Medical Student E-newsletter
October 17, 2018 · Volume 7, Issue 17


Members of the Class of 2022 and leaders gather on the steps of Billings Library following their White Coat Ceremony at Ira Allen Chapel on October 5.  


Clerkship Affiliates Visit VT Campus

In March 2019, Class of 2021 students will begin the Clinical Clerkships level of the curriculum. This past Monday, they had a chance to learn about the College’s affiliate sites, meet each site’s respective clerkship directors and directors, and hear from a panel of third- and fourth-year Larner students with experience at the sites. Clinical Education Coordinator Jacqueline Drouin says the meeting’s aim is to help soon-to-be Clerkship students “prepare for success on the wards” and “offer important insight for when you rank locations.” Among the topics addressed were what to expect from directors during the first rotation; info regarding each clerkship’s on-call schedule and potential for evening calls; the role of the medical student on the health care team; the evaluation process; and professional presentation. Prior to the meeting, clerkship coordinators participated in a retreat that focused on such issues as policies for clerkship students in terms of needle stick/exposures, prevention of transmission, and appearance in a healthcare setting.


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First PatientHospital Milestones: Your First Inpatient Interaction

Seeing a patient at the UVM Medical Center marks a milestone for first-year medical students at the Larner College of Medicine. Typically, it's the first time a medical student dons their white coat professionally and is visually identified as a physician-in-training. For many students, it's also their first one-on-one interaction with a patient as a member of the healthcare system. Professionalism, Communication and Reflection (PCR) Course Co-Director Shaden Eldakar-Hein, M.D., explained the importance of this first visit: "This introduction [takes place] before the students can give any kind of medical advice [and] is crucial to seeing them [the patient] as a person learn that listening and validating a patient's story is incredibly therapeutic and healing." In addition to teaching the students to really listen to patients, the assignment serves another purpose – to remind the students why they're in medical school. Reminiscing about her own training as a medical student, Eldakar-Hein noted that she didn't see her first true patient until she was in clerkship. "I remember spending two years being inundated with medical information, almost stuck in the books, wondering what my purpose was," she said. She adds that today, the most grounding and uplifting experiences for her are still those times when she is able to sit by a patient's bedside and listen to their story. First-year medical student Collin Montgomery echoed Eldakar-Hein's sentiments, saying "It was so energizing and served as a really well-timed reminder of what I'm here for. It's pretty exhausting and draining learning the hard science behind medicine in the classrooms all of the time...a lot of it is really fascinating and interesting to learn about, but getting into the hospital, wearing the coat, going into the patient's room, sitting down, talking, and listening – I mean, that is it, that's the exciting stuff, that's why we're here."

M1s and M2sPracticing POCUS through Peer Mentorship

"I fell in love with point of care ultrasound (POCUS) immediately. I think that I’ve always had interest in it and it was just confirmed with the first few sessions during M1," says Class of 2021's Naira Goukasian. She's part of an unofficial group of second-year medical students who have been working together to find opportunities to practice and improve their POCUS skills since their initial training sessions during their first year. Mentored by Professor of Surgery and Director of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Peter Weimersheimer, M.D., and Assistant Professor of Surgery Keith Curtis, M.D., the group meets occasionally to review interesting POCUS cases Weimersheimer comes across in the emergency department and to get hands-on skills training in areas such as Echo-Guided Life Support. Most recently, Curtis approached the group with a new idea about how to continue improving upon the skills they had already learned - having the M2 students teach. Goukasian and her classmates jumped at the opportunity. To prepare, they attended a separate cardiac POCUS training session led by Curtis and also reviewed the faculty manual and videos Curtis provided. Last Wednesday, the group worked alongside Curtis to teach Class of 2022 students about which probe to use to get the best cardiac views; how to position the probe to get the four different views of the heart, and one view of the inferior vena cava; how to identify the anatomy of the heart and how blood flows; and how POCUS can be useful in identifying cardiac pathology at patients' bedsides. Goukasian hopes she and her classmates helped make POCUS less intimidating for their first-year counterparts. "It can be kind of intimidating as a first-year to jump into takes some practice and I think having another student guide you through it eases the tension a little."

Ann DoughertyOn the Blog: Anne Dougherty, M.D., Addresses the Class of 2022

“Be a witness for your patients.  Use your critical eye.  Let them teach you and let them change you,”  Anne Dougherty, M.D. ’09 said to the class of 2022 at their White Coat Ceremony on October 5.  Read the full speech on the UVM Medicine blog.

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SIG Highlight: Medical Students for Choice

On October 10, the Medical Students for Choice Student Interest Group hosted a workshop on Manual Vacuum Aspiration (a common early abortion technique). The workshop, led by Lauren MacAfee, M.D., UVM assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, gave medical students the opportunity to learn about and practice different techniques, gain an understanding about the process women go through during abortions, and review policies at UVM. Please contact Sid Kajtezovic to find out more information about the Medical Student for Choice SIG.

View all Student Leadership Opportunities


  • Wednesday, October 17: The 5th annual Vito Imbasciani, Ph.D., M.D.'85, and George DiSalvo LGBTQ Health Equity Lecture - "Trans Health in Vermont: Providing Trans Affirmative Healthcare in a Small Rural State" presented by Rachel Inker, M.D. 5:00 - 7:00 pm, Carpenter Auditorium 
  • Friday, October 26: Coffee with Dean Jeffries, 7:00 am - 8:00 am, Given Courtyard N117 (Office of Medical Student Education), you decide the topic during this open discussion with Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, Bill Jeffries, Ph.D.
  • Monday, October 29: "Academia and Global Health: Benefits and Ethics", Pierce Gardner, M.D., 12:00 – 1:00 pm, Larner Classroom
  • Monday, October 29“Serendipity and Science: Chance Encounters that Shaped a Career” presented by the 2018 Medical Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Alumni Award winner Nicholas H. Heintz, M.S.’77, Ph.D.’79, a UVM professor emeritus of pathology and laboratory medicine. 12:00 - 1:00 pm, Sullivan Classroom (Med Ed 200)
  • Tuesday, October 30: The 2018 Dean’s Excellence in Research Awards. From 4:00 – 5:00 pm hear about “The State of Research at the College,” by Senior Associate Dean for Research Gordon Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., and find out the award winners for the Dean’s Excellence in Research awards. Then, from 5:00 – 6:00 pm listen to a presentation by National Institute for Health Distinguished Investigator Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D., “Canines, Cancer, and Comparative Genomics.” 4:00 - 6:00 pm, UVM Medical Center Davis Auditorium
  • Saturday, November 3: Translating Identity Conference, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Davis Center
  • Tuesday, November 13: Community Medical School presents, "Pumps, Sensors & Meds, Oh My! Treatments for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes", Matthew Gilbert, D.O., M.P.H., 6:00 - 7:30 pm, Carpenter Auditorium

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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