Medical Student E-newsletter
November 14, 2018 · Volume 7, Issue 19


Above, Class of 2022 student Francis Mtuke, right, shadows Assistant Professor of Surgery and urologist Peter Holoch, M.D., for a skills clinic on ureteroscopy in which he demonstrated how to use a cystoscope and ureteroscope and had the students practice with these tools. The skills clinic was hosted by the Surgical Subspecialty Shadowing Program spearheaded by Class of 2021 students Katherine Callahan and Jonathan Borden.


News from the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships

Eight students from the Class of 2021 will be headed off to Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LICs) in March 2019. Four will go to Glens Falls, N.Y.-based Hudson Headwaters Health Network (HHHN) and four will go to the brand-new LIC at Central Vermont Medical Center (CVMC), part of the UVM Health Network. Class of 2021 students Kalle Fjeld, Jordan Munger, Casandra Nowicki and Connor Scagnelli will be doing an LIC at HHHN. Second-year students Alexa Golden, Flora Liu, Jessica Lyon and Catherine Westbom will be doing an LIC at CVMC. Read about the new CVMC LIC Site Director and Coordinator here.


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DesignMedDesign-Thinking: A Fresh Perspective for Addressing Everyday Clinical Problems

On November 7, the designMED Student Interest Group held the intro session for their “Health Innovation” workshop series with a goal to introduce the concept of "design-thinking" - a patient-centric, methodical way of developing innovative solutions to bring humanism into medical practice. designMED SIG co-leaders Jhaimy Fernandez ’21 and Ashleigh Peterson ’22 were joined by UVM Medical Center hiCOlab (healthcare innovation collaboratory) intern Andrea Luxenberg for the session, which attracted about a dozen attendees. The group practiced using design-thinking to determine how best to help elderly patients, who often deal with such issues as vision impairment and arthritis, manage their weekly pill regimen. Fernandez and Peterson, who believe that medical school is the perfect time to learn this approach, say "Design-thinking cultivates a patient-centered mindset." Check out the next workshop on November 29 in Med Ed 206 from 12-1 pm (lunch provided).

Humphrey_RachelMeet the New Course Director: Rachel Humphrey, M.D. Human Development and Reproductive Health

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in Jericho, Vt. - I’m a Vermonter through and through.

Where did you attend medical school?

I graduated from UVM College of Medicine and did my residency in family medicine at UVM Medical Center. 

What drew you to your specialty? 

I was attracted to Family Medicine for the variability in patients and problems. I was interested in primary care and actually thought I wanted to do pediatrics. As time went on, though, I couldn’t see myself ONLY working with kids, so I decided on family medicine. I also love women’s health, which I’m able to do a lot of in family med.

What do you like about teaching medical students?

I just love to teach in general. I’ve always said if I didn’t go in to medicine, I would be a high school teacher. Teaching medical students also keeps me current in medicine. I also think teaching really brings a challenge - teaching is always changing (speed, style, etc.) - it keeps my life more interesting.

What are your goals as HDRH course director?

I have a LOT of goals . . . the course is at a tricky place in the curriculum when students are starting to think more and more about Step 1. I think we need to figure out what really needs to be focused on in this course versus what can wait until clerkships/bridge week (i.e., after Step 1).  I want to focus on converting all sessions to active learning (we made HUGE strides this year).  

What else should we know about you?

I’m married to an engineer and have two kids- age 5 and 2 (they keep me very busy).

BlogOn the Blog: Studying Bacteria: How am I Supposed to Memorize All This?

Medical student Jenna Dafgek ’21 shares tips on how she has been able to learn and memorize information when she finds she is struggling. “My test scores have been the best they’ve ever been, which I attribute to me engaging in the material in a more creative way. My mind naturally creates stories and characters, so it only makes sense to apply this to my studying approach."  Read more in her blog post.

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SIG Highlight: Integrated Medicine/Health Student Interest Group

The Integrative Medicine/Health Student Interest Group (SIG) explores disciplines such as meditation, yoga, nutrition, acupuncture, mindfulness, and Chinese Medicine and how they can be used in conjunction with traditional western medicine to attain and maintain a greater sense of well-being. Last week, the group hosted an event led by David Carr, M.D., Ph.D., an endocrinology researcher and a resident in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Carr gave an overview of acupuncture and insulin resistance before honing in on his specific area of expertise – using electroacupuncture to treat gestational diabetes. SIG leaders Shae Rowlandson ’21 and Sarah French ‘21 thought the topic would be especially appropriate for second-year students who are currently in the Human Development and Reproductive Health course. Additionally, they hoped to offer an opportunity to other medical students to learn about acupuncture. Contact Nina Dawson, Sarah French or Shae Rowlandson to learn more about upcoming events for the Integrative Health SIG.

View all Student Leadership Opportunities


  • Tuesday, November 20: Careers in Medicine Specialty Panel Series presents, "Career Advising Tools for Succes" with Dr. Christa Zehle, 12:00 - 12:50 pm, Sullivan Classroom
  • Thursday, November 22 - Friday, November 23: UVM Larner College of Medicine will be closed
  • Tuesday, November 27: Dean's Town Hall Meeting, 5:00 - 6:00 pm, Larner Classroom
  • Wednesday, November 28: Dean's Town Hall Meeting, 2:00 - 3:00 pm, Sullivan Classroom
  • Thursday, November 29: Dean's Town Hall Meeting, 8:30 - 9:30 am, Larner Classroom

Recent Events and Lectures

Clinical Affiliates

UVM Medical center

Western Connecticut

St. Mary's WPB

Hudson headwaters health network

Student Resources

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