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May Activities

Welcome to the first edition of the monthly review.  The purpose of this webpage is to summarize all the activities that have taken place within the MSIH community.  The goal is to make students, current and prospective, aware of all the activities that are going on within our community and to highlight student initiatives.  This, unlike the newsletter, is not official and will not be widely dispersed.  In the future montly reviews, I am hoping to have a section that will contain the next month's events.  It is a work in progress, and I welcome any and all suggestions and comments to improve subsequent editions.

Megan Straughan '12

Note:  The activities are placed loosely in chronological order, and I am responsible for any omissions and/or errors, as I wrote the summaries and took the pictures, unless otherwise noted.

June activities can be found here.

Lectures from visiting professors:

On May 10th, Professor Howard Bergman, Chief of Geriatric Medicine at McGill
University, Montreal, Quebec gave the students of MSIH a lecture on the topic of "Older Persons in the Developing World: A Global Challenge."  The talk served to elaborate on the topics discussed during this year's "Aging" module.  Dr. Bergman encouraged students to consider how aging is currently affecting developing countries, and more importantly, how an aging society will affect these countries with already limited health services.  The event was hosted by our new dean, Dr. Mark Clarfield, Chief of Geriatrics at Soroka.

WHIG/ SIM co-sponsored event:  Business of Being Born

WHIG-sponsored Journal Clubs

On Wednesday May 13th, ten first year students gathered to discuss the article, "Health Care Issues Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Populations in the United States: Introduction" by Carey Johnson, Matthew Mimiaga and Judith Bradford.  The discussion was led by Megan Straughan '12, who kicked off with the following quote from the article: "a client can't seek health services that don't exist, or she is less willing to do so if she has either experienced stigma or anticipates a stigmitizing environment."  The discussion focused on the terms used currently within the queer community, and how we as medical students and future physicians can put into practice the guidelines set out by the article to make our future workplaces much more accepting and welcoming to people of all genders, sexes, and sexual orientations.  A recent American Medical Student Association (AMSA) goal has been the "Plus One Initiative" which strives to add at least one more hour of LGBT health curriculum in all medical schools. Student-led initiatives at MSIH are beginning this charge by advocating for the inclusion of LGBT health issues into the medical curriculum.

Student council + AMSA event:

The leaders of AMSA and Student Council for next year teamed up to show the 2nd years how much the first year class has appreciated them.  Liz Morgan and Megan Straughan, both '12, handed out drinks and goodies to second year students as they left their last final exam of the year.  The second years looked a little worn out but eager to depart / begin their individuals studies for the USMLE.  The first years and the rest of the MSIH community wish them the best of luck on the exam!

Student Council Cont'd

The Class of 2012 put on a faculty appreciation BBQ on Monday, May 18th.  The event was funded by student council, and all students in the class pitched in by bringing a potluck dish. Students, faculty and staff spent the evening chatting between bites of BBQ chicken and watching as dog owners tried to keep their dogs from the feast.

The class of 2012 would like to thank all the professors who came to the event, as well as Matt Patchett '12, who lent not only his creativity but also his BBQing skills and Rachel Barney '11 whose car made the event possible.

Click here to view all the photos taken at the BBQ

Global Health Journal Club events:

On Wednesday, May 27th, a small group of first years discussed the recent article published by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), "Surgical Task Shifting in Sub-Saharan Africa" by Kathryn Chu, Peter Rosseel, Pierre Gielis, and Nathan Ford.  Earlier in the year, students had discussed MSF's article, "Task shifting in HIV/AIDS: Opportunities, Challenges and Proposed Actions for sub-Saharan Africa" by R. Zachariah, N. Ford, M. Philips, S.Lynch, M. Massaquoi, V. Janssens,  and A.D. Harries.  Thus, students discussed the similarities and differences between the two types of care as well as the ethics of task-shifiting in surgical care.  Overall, students thought task-shifting was the only viable way to increase access to surgical care in sub-Saharan Africa.  The discussion leader was Megan Straughan '12.

Volunteer Activity

In February, Aya Lewkowicz and Rachel Barney, both '11, started a weekly volunteer
activity in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm Batin near Omer.  Roughly five MSIH students, spanning all three years, traveled to Abu-Kaf Regional School to lead English conversation classes for middle school students in the Umm Batin community.  Jahzi Abu-Kaf, who worked with Aya and Rachel to start the program, provided transportation for the students each Saturday morning.
 For the final session of the program this school year, Jahzi organized a field trip to the Joe Alon Bedouin Cultural Center for both the middle schoolers and MSIH students.  The field trip took place on May 30th and began with a tour of the museum at the Cultural Center followed by games and a large picnic in the
woods.  The seven MSIH students who were able to attend the event enjoyed first rate Bedouin hospitality and a large feast.  Jahzi handed out certificates of appreciation to each volunteer, and three girls gave heartfelt thank you speeches.  Both the MSIH students and the Abu-Kaf students enjoyed the Saturday lessons this spring and are looking forward to the fall when the program will begin again.  On behalf of all the volunteers, I would like to say thank you to Jahzi and to the students who participated in the Abu-Kaf/ MSIH English teaching program this year!

                    Photo Taken by: Liz Morgan '12

Congratulations to the class of 2009!

(note: this photo was taken from the msihmd.org)

On Sunday, May 24th, Dr. Barry Pakes, Clinical
Investigator at the Institute of Medical Sciences at University of Toronto, as well as Project Lead at the Global Health Education Institute at the Centre for International Health at Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto, gave a clinical cases talk on tropical medicine.  He began with a quick chat about circumcision in relation to reducing HIV and HPV transmission before going through various cases and asking students to identify the microbe responsible for the disease.  Dr. Pakes offered insight into the differential diagnosis for various presentations and challenged students to recall their microbiology knowledge.  The event was organized by Jonathan Drew (JD) '12.

On Tuesday, May 19th, Students for Integrative Medicine (SIM) and Women's Health Interest Group (WHIG) co-sponsored the viewing of the documentary, "The Business of Being Born."   The event was kicked off by Rochel Englender, an American social worker and doula who is currently working with Sudanese refugee community in Arad.  She spoke about birth practices and the role of midwives during home and hospital births.  After the movie, there was a discussion of home births and how to make hospital births more
women-centered and women-friendly. 

Robbyn Upham '09, who is going into a OB/GYN residency at Stamford next year and who has had a home birth herself, fielded many questions from other students.  The event ended with advice to all of us from a non-medical school student who is pregnant with her first child.  "At the end of the day, it is about the mother, and what she wants.  She is the one having the baby, and no one can do it for her," she said, driving home the point that as future doctors we need to be sensitive to the needs and the wants of the woman.

(photo taken by Robbyn Upham '09)

 On Tuesday May 18th, Dr. Sheiner, who is a member of the OB/GYN department at Soroka, led a journal club discussion on his paper, "Decisions Regarding Pregnancy Termination Among Bedouin Couples  Referred to Third Level Ultrasound Clinic."   He shared antedotes from the wards and students asked questions ranging from a possible mistrust feel by the Bedouin women of Jewish doctors diagnoses to what type of programs have been implemented such as working with imams in the villages to encourage women to seek pre-natal care and undergo pre-natal testing earlier.  Students from all years found Dr. Sheiner's frank discussion of pregancy termination in Israel informative and interesting.  The event was orchestrated by Aya Lewkowicz '11.

Student Council
+ Aerialist Performance

Aya Lewkowicz '11 threw a "Dessert in the Desert" party for
the 2nd year class' end of the year celebration.  She provided hungry first and second years with delicious homemade hummus, lebane, and toasted pita.  Gloria Chu '10 and Hugh Kent '11 then dazzled the crowd with their stunning display of strength, flexibility and gravity defying stunts in their aerialist performance.  The crowd also appreciated the musical choreography of Eric Yudelevich '10. (note: no one was injured during the wonderful performance.)

(All photos from "Dessert in the Desert" are courtesy of Aya Lewkowicz '11)

WHIG / Volunteer activity

Circle of Health International / Beit Hillel Sudanese Refugee Maternal Health
Project invited MSIH students to train to become volunteer birth attendants for Sudanese women when they come to Soroka to give birth.   Thus far, six first year students have attended the two trainings out of the series of three.  Those who complete all three trainings, which are taught by doulas, will be put on a rotating on-call schedule.  Additionally, students are encouraged to travel to Arad and participate in women's group meetings.  Rochel Englander, pictured above, organized the trainings and has been working closely with Rachel Pope '11, WHIG's founder, and Annie Tubman '12, WHIG's new leader.

EMIG event:

On Tuesday, May 26th, ten first and second years participated in a casting workshop lead by Dr. Andrei Eshanu, an orthopedic surgeon.  He first showed students the various materials used in casting and demonstrated the proper wrapping techniques while explaining the theory behind casting certain fractures.  We then went into the casting room in the ER of Soroka and participated in the making one arm cast and two legs casts on eager student volunteers.  Dr. Andrei smiled broadly when he turned on the saw to show us how to remove the casts, and the student volunteers
generously allowed their fellow students to practice using the saw to remove their leg casts.  The event was organized by Julia Ishak '11 and the leaders of EMIG for next year, Jonathan Drew (JD) '12 and Miriam Jacobs '12.  All of the students present were grateful to Dr. Andre for giving us two hours of his time to teach us such an important and useful skill. (note: no one was hurt during the removal of the two casts).