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May 23, 2018

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How Med Student Interest Groups are Increasing Exposure to ID

Spotlight: University of Maryland School of Medicine 

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Medical Student Claudia Avalos, Devang Patel, MD, MS, and Medical Student Amiya Ahmed

 

When the University of Maryland School of Medicine Infectious Diseases Interest Group (IDIG) started in fall 2016, it held two events: a career panel of ID physicians and a movie session. In spring 2018, the group held six events and ran a robust shadowing program, after having already held a career panel and Jeopardy night the previous fall.

According to IDIG members Valerie Jenkins, first-year medical student, and Daniel Gutierrez, second-year medical student, the lectures hosted by their IDIG introduce them to topics that are impossible to cover in class due to time constraints.

The group’s faculty mentor, Devang Patel, MD, MS, said that before he started the group, the students did not really know about UMD’s extensive history in the field of infectious diseases. Since then, the students have really run with the group, organizing the events themselves and using Dr. Patel as a resource for scheduling shadowing opportunities.

The IDIG’s presidents are two second-year medical students, Claudia Avalos and Amiya Ahmed, both of whom say a large part of their interest group’s success is due to the funding it receives from the IDSA Foundation, which allows them to offer lunch sessions in the brief free period students have between classes. Free food, as appealing as it is, is not the driving force behind this group’s success. The student leaders have given life to this program by arranging a variety events and opportunities for other students.

The IDSA Foundation’s Student Interest Group program provides new and existing interest groups with $500 grants to hold activities increasing student exposure to the field of infectious diseases. Learn more about the types of events being held and apply for a grant for your school. Contact Meetings & Marketing Assistant, Laila Rosenthal for more information.

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