Pre-med Student Group Opens Opportunities

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04-15-2014
By Thomas James Weaver

Spring semester of senior year is hectic for any UVM student staring down that Sunday, May 18, graduation date on the calendar. Christopher Thomas Veal has upped the ante in recent weeks with trips to academic medical conferences in Florence, Italy and Harvard University to present research he’s been involved with as an undergraduate.

Veal was one of just two undergrads presenting a poster at the event in Italy, the 61st Annual Society of Gynecological Investigation Scientific Meeting. The poster featured research he conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Phillippe, former professor in the UVM College of Medicine and now on the staff at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Not only was I able to contribute to one of the most prestigious gynecological conferences in the world, but I was able to witness the ever-changing tide of research in women’s health firsthand. It was a phenomenal experience that has changed my life,” Veal says.

The student’s appreciation and enthusiasm for the mentorship and opportunities he’s found in his pre-med focus at UVM are palpable. And Veal has a strong desire to create the same for others. It’s motivated him to join together with like-minded students, including Fathima Samen and Rehana Pothiawala, to form a UVM chapter of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS).

The group has quickly grown across the past year and now has approximately twenty members. Key support has come from College of Medicine faculty Dr. Elizabeth Bonney and Dr. Margaret Tandoh, and College of Medicine director of admissions Tiffany Delaney.

“It’s more than a social thing,” Veal says. “We’re facilitating connections that are helping advance the academic careers of our students.” He adds, “I hate when people think of minority as solely being race. We’re here for under-represented groups, people of lower socio-economic class, people of color, LGBTQ students.” Small picture, the group wants to open up opportunities at UVM. Big picture, they hope to play a part in giving the healthcare field a more diverse face.

The UVM MAPS chapter has connected with College of Medicine faculty and students for one-day shadowing experiences and on-going mentorships. They’ve traveled together to a conference in Maine and the recent Harvard event, connected a student with a summer internship at Brown University, and learned from a focused day together in the Rowell Hall Clinical Simulation Lab. Future plans include working with UVM medical students to help provide healthcare to migrant farm workers in Vermont.

“We’re a university that has a hospital and a medical school right on our campus. That’s something that not even Harvard has,” Veal says. “The fact that we can utilize that resource is amazing.”

Both Samen and Pothiawala graduated from Chittenden County high schools, but say they’ve discovered a much wider world even if college is just miles from home. Pothiawala has her eye on dental school someday, but brings diverse academic interests to the table with a major in management information systems in the School of Business Administration. Samen hopes for a future as a pediatric physician. She grew up in New Orleans before her family moved to Vermont, and living through the turmoil of Hurricane Katrina inspired her interest in medicine. “During the evacuation we went from shelter to shelter. I saw the doctors and nurses caring for people in that situation, and they became my heroes,” she says.

Veal is a Michigan native, who admits that aside from a generous scholarship offer, he wasn’t strongly drawn to UVM. That has changed dramatically during his years here, as he’s thrived with the mentorship he’s received from College of Medicine faculty and fallen hard for the Burlington/Vermont landscape and ethos.

Veal tells a story about a MAPS meeting with a group of admitted ALANA students. One young man’s lukewarm take on UVM — his opinion that Boston University would have more to offer — reminded Veal of himself four years ago. He shared his own experience and eventually persuaded the student to join UVM’s Class of 2018. Admittedly, that sort of admissions director’s dream isn’t going to happen every day. But it is a ripe illustration of what the fast-rising UVM chapter of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students is all about — connecting student-to-student to make the most of all the university has to offer undergrads interested in the medical professions.

Community Medical School Launches Spring 2014 Series, New Schedule

 

Now entering its 16th year, the Community Medical School program launched its Spring 2014 lecture series with a new schedule – the first Tuesday of each month – on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 with a presentation by Garrick Applebee, M.D., assistant professor of neurological sciences, on “More Than a Snore: Causes, Treatment and Risks of Sleep Apnea.” The lectures take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (including a question-and-answer session) in Carpenter Auditorium in the Given Building at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

A joint program between the UVM College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care, Community Medical School features lectures by the top faculty experts who teach and inspire the next generation of physicians and scientists at Vermont’s academic medical center. Each presentation reviews a current medical science topic in an easy-to-understand format, including informational handouts and a question-and-answer session following the lecture.

Upcoming Spring 2014 lectures include:

May 6: Personality or Mental Illness? Understanding the Links between Traits and Disorders
David Rettew, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry.

June 3: Digestive Detail: The Role of the Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease
Peter Moses, M.D., Professor of Medicine; Rebecca Wilcox, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology; and Jessica Wood Crothers, M.D., Instructor in Pathology

July 1: Hitting a Nerve: The Triggers of Sciatica
Bruce Tranmer, M.D., Professor of Surgery

Community Medical School lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. To register or learn more, call (802) 847-2886 or visit Community Medical School online. Visit the Community Medical School Archives to view presentations and materials from previous semesters.

photo by Raj Chawla

2014 Bruce A. Gibbard Memorial Lecture

Bruce A. Gibbard, M.D. Memorial Lectureship Program
Sponsored by the University of Vermont College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry

Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D.
The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Therapy:
The Talking Cure in the Era of Evidence-Based Practice

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Davis Auditorium
Fletcher Allen/UVM Medical Education Center, Burlington

Morning Program:

10:15 – 10:30 A.M.    Vermont Psychiatric Association’s Presentation of the Bruce A. Gibbard, M.D. Award for Clinical Excellence for 2013

10:30 – 11:45 A.M.    Gibbard Lecture (Grand Rounds Workshop # 14-128-32)

The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Therapy: The Talking Cure in the Era of Evidence-Based Practice

12:00 – 1:00 P.M.       Lunch Reception—Davis Auditorium Lobby

Afternoon Program:

1:00 – 3:00 P.M.         Workshop* (Davis Auditorium)

Personality Pathways to Depression: A Clinical Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Shedler

*The Afternoon Workshop is open to Clinicians and Mental Health Professionals only.  Attendance and clinical affiliation will be taken at the door. 

Lecture and Workshop Descriptions:

Morning Lecture

The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Therapy: The Talking Cure in the Era of Evidence-Based Practice

Psychodynamic therapy is an evidence-based treatment. Effect sizes are as large as those for other therapies that are actively promoted as “empirically supported” or “evidence-based”, and patients who receive psychodynamic therapy not only maintain therapeutic gains, but continue improving after treatment ends.  Research also shows that other forms of therapy may be effective in part because the more skilled practitioners incorporate  psychodynamic methods. Dr. Shedler will discuss the seven key features of contemporary psychodynamic treatment, review empirical evidence from randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses, and discuss how psychodynamic therapy compares to other evidence-based treatments such as CBT and antidepressant medication.

Learning Objectives:   

  1. Participants will be able to describe seven distinctive features of contemporary psychodynamic therapy.
  2. Participants will understand the concepts of effect size and meta-analysis.
  3. Participants will be able to describe empirical evidence supporting psychodynamic therapy.

Afternoon Workshop

Personality Pathways to Depression: A Clinical Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Shedler

It has become increasingly common to refer to depression as a “disease”, but it may be more helpful to view it as a nonspecific symptom—the psychic equivalent of fever—of a wide range of underlying disturbances.  For most patients, these disturbances are rooted in characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, attaching, coping, defending, relating and experiencing self and others—in other words, in personality.  This seminar will focus on common personality pathways to depression and their practical treatment implications, with discussion of clinical case material and clinical vignettes to demonstrate case formulation and treatment strategies.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand how different personality styles and syndromes (e.g., borderline, narcissistic, avoidant) constitute unique diatheses for depression.
  2. Participants will practice clinical case formulation linking depression to personality dynamics.
  3. Participants will develop greater understanding of effective treatment strategies based on personality patterns and syndromes.

About Our Speaker:

Jonathan Shedler, Ph.D. is known internationally as a psychologist, consultant, researcher, and author.  He is best known for his article The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, which won worldwide acclaim for establishing psychodynamic therapy as an evidence-based treatment.  His research and writing on personality are shaping contemporary views of personality syndromes and their treatment.  He has authored numerous scholarly and scientific articles in psychiatry, psychology, and psychoanalysis, and is author of the Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP) for personality diagnosis and case formulation.

Dr. Shedler lectures and leads workshops for professional audiences nationally and internationally, consults on psychological issues to U.S. and foreign government agencies, and provides clinical consultation and study groups by teleconference to mental health professionals worldwide.  Dr. Shedler is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and was formerly Director of Psychology at the University of Colorado Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry Department. When not teaching or practicing psychology, he is a certified professional ski instructor at Vail Ski Resort.

Continuing Education Credits:

The morning lecture (Workshop #14-128-32) is part of the UVM Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds Series.  Attendees will receive 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM

The University of Vermont College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The University of Vermont designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Afternoon Workshop is not accredited for Category 1 CME or CEU Credits.

Application has been made for CEUs for Psychologists, Social Workers, and Mental Health Counselors.

Registration and Program Fees:

No registration is required for the morning program. Attendance and clinical affiliation will be recorded for the afternoon program. The annual Gibbard Lectureship Program is provided at no charge to participants, thanks to donations made to the Bruce A. Gibbard M.D. Lectureship in Psychiatry Fund at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. To learn more about the Gibbard Lectureship Fund or to make a donation, contact: james.gilbert@uvm.edu   

Directions to Davis Auditorium:

From the Fletcher Allen Health Center parking garage Level 2 (orange), enter the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC).  Once inside, follow the signs to the Medical Education Center.  At the snack kiosk, turn left through the double glass doors.  Davis Auditorium is on the right.

Directions to Fletcher Allen Health Center Parking Garage: 

Map available at:  http://www.fletcherallen.org/Quick_Links/mchv_flrplan.html

Questions?

Contact: Jean Pieniadz, Ph.D., UVM Gibbard Committee Chair, at 802.651.7506
Committee Members:  Brooke Barss, M.D., James Jacobson, M.D., Judith Lewis, M.D., & Debra Lopez, M.D.

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

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A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different
materials to mimic the look and feel of   human tissue. Credit / Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

There’s no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery. But it’s hard for beginner neurosurgeons to get real hands-on experience. Most residents learn by watching and assisting experienced surgeons.

Newbies can practice on cadavers or use simulators, of course. But neither of those alternatives is quite the same as operating on a real, live patient, for better and for worse.

That’s why 3-D printers might help the doctors do a better job. At the University of Malaya in Malaysia, neurosurgeons are using 3-D printers to make realistic skulls and brains that residents can use to hone their skills.

Learn more online.

Nicholas Wilkie: Medical Student, App Creator

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Imagine you’re a physician with a disaster-relief group. You’ve bounced over bad roads to get to a remote cholera clinic, leaving behind Internet and cell-tower access. You keep careful medical records of patients by typing the information into your shirt-pocket smartphone. Once in range, your phone (and those of your colleagues at other remote clinics) uploads these records to a central server, where the data may not only benefit your patients in the future, but also help decision-makers monitor the outbreak all over the region.

Thanks in part to UVM medical student Nicholas Wilkie, that scenario may soon be reality. As a volunteer with the humanitarian-aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders), Wilkie is developing software that stores cholera patients’ medical records on a smartphone.

The third-year student, who is also a veteran programmer, was inspired to write to MSF in June 2011, after hearing Professor of Surgery Bruce Leavitt, M.D.’81 share his experiences with MSF in Nigeria and Sri Lanka. In those field hospitals, Leavitt says, the patient’s surgical record consisted of handwritten notes in manila folders. “At the end of the day, they’d pile them up in a room in a corner,” he recalls. Wilkie approached Leavitt with his idea.

Getting the green light from Doctors Without Borders

Wilkie then found his way to Thang Dao, MSF’s Switzerland-based director of information services. His timing was fortuitous, as MSF was in the process of changing how it managed patient information. Soon he had written a crucial piece of software, one that gets central computers running OpenMRS and far-flung Androids to talk to each other. “It will send electronic health information in a cogent way to the server and record it the way that we want it to,” Wilkie explains.

Dao was so impressed that he invited the student to meet with him and his colleagues in Geneva to discuss adapting the design for doctors responding to cholera outbreaks. “We are one of the few organizations in the world that can deal on a large scale with cholera epidemics,” said Dao. “What was missing for us was how to collect data quickly, and closest to the sources of contamination — which is to say in the villages.”

“Nick is one of these people who can launch himself in very thick snow and make a track for us,” says Dao.

Reposted from the UVM College of Medicine website.

Save the Dates for Puppy Happy Hour

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The College of Medicine Student Council is proud to announce that Puppy Happy Hour has finally arrived! Dogs from Therapy Dogs of Vermont will be in the Dana Medical Library classroom from 6:30-7:30pm on Wednesday April 23rd. Please stop by for some puppy love!

Puppy happy hour is a stress reduction program aimed towards giving students an opportunity to take their minds off school with the benefit of therapy dogs.

How to Access the Library after 9pm

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All active UVM Faculty/Staff and FAHC Resident House Staff have access to the North Concourse (door on the Concourse that leads into FAHC) and to the West door that faces Converse Hall. Library access is automatically assigned.

However, these doors lock at 9:00pm; after which you will need either an authorized UVM ID or an authorized FAHC Proximity Card.

Residents can go to the CatCard office for a UVM ID that can be swiped from the FAHC side to get in to the concourse after 9pm.

FAHC personnel can contact FAHC Security to request a Proximity card for access through the North Concourse door into FAHC.

Both doors are limited to library hours only: it is not 24×7 access.

Match Day!

Match Day, class of 2012. Danielle Scribner.

Congratulations to all our 2014 graduates!

Match Day is the culmination of four challenging and arduous years and, in some ways, is the most exciting day of the Medical School experience. Students receive notice of their residency matches beginning at Noon (EST) p.m. on the third Friday of March.

By UVM tradition, names are randomly selected by the Associate Dean for Students and, as each person receives the envelope, he or she places a dollar in a fishbowl. The last person called gets to keep all the money as a reward for their patience in the face of high anxiety.

The medical school sponsors a reception for students immediately following the Match Day Ceremony. The celebration then continues at a variety of local establishments.

To be announced: Class of 2014 students and their matching residencies. Use this link to view the Class of 2014 Match Day, streaming LIVE. Photo Gallery will be posted shortly after the event.

Dana Celebrates UVM Women’s HERStory Month

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The Dana Medical Library is currently displaying “American Women in Medicine and Health Care Sciences” in celebration of UVM Women’s HERStory Month. The exhibit highlights some of the extraordinary achievements and famous firsts by women, and is on view throughout the month of March 2014. The exhibit is also on display at the College of Medicine Hoehl Gallery in the Given Medical building.

smallbooks The exhibit also features a small collection of books relevant to the exhibit including, The Tangled Field by Nathaniel Comfort which chronicles the genetic research of Barbara McClintock; Carolyn Skinner’s, Women & Professional Ethos in Nineteenth Century America; and Mary Eliza Mahoney and the Legacy of African-American Nurses by Susan Muaddi Darraj. These books will be available to check out on April 1, 2014.