January 29, 2019 by
It’s that time of year again – when leadership of Student Interest Groups (SIGs) at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine is passed from the second year class to the first year class. In addition to changes in SIG leadership, new SIGs often emerge during this time as well. This year, there are three new groups that have applied to become official SIGs including the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), UV & Me, and History and Mystery of Medicine. Additionally, the Psychiatry SIG will be reinstated.
The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) will be led by Kelly Chan '22, Irene Sue '22, and Allison Tzeng '22 and will act as a branch of the national APAMSA which currently has 90 United States medical schools listed as members. UVM Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Mark K. Fung, M.D., Ph.D. will serve as the SIG's faculty advisor.
Nationally, APAMSA aims to “provide a public platform for Asian American and Pacific Islander medical students to meet, exchange experiences, and develop personally and professionally. Additionally, APAMSA strives to "promote the health and well-being of Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and educate healthcare providers who work with such patients in a culturally sensitive manner."
The APAMSA SIG at the College will specifically work to "serve as a forum and conduit for discussion, activism, and professional and leadership development through pan-ethnic events, conference attendance," and provide connections to mentors within specific specialties.
National projects worked on by APAMSA include campaigns to target tobacco and alcohol abuse in the Asian and Pacific Islander community, the Hepatitis B Education and Immunization Project, and the Bone Marrow Donation Project.
At the College, the new APAMSA SIG hope to host a series of events including a welcome event and a networking event with mentors recruited by Fung.
UV & Me Student Interest Group
The new UV & me SIG will be led by Alice Peng '21, as the director of event, Emily Puleo '21, as the institutional liaison, and Cari Carpenter '22, as the operations and administration manager. Their faculty advisor is UVM Assistant Professor of Medicine Melanie Bui, M.D., Ph.D.
UV & Me is a national organization that works to "build relationships with educational institutions in their respective communities and offer an engaging, free program taught by dedicated medical students to elementary, middle, or high school students." According to the SIG, "UV&Me's interactive program is divided into three components: the sun and electromagnetic waves, cell biology and DNA, and skin cancer and prevention. By learning fun facts about the sun and the mechanisms by which it effects cellular DNA, students are able to build a framework that helps them better understand exactly what factors contribute to the development of skin cancer. With a better understanding of why skin cancer develops, students are more motivated to adopt the preventative measures and utilize the skin cancer identification techniques taught in the third component of the presentation."
History and Mystery of Medicine
When asked about their new SIG, History and Mystery of Medicine leaders wrote, “Who invented the pacemaker? Did a Voodoo Priestess unknowingly discover penicillin? How did dangerous “ether” become the anesthesia we know and use today? The history of medicine is not only fascinating, but it can reveal deep truths, misconceptions, and ethical dilemmas that continue to impact the perception and practice of clinical medicine."
Along with their advisor, UVM Professor of Medicine Timothy Lahey, M.D., the SIG has been created to "assist students in understanding how we know what we know (and what we still don’t know) about medical practice."
Upcoming events will include guest lectures and fundraising and outreach opportunities.