LUCOM emergency medicine group attends annual Emergency Physicians Conference, networks with program and residency leaders
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) was well represented during the Virginia American College of Emergency Physicians (VACEP) annual conference this past month. The VACEP's Annual Conference attracted 180 attendees; 60 attendings, 60 residents, three nurse practitioners and 30 medical students at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va. Past ACEP's President Paul Kivela, MD, MBA, FACEP delivered the keynote address on the challenges of emergency medicine. Members of the LUCOM Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) were also present.
“Talking to the program directors offered an amazing chance for them to get to know us while we learned more specifically about their programs,” said Michael Cox, Class of 2021, president of LUCOM-EMIG. “One question that came up was about what extracurricular activities you can participate in to improve your odds and many program directors agreed that attending conferences like the VACEP conference and meeting the directors and residents is one of the most efficient ways to improve your chances of matching.” The VACEP conference included various presentations, including research-based, that offered great insight into some of the unique work taking place in the emergency medicine field. “If there were student-doctors on the fence about emergency medicine as a career option, this conference was a great opportunity for them to learn more about the field,” he added.
LUCOM-EMIG has been working very closely with the VACEP leadership throughout the past year in order to provide student-centered presentations and activities at the annual conference. This year’s conference, for the first time, had student-specific events and a total of 30 medical students attending from LUCOM, Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. LUCOM was represented by 15 of the 30 students.
The biggest draw for medical students was the residency director panel. The program directors for the emergency medicine programs at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, EVMS, and the Carillion Clinic were in attendance to field questions. “With LUCOM being a new program and an osteopathic program, many students feel unsure of what to do to improve their chance of matching into emergency medicine, especially with the single accreditation system coming soon. This provided an amazing opportunity to have questions answered and meet the directors for each of these programs, face-to-face,” said Cox.
LUCOM-EMIG has hosted residency directors at LUCOM over the last several years, but the opportunity for LUCOM students to meet with them all at the same time and have their questions answered provided a unique opportunity for them to compare programs and understand exactly what they can improve on their applications for residency.
“Emergency medicine is applicable to your patients’ lives only in a time of despair and great need for care. Many situations when people come into the ER require fast decision making and lifesaving choices, which may sometime cloud the humanistic aspect of medicine a bit. The desire to provide that level of sympathy to patients and their families during what may be one of the scariest days of their life is what draws me into emergency medicine,” Cox added.