A fifth-year student in the UMKC School of Medicine’s B.A./M.D. program, Caitlin Curcuru, is using her post as national student secretary of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) to spread knowledge about the field.
“I discovered a passion for anesthesiology early on,” said Curcuru, who became interested even before she enrolled at UMKC, while shadowing operating room physicians on a visit to the School of Medicine. “I continued shadowing throughout medical school and helped establish the Anesthesia Interest Group at UMKC and served as ASA delegate for the past two years.”
At the society’s annual meeting in October, medical students from across the country elected Curcuru as secretary of the society’s Student Governing Council. As secretary, she is using the group’s monthly newsletters to promote interest and knowledge of anesthesiology. She also is working to broaden student awareness of legislative issues and hopes to inspire others to push for positive changes locally and nationally.
“The governing council is in constant communication with each other on how to serve and encourage medical students interested in anesthesia,” Curcuru said. “One of the things we are working on is expanding the website and social media presence to maximize exposure of ASA-related news, activities and efforts to a wider medical student audience. We are also working to develop a more concrete relationship with all the anesthesia interest groups around the country and have a website section for each of these groups.”
She encourages anyone interested in getting involved in ASA or with the group’s monthly medical student newsletter to write to her at email@example.com.
Curcuru, from St. Louis, says she was drawn to UMKC’s accelerated program by its immediate exposure to basic medical sciences and clinical skills. Besides helping establish the school’s Anesthesia Interest Group, she is the student representative for the Council on Curriculum and event coordinator for the Association of Women Surgeons.
She also has been active in research as a Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research summer scholar at Washington University in St. Louis in June and July 2016.
“I was responsible for developing an advanced protocol, in which I am the first author, that has been submitted for review,” she said. “I was able to present my findings at the ASA National Conference this past year in Chicago.”
And because Curcuru learned about that research opportunity by attending the 2015 ASA conference, she sought deeper involvement in the national organization by running in 2016 for the secretary position on the Student Governing Council.
Curcuru is just one of the School of Medicine’s student leaders holding positions with national associations. Kiki Osude, year 6, leads the International Affairs Committee of the Student National Medical Association. Tim Chow, year 4, was recently appointed chief financial officer for the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, his second year on the national board. The previous year he was national director for membership. And Moiz Qureshi, year 6, is vice president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident & Student Association’s Medical Student Council.