January 4, 2021
SMA Physicians-in-Training 2020 Round Up
The year 2020 saw not only the birth of a new infectious disease, but also the formation of the Southern Medical Assocation’s Physicians-in-Training Leadership Working Group (SMA PIT). The SMA Board of Directors recently voted for SMA PIT to become an official committee of the Southern Medical Association. Check out the group’s year-end summary below.
PIT’s co-chairs, Ms. Natalie Weiss and Dr. Dantwan Smith, recruited subgroup leadership to oversee four active subgroups: Ms. Rebecca Fabian for Mentorship and Networking, Mr. Ryan Halas for Research and Professionalism, Ms. Julie Yi for Personal Development and Wellness, and Ms. Christine McEvoy for Communications. The leadership team hails from three different medical schools and one residency program and has been hard at work developing new programs and initiatives that support and complement medical education. These activities have been supported by SMA staff’s Ms. Mandy Stone and Mr. Dylan Stephenson.
PIT’s adoption of SMA’s committee rules will come with some changes to our leadership team. Dr. Smith will be transitioning from co-Chair to the role of Senior Adviser, while Ms. Weiss will be the Chair of PIT for the committee’s inaugural term. All leaders will now be considered committee members.
PIT has published multiple podcasts with topics ranging from “Day in the Life” of an internal medicine resident, orthopaedic surgery residents, and fourth year medical student during the pandemic to how medical associations like SMA can complement medical training. The group also talked with students in the Rio Grande Valley about providing access to healthcare for underserved populations. PIT will be starting the new year with a mini-series sharing various perspectives on the role of social media in medical education.
This fall, SMA PIT leadership started contributing monthly perspective pieces to the SMA Pulse, the organization’s newsletter. The Research and Professionalism Chair, Ryan Halas, wrote an article on how and why he has been inspired to be an active ally for BIPOC patients and peers. Julie Yi, the Personal Development and Wellness Chair, wrote an article about using social media in medicine.
Communications and Social Media
PIT established an active presence on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, as those were found to be the platforms used most actively by physicians-in-training. The group has utilized these platforms to advertise podcasts and perspective articles, as well as to conduct social media campaigns to debunk covid-19 myths and reflect on what brings physicians-in-training joy in the medical field. PIT Leadership also communicates with members via email and SMAConnect. The group has some exciting plans for social media collaborations that will reach more physicians-in-training throughout the region in 2021!
Inaugural PIT Conference
Because of the current state of the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) pandemic, this inaugural PIT Leadership Conference and Abstract Competition will be conducted over a virtual platform. The SMA PIT members’ work is too important to go unrecognized, and their safety is of equal importance. The group is still accepting abstracts and has extended the deadline to January 15, 2021 at 4:30 PM CST. There will also be cash prizes awarded to the top three abstracts and oral presentations ($600, $450, and $200 respectively). Updates will be provided over email and on social media platforms throughout the coming months regarding details for participant access.
“Spread your wings… and learn to fly!” The SMA PIT Mentorship and Networking Chair, Becca Fabian, has been hard at work laying the foundations of a longitudinal mentorship program that will offer new opportunities for trainees and established physicians to connect. Individuals from specialties across the southeast region will have the opportunity to form mentor/mentee relationships and expand their healthcare network. Protocols are being developed that will enable seamless implementation and structure for this program. There will also be networking opportunities built into the upcoming PIT leadership conference. Stay tuned for more details on how to get involved!
Know a medical student, resident, or fellow affiliated with a program in the southeast looking to enrich their medical education? Share with them information on how to join SMA for free, which can be found on our website.
About the Author:
Christine McEvoy is a third year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine and is a native of Nashville, TN. She is passionate about finding solutions at the intersection of healthcare, technology, and government. She is an Army reservist in the Health Professions Scholarship Program and will be applying to anesthesiology residencies next year.