|USA medical students Griffin Collins (left) and Pat O'Brien (right), shown with Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, president and CEO of the Associaton of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).|
Two students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently gave poster presentations at the Association of American Medical College’s (AAMC) Organization of Student Representatives National Meeting in San Diego. The meeting was a gathering of students, faculty, administrators and residency program directors from medical schools across the nation.
Pat O’Brien presented "The Ideal Week: A Student Centered Approach to Curriculum Layout," and Griffin Collins presented “Interprofessional Medical Education at a Student-Run Wellness Clinic.” Both posters were selected from a pool of abstract submissions nationwide.
O’Brien’s presentation summarized efforts that second-year medical students at USA undertook to optimize the way lectures and active learning activities were arranged within each organ-based module.
“The proposed solution followed a progression where new material is presented early in a given week, with the end of the week focusing on independent and active learning activities that foster concept integration and preparation for assessments and examinations,” O’Brien said. “The novelty of our approach was that we accounted for not only the hours spent on campus and the out-of-class hours required to adequately prepare for on campus activities, but also the hours required to maintain our health, well being, and extra-curricular obligations.”
O’Brien said he was proud to be able to bring a concept devised by his classmates to a national forum. “I expected to spend most of the session speaking with other representatives at the meeting, but was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my discussion was with educators and administrators of other schools, as well as representatives of the AAMC,” he said. “I was truly taken aback at the interest that was expressed by members of that level of medical education.”
Collins’ presentation focused on the recently developed student-run clinic that is a collaboration between the students and faculty of the College of Medicine, Nursing, Arts & Sciences, and several departments in the College of Allied Health. The clinic is based at the 15 Place Homeless Day Shelter and runs the first and third Saturdays of each month.
“We counsel the patients on a wide range of health conditions from metabolic conditions such as diabetes to mental health conditions like depression,” Collins said. “It provides us an opportunity to be engaged in the community, develop empathy for disadvantaged patients, and to see the value of the differing perspectives offered by students from other disciplines.”
“I was excited to show off what we were doing here in Mobile at the conference,” Collins added. “On top of that, we got to hear from other influential students and faculty members about how they have dealt with the challenges and opportunities of contemporary medical education.”