Medical students bring original research to American College of Physicians meeting

April 21, 2017

Seven OHSU medical students presented scholarship work during the annual national meeting of the American College of Physicians. Thanks to mentorship from School of Medicine faculty members and an emphasis on professional development in the Internal Medicine Interest Group, this is the highest number of OHSU students participating in recent memory. The conference was held March 30 to April 1 in San Diego.

Medical students at 2017 ACP national meeting

Neil Mistry, M.D. Class of 2018, was one of just 10 students chosen to make an oral clinical presentation. His was among hundreds of abstracts submitted by students from across the country. Mistry's presentation was entitled, "Failure to Thrive in the Elderly; 'C-ing' Past the Fog."

Sarah Shangraw, M.D. Class of 2017, and Vahid Azimi, M.D. Class of 2020, presented research posters. Kathleen Shangraw, M.D. Class of 2020 and Sarah's sister, was second author on their project – a pilot quality improvement study on physician/student attitudes and knowledge about cannabis – and also attended the conference.

Josiah Brown and Julia Armendariz, both of the M.D. Class of 2017, Camellia Dalai, M.D. Class of 2018, and Antonious Hazim, M.D. Class of 2019, presented clinical vignette posters.

Professional development on the national stage begins locally. Students in the Internal Medicine Interest Group, led by Susan Lou, M.D. '15, developed an "abstracts 101" session three years ago, which has proven fruitful for increasing participation in ACP meetings. Historically, about five to six students would present posters at the Oregon ACP chapter meeting;that number has been 15 or 16 the last two years.

"I was thrilled to see so many of our medical students take part in the national ACP meeting," said Avital O'Glasser, M.D., F.A.C.P., assistant professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, and mentor to Mistry and Sarah Shangraw. "Oregon ACP has spent the last three years ramping up support for student scholarship, and it was absolutely wonderful to see projects result in so many presentations. Participating in a national conference attended by thousands of internists gives students a unique opportunity early in their own professional development. The benefits of a successful presentation extend far beyond having an item on a CV or residency application—we know that the benefits of a productive mentorship relationship that develops over the course of working on a project can be innumerable and sometimes intangible. It's a joy and a privilege to get to work with students in this capacity."

OHSU faculty members are heavily involved in the ACP organization, both locally and nationally. Tom Cooney, M.D., M.A.C.P., professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, is outgoing governor of the Oregon ACP chapter and ACP's Board of Governors Chair. Numerous faculty serve on Oregon ACP committees. Dr. O'Glasser received the Early Career Physicians Award at the November state chapter meeting. Renee Dversdal, M.D., F.A.C.P., assistant professor of medicine, was inducted as an ACP fellow, and Heidi Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.C.P., research professor and vice chair of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and medicine, was inducted as an ACP master during the national meeting.

The American College of Physicians is a national organization of internists, and with 148,000 members, including internists, internal medicine subspecialists, and medical students, residents, and fellows, ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. 

Vahid Azimi at 2017 ACP national meetingSarah Shangraw at 2017 ACP national meeting

Pictured (top, left to right): Julia Armendariz, Sarah Shangraw, Kathleen Shangraw, Antonious Hazim, Josiah Brown, Camellia Dalai, Vahid Azimi and Neil Mistry.

Pictured bottom (left): Vahid Azimi next to his poster at the national ACP meeting; (right) Sarah Shangraw presents her research to ACP judges.