UMKC hosts meeting of Missouri medical students

Students at Missouri's medical schools met for a day at the UMKC Health Sciences Campus.
Students at Missouri’s medical schools met for a day at the UMKC Health Sciences Campus.

UMKC School of Medicine hosted for the first time the Missouri 1st Year Medical Student Conference, an annual meeting of students who attend the six medical schools in Missouri.

The conference took place Saturday, Jan. 16, and attracted nearly 100 students from the state’s allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools. It featured speakers, workshops and breakout sessions. The event was geared toward medical students in their first year of a four-year program or the third year of UMKC’s six-year program.

UMKC fourth-year medical students Sree Balusu, Lakshmi Katta and Nilbhi Patel organized the conference. As third-year B.A./M.D. students, they attended last year’s “MO-M1” conference, as it’s known, at the Kirksville campus of A.T. Still University. There, Balusu, Katta and Patel successfully presented the case for UMKC to host the 2016 event.

The organizers said the conference allows students at different medical schools to interact early in their education. “A main goal of this conference is to be able to network with people in Missouri, because these will be our colleagues in the future,” Patel said.

Chaitasi Naik attended the conference as part of a group of students from A.T. Still. “I was hoping to meet first-years and get more of an appreciation for being a first-year, to learn more about how different schools work and gain hands-on experience,” she said.

In addition to UMKC and A.T. Still, institutions in Missouri offering medical degrees include Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-Columbia and Washington University.

The conference took place in UMKC’s Health Sciences Building. In the morning, Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., adjunct professor of medical humanities and social sciences, and Caroline Dawson, adjunct instructor of medical humanities and social sciences, led a discussion about patient-centered interviewing. Martin and Dawson stressed the importance of active listening. “Your patient is going to tell you what to do at every step of the way,” Dawson said.

UMKC medical students facilitated a breakout session in which students interviewed standardized patients. Following the session, UMKC School of Medicine former Dean Emerita Betty Drees, M.D., spoke about the evolution of the patient-physician relationship, including the increasing respect for the patient as a person. “People are more than the sum of their lab values and their X-ray studies,” she said.

Students spent the bulk of the afternoon participating in intubation, ultrasound and physical exam workshops. The sessions were led by Jared Keeler, M.D. ’94, assistant professor of medicine; emergency medicine resident Adam Stuppy, M.D.; and Clinical Training Facility simulation intern Clay Ritchey, M.D. ’14. UMKC medical students Jacob Arnold, Peter Lazarz, Grace Ortman and Hima Veeramachaneni assisted with the workshops, along with other students who volunteered throughout the day, ensuring the event’s success.

At the end of the day, Sara Gardner, M.D. ’02, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics; Sara Reynolds, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Charlie Inboriboon, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine; and James Butterworth, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at University of Kansas Medical Center, answered students’ questions about specialty choices and residency training.