality and gender in the human species.


Professor Vincent, a Boston University Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature, gave a talk entitled “What is Queer Theory and Why Should Medical Students Care?” The talk educated the BUSM community about the history of queer theory as well as explained the importance of gay history and culture in the context of the medical profession, specifically with safe sex education and AIDS awareness. The talk was well attended by students directly affiliated with MedGLO and ally students who are not active members of the club. The talk was open to the BUSM community and all students. Faculty members also attended.

Internal Medicine Interest Group


Dr. Felicia Patch came to speak about Internal Medicine as a specialty. Despite a last minute room change, the turnout was excellent with a large number of both first-years and second-years in attendance. Following a catered meal from Grill 705, students brought up many questions including life as a hospitalist, means of sub-specializing, tips for getting good recommendations in third-year, and in what cases one should consult a specialist. The event was a great success, and IMIG recruited many students for free student membership in the American College of Physicians (ACP) giving us a means of funding for other events this academic year. We are all very grateful to Dr. Patch for sharing with us her knowledge and insight.

Clinical Neuroscience Society


Dr. Sanford Auerbach speaks on REM sleep and its links to and effects on mood disorders, memory, dreams, parasomnias and neurodegenerative disorders. An insight into sleep research and REM sleep, the talk was informative and interesting, and well attended by student in both first and second years.

Otolaryngology Interest Group


On September 19, 2012, the Otolaryngology Interest Group (OIG) organized a lunch seminar to introduce medical students to the field of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery. Dr. Devaiah, an associate professor from the Department of Otolaryngology, was the guest speaker. Topics discussed included sub-specialties in the field, types of cases Dr. Devaiah sees, procedures he performs, and residency advice. 

This seminar was open to all medical students. OIG provided a delicious Italian lunch, and has plans to host several more exciting events throughout the year.



The AMA/MMS hosted a discussion of current issues in the health care system and potential solutions with fellow students to accompany the screening of the movie, Escape Fire, at BUSM. We hosted a dinner for all of the students who attended the event to discuss integral issues that we would all face as future physicians and as future patients. We attracted a wide audience and had a healthy discussion of what we as leaders in the healthcare field can do today that would create a better future for medicine through policy, leadership, and the day-to-day practice of medicine.



ACOG, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, held an event at the medical school where Dr. Sarita Sonalkar talked about OB/Gyn in general and about her specific experiences. She led an informal discussion where students asked her their questions. Pizza and soda were served.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group


On September 17, 2012 the Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) held its first event of the year: “Intro to Emergency Medicine with a panel discussion”. During this lunchtime event, students listened as practicing emergency physicians described the profession and their path from medical school. The panel members addressed the role of emergency medicine in the face of healthcare reform and detailed various career options in emergency medicine. Afterwards, panel members took questions from the audience over lunch. The speakers at this event were Drs. Lauren Nentwich, Andrew Ulrich, Brendan Magauran, Gina Lopez, and Ravi Murthi from the Emergency Department at Boston Medical Center, and approximately 30 first and second year medical students attended the event.

Global Health Equity Program


Dr. Kiran Martin, founder and director of the Asha Society (www.asha-india.org), inaugurated Boston University School of Medcine’s (BUSM) Global Health Speaker Series with an inspirational talk about her work in the slums of Delhi. On a sunny Friday afternoon, the room was packed with first and second year medical students, public health students, and faculty from across the Boston University Medical Campus. Dr. Martin shared her story how she started Asha as a pediatrician treating patients suffering from an outbreak of cholera in the slums of Delhi. The social inequities facing Dr. Martin’s patients were undeniable. She aptly summarized her drive to start Asha, “seeing your patients again and again with the same disease you have to do something! Or else what is all your medical education good for?” Dr. Martin refocused her medical career by becoming a communit! y organizer and advocate, and “gave hope to the people who need it most.” Dr. Martin described Asha’s successful programs spanning from women’s empowerment, prenatal care, education and financial inclusion, highlighting their unique partnership with India’s Minister of Finance. Students and faculty alike were inspired by Dr. Martin’s philosophy of human rights, and awed by her perseverance overcoming slum lords, social stigma and politics with an attitude of goodwill. After her talk, Dr. Martin spent time talking with eager global health and donated a copy of a report on Asha by the Nossal Institute For Global Health entitled “Asha: Hope and Transformation in the Slums of Delhi,” which can be found in the BUSM Office of Enrichment.


Student Research Presented at National Conferences:

Andrew Platt


I attended the XXVIIIth International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference (IPNC) from Sept. 10-14 in Wurzburg, Germany. The meeting featured attendees from academic institutions across the globe, as well as major pharmaceutical companies invested in the development of vaccines to protect against Neisseria species. The conference centers on the study of the two major pathogenic species of Neisseria, N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae. While at the conference I presented research I performed in the lab of Dr. Lee Wetzler on the innate immune response to the N. meningitidis outer membrane protein PorB. Other presentations at the conference focused on gene regulation in the bacteria, on the performance of existing and new vaccines, on the spread of antibiotic resistant gonorrhoea, and on mediators of the adaptive immune response to Neisseria species.

Matthew Fleming


I presented, along with two fellow BU Biomedical Engineering graduates (BU BME 2010), our senior design project entitled “Design and Manufacture of a Robust Solar Powered Pulse Oximeter” at the 2012 World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in Beijing, China on May 27th, 2012. The special session on undergraduate biomedical engineering projects was focused around the topic of improving health in developing countries and was chaired by Dr Herbert Voigt, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University and Associate Research Professor of Otolaryngology at Boston University School of Medicine. We presented our design for a solar powered pulse oximeter that we hope will be used as part of a robust diagnostic ‘toolkit’ by community health workers in rural and underserved nations to help decrease the unacceptably high mortality due to pneumonia in ! children under 5 years. 

Matt Fleming Event Photo


Student Attendance at National Conferences:

Lauren Hart


I attended the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association portion of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Scientific Assembly in Denver (10/6-10/8). I was able to attend lectures on the field which included information about residencies and fellowships in emergency medicine. I was also able to attend the residency fair which had over 120 residency program representatives present.

Matt Nolan


Timmy Global Health is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that works to expand access to healthcare, while empowering student and medical volunteers to engage directly in global development and tackle global health challenges firsthand. In collaboration with its international and US partners, Timmy facilitates medical brigades and channels financial, medical, and human resources to community-based projects in the countries where it serves. 

The 2012 Timmy College Conference was a chance to bring together college students from across the country interested in global health and medicine in order to build connections and further education on global issues. It was truly inspiring to see the dedication, creativity, maturity, and leadership that these young people showed in their desire to make a difference both locally and internationally, and it was therefore an honor to have the chance to speak to them about my own international experiences working in Ecuador as well as my experience as a medical student.Matt Nolan Event Photo


September 2012 Updates

September 16th, 2012


On Wednesday, September 5, 2012, SCOMSA held its first meeting of the year and welcomed the 2016 leaders. The minutes from the meeting are included in the following link (2012.9.5 Meeting Minutes).

Student Group Activities:________________________________________________________

Christian Medical Dental Association


This is an event sponsored by CMDA that facilitated the discussion between students and faculty regarding what it means to explore one’s religion as a physician. The event was held on 9/7 and was open to all students and faculty. Our faculty advisor, Stephen Christiansen and student affairs Dean Daniel Chen were present to share their thoughts on Christianity and its role in the medical field.


Family Medicine Interest Group


There was a fantastic turnout for the Family Medicine Interest Group’s first event of the year on 9/4/12, “What is Family Medicine?” talk and panel discussion. Second year student Nicole Economou gave a brief overview of the specialty to the group, comprised mostly of first years. Only a handful of students knew what family medicine entailed at the start of the presentation, but our panel of three physicians (Dr. Poulin, BUMC PGY 2; Dr. Pierce, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center; and Dr. Pecci, BMC Director of Maternal/Child Health) did an excellent job of educating the group. After an hour of information and discussion with our panel, the students built a strong understanding about the breadth and flexibility that family medicine affords. One student even declared that family medicine sounded like “the perfect profession.”


Student Research Presented at National Conferences:____________________________________

Daniel Stein


I attended to 2012 annual American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery meeting. While there, I presented a poster that detailed my work with the Otolaryngology department here at Boston Medical Center looking at the population incidence of chronic laryngitis using the BMC primary care population. The poster was well-received. I also had the chance to attend many interesting lectures on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. 


Student Activities Updates

February 25th, 2012

Please click here to find minutes from the  February SCOMSA meeting:

2.8.2012 SCOMSA Minutes

Student Group Activities:________________________________________________________

American Medical Women’s Association


Approximately 40 students (5% male) participated in our “Daring to Ask: An Interactive Workshop on Negotiations” event on Wednesday February 8, 2012. Our guest speaker and leader of the workshop was Sarah Elizabeth Curi, JD. She is a practicing health care lawyer who has worked extensively with students. Sarah illustrated just how much disparity there was between female and male physicians, not just in terms of income, but also the way women are perceived in the workplace and the negative stereotypes surrounding females. She pointed out how female students and physicians can be more assertive and how not to fall victim to these stereotypes. She concluded the evening with helpful negotiation tactics that female students and future physicians can apply on a daily basis so that they can eventually get what they really want in the workplace.


History of Medicine Interest Group


Dr. James Brust came to campus to talk about BUSM’s early history, including its time as a women’s medical college, an early educator of African American doctors, and a homeopathic medical school. Dr. Brust is a psychiatrist out in California, a published historian, and donor to the BUSM library archives. The dinner event attracted a group of 40 that included students, alumni, neighbors, and medical school deans. 




The American Medical Association (AMA)/Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Chapter at BUSM held a very successful meeting over lunch on Friday, November 18, 2011. During the meeting, the leaders of the chapter (Francis Kim & Jamie Sparling) educated members about how they can get involved in leadership roles through the AMA and the MMS, and the types of skills they can develop through these experiences. We introduced the new leadership board structure for the chapter, and reviewed responsibilities for each role. In addition, we commented on other leadership positions, such as student delegate/alternate delegate to MMS committees, AMA-Medical Student Section (MSS) standing committees, and AMA-MSS convention committees. 

Veeshal Patel gave a review of our chapter’s participation at the AMA-MSS Interim Meeting in New Orleans, LA the prior week, and first time attendees Chris Hjorth and Arvind Nishtala shared their impressions of the experience. In all, we had 16 BUSM students attend the conference, passed three BUSM-authored resolutions, and had six poster/podium presentations at the Research Symposium.

After the meeting, we circulated applications for chapter leadership positions, and have now successfully filled the roles of Co-Chair- AMA affairs, Co-Chair- MMS affairs, Membership Chair, Community Service Chair, and Logistics Chair.

A very big thank you to SCOMSA and the MMS for funding the lunch for our meeting! We were able to serve a delicious and healthy lunch of salads and sandwiches/wraps from Tossed.



Student Research Presented at National Conferences:____________________________________

Ankit Agarwal


The ACNM/SNM Mid-Winter meeting of 2012 featured oral presentations and poster presentations from the fields of nuclear medicine and radiology from around the country. Special topics of discussion included the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease, imaging techniques in the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s disease, and the cutting edge of research on new treatment options. Presentations also featured the impact of combining imaging modalities such as PET/CT with diagnostic level CTs with IV Contrast, PET-MRI, and others. The clinical impact as well as the practical financial concerns associated with these new modalities were discussed. Finally, the ACNM conference dinner in the evening announced the abstract award winners, including my presentation as the best oral presentation. 



Allison Bond


The one-day Integrate Chicago Conference explored the many modalities of integrative, complementary and alternative medicine through panel discussions, presentations and workshops. The conference was the result of collaboration between medical students in the Chicago area and nationally, and its aim was to boost understanding and awareness of integrative medicine among those in the medical community. With fellow second-year medical student Emily Holick, I presented a poster delineating BUSM’s newly developed MEDYoga course. There were approximately 150 students in attendance, along with many prominent members of the integrative medicine community. Overall, it was an exciting experience, and I had the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of integrative medicine, learning about such subjects as the anti-inflammatory diet, mindfulness-based stress reduction and motivational interviewing. I sincerely thank SCOMSA for the funding it provided so I could have this experience.

Rebecca Burke


This past November I attended the Society for Neuroscience’s Annual meeting held in Washington D.C. to present a poster entitled “Intracerebroventricular infusion of bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) and insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) modulates the cholinergic phenotype of the septohippocampal pathway in the rat”. This poster reflects the thesis work I have been pursuing as part of my graduate training in the MD/PhD program at Boston University School of Medicine. My research demonstrates that intracranial infusion of two growth factors, BMP9 and IGF2, modulates the cholinergic phenotype of the septohippocampal pathway, a pathway critically important for learning and memory. At the meeting, I had the opportunity to discuss this work with my peers in addition to accomplished scientists from all over the world. These interactions provided insight into my res! ults and helped shape future research directions. I also had the opportunity to attend presidential lectures and special lectures given by some of the world’s leading scientists focusing on aspects as broad and diverse as Alzheimer’s Disease, Rhett Syndrome, the epigenetic basis of neural disease, and cognition to name just a few. Finally, I viewed the posters of other graduate students and scientists on a wide variety of neuroscience topics. Attending the meeting proved to be an invaluable opportunity to fine tune and direct my own research, in addition to broadening my understanding of the research-related challenges that will face future neuroscientists. I am extremely grateful for SCOMSA’s generous funding support to help make my attendance possible.



Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine