Medical specialty interest groups

The groups listed below are run by Alpert Medical School students and focus on educating our school about the wide range of specialties and subspecialties available to us as future physicians, as well as linking us with researchers and mentors in fields that interest us. These groups are funded by the Medical School Senate as well as the Patient Advocacy Coordinating Council.

If you would like to get in touch with any of these groups, please email for contact information.

Aging Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Fei Cai MD'16, Paul Herman MD'16, Joshua Rodriguez-Srednicki MD'16

On Jan 1st, 2011, the first baby boomer reached the age of 65, and for the next 18 years a baby boomer will turn 65 every 11 seconds. Regardless of what type of physician you become, you will have contact with and/or treat the elderly. The Aging Interest Group hosts events to educate medical students on clinically relevant topics such as Medicare/Medicaid laws and how to break news to patients. Our aim is to show how treating geriatric patients overlaps with many different specialties and interests.

Sample Activities:

  • Meet a Geriatrician: Evening dinner where students can network, discuss current issues, ask questions, and get advice from geriatricians.
  • Medicare/Medicaid lecture: Lunchtime talk where students can learn about federal and state healthcare spending.
  • Breaking Bad News panel: Lunchtime seminar (cosponsored by the Cancer Awareness and Reflection Elective) about how to break bad news to patients.

Anesthesiology Interest Group

2012-2013 Leaders: Zachary Hoffman MD'14, Rashid Hussain MD'14, Theresa Lii MD'16, Shakir McLean MD'15

The goal of the Anesthesiology Interest Group is to expose medical students to the diverse clinical practice of anesthesiology, introduce topics pertaining to sub-specialization, clinical research, advocacy, provide networking opportunities with faculty, and foster career development for interested medical students.

Example Lectures:

  • Kickoff lecture: "What is Anesthesiology?: I don't just put people to sleep"
  • Debate/discussion: "Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide"

Example Workshops:

  • The Anesthesia Machine De-Mystified
  • Airway management

Brown Integrative Medicine Initiative

2013-2014 Leaders: Kera McClelland MD'16, Liz Schindler MD'16

Founded in 2010 by Kevin Liou (MD14) and John Luo (MD13), the Brown Integrative Medicine Initiative (BIMI) seeks to advance the principles and practices of integrative medicine within the Brown community.

Integrative medicine is a promising field that draws from the best of the world's healing modalities to provide safe, individualized care to patients. Integrative medicine acknowledges the role of mind, body, spirit and community as vital to the healing process and seeks to foster a healing partnership between doctors and patients. While it recognizes the power of conventional biomedicine, integrative medicine also attempts to facilitate the body's own healing response; it promotes the use of less invasive methods where safe and when possible; and it seeks to integrate complementary healing modalities with conventional therapies in the pursuit of disease prevention, wellness, and treatment of illness. Integrative medicine rejects the notion of an "alternative" medicine by proposing that all safe and efficacious healing modalities have a place in the medical paradigm. It seeks to broaden doctors' options so that they are able to apply the most appropriate treatment to a particular patient's ailments.

By organizing a series of lectures, classes, and interactive workshops, BIMI aims to provide students with educational opportunities in the field of integrative medicine. Past events held by BIMI include qi gong/tai chi workshops, meditation sessions, Chinese pulse diagnosis classes, lectures on homeopathy and naturopathy, acupuncture workshops with treatment demonstrations, and a field trip to a naturopathic school/hospital.

Dermatology Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Brittany Katz MD'16, Olivia Linden MD'16

The Dermatology Interest Group (DIG) is committed to providing volunteering, networking, and research opportunities to medical students interested in a career in dermatology. DIG's mission is to:

  • Provide a support group and community for students considering a career in dermatology;
  • Provide opportunities for students to form productive relationships with other students and members in the field of dermatology;
  • Provide a forum for communication and accurate information exchange between students, residents, and program directors on topics pertinent to a career in dermatology;
  • Provide access to a network for a collaboration on projects and volunteer and service activities among dermatology interest groups nationwide through the Dermatology Interest Group Association.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Jack Ludwig MD'16, Ravi Sarpatwari MD'16

The Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) is a student organization dedicated to expanding the opportunities and experiences for students interested in emergency medicine, EMS and disaster medicine. Our goal is to stimulate interest in the field by allowing pre-clinical students to partake in Simulation Center events, where they can practice their clinical skills, by connecting students with residents currently in training and by offering lectures and events that broaden the understanding of the role of the emergency environment in the overall field of health care. Any students interested in emergency medicine or any of its subspecialties are welcome to join!

Environmental Change and Health Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Kelsey Ripp MD'16, Emily Viggiano MD'16, Chandler Villaverde MD'15

The Environmental Change and Health Interest is a new student group with the aim to bring awareness and discussion of the relationship between environmental change and human health to the medical school. Ecological health has always been a key determinant of human health; however it is becoming increasingly pertinent for the future because of the drastic environmental changes occurring globally. The focus of this group is broad but will include topics related to classical environmental health, climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental disasters.

Typical events: We host speakers to give lunch or afternoon talks at least once a month on a variety of topics related to the environment and health. The aim is to engage students with faculty, guest lecturers, and other students to discuss these important topics, with a special emphasis on the role of the physician in the field of environmental health.

Family Medicine Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Ami Belmont MD'16, Joshua Rodriguez-Srednicki MD'16

The purpose of FMIG is to increase awareness of and interest in family medicine among all medical students at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. More specifically, the FMIG aims to:

  1. Educate medical students about the diversity of medical activities conducted by family physicians;
  2. Provide extracurricular educational and service opportunities about some of these activities to medical students; and
  3. Raise awareness among medical students about key issues related to primary care at the local, national and global levels.

Health Innovation Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Adam Eltorai MD'16, Austin Ha MD'16

The Health Innovation Group (HIG) brings together entrepreneurial minds from medicine, engineering, design, and the startup world. HIG is focused on understanding the ins and outs of medtech innovation. Featured guest experts present the processes of developing their own entrepreneurial ventures. Students learn about each expert’s perspective on problem solving and actively engage in discussions of each case study. Students should come away with a deeper appreciation and excitement for facing the challenges of developing healthcare ideas from concept to implementation.

Infectious Disease Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Caitlin Naureckas MD'16, Kelsey Ripp MD'16

The aim of the Infectious Disease Interest Group is to educate medical students about all aspects of infectious disease medicine, raise awareness of lesser known infectious diseases as well as broader social, economic, and developmental issues surrounding infectious diseases, and provide a forum for faculty/student interaction and networking regarding clinical, research, policy, and other extracurricular opportunities in infectious disease. All students are welcome to join our mailing list and attend our events!

Typical Events and Activities: We hold lunchtime talks and journal clubs on topics related to infectious diseases, microbiology, and global health beyond the standard micro/ID curriculum. Last year's topics included Lyme disease, global disease eradication, history of HIV/AIDS care, syphilis in Rhode Island, and pediatric ID case studies.

International Health Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Minoo Ramanathan MD'16, Mayuree Rao MD'16

The International Health Interest Group promotes study, clinical service, and research in global health for medical students at Brown. We host lectures, panels, and journal clubs throughout the year to increase awareness of global health needs and introduce students to career paths in the field. We also compile opportunities for students to get involved in global health work during medical school. Through these activities, we aim to build a community of students interested in global health at Brown.

Internal Medicine Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Cynthia Eleanya MD'16, Nicole Noronha MD'16, Dominic Wu MD'16, Jovian Yu MD'16

The Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) hosts several events each year to acquaint medical students with information about internal medicine and its thirteen subspecialties: adolescent medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, hematology, immunology, infectious disease, nephrology, oncology, pulmonology, rheumatology, and sports medicine.

Whether you're interested in general internal medicine or a specific subspecialty, IMIG can help introduce you to the wide world of possibilities within internal medicine. IMIG also sponsors a panel each year with clerkship directors and fourth-year students to help rising third-year students to choose between RI Hospital, the Miriam Hospital, Memorial Hospital, and the VA Hospital for their 12-week medicine clerkship.

Medical Chinese Interest Group

2011-2012 Leader: Jane Zhang MD'14

The purpose of Medical Chinese is to provide an opportunity for medical students to hear and improve their medical Chinese skills. Our goal is to have meetings each semester where we invite local health practitioners who are native Chinese speakers to give talks in Chinese on case studies, medical research, and life as a medical professional.

Medical Spanish Interest Group

2011-2012 Leaders: Jonathan Hernandez MD'14, Laura Marcus MD'14

Given the large number of Spanish speaking patients in Providence, medical Spanish is an invaluable skill. Because the best way to learn a language is to hear it and to use it, the purpose of our group is to provide an opportunity for first and second year medical students to hear and practice medical Spanish. We have breakfast and lunch meetings each semester where we invite local physicians who are native Spanish speakers to give a talk exclusively in Spanish on a disease or a case study.

Medical Students For Choice

2013-2014 Leaders: Sarah Kramer MD'16, Mayuree Rao MD'16

Brown's chapter of Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) organizes abortion shadowing experiences, lobbying opportunities, and lectures and workshops on reproductive health topics. MSFC works to destigmatize abortion provision among medical students and residents, and to persuade medical schools and residency programs to include abortion in their curricula. MSFC is an internationally known non-profit organization with a successful track record and a network of over 10,000 medical students and residents in North America and abroad.

Neurosurgery & Neurology Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Noah Donoghue MD'16, Toby Emanuel MD'16

Neuroscience research has experienced tremendous growth over the past 50 years. Consequently, our understanding of brain function at the molecular, cellular and physiologic level is undergoing a rapid evolution. New developments will have important consequences for the treatment of common neurologic disease processes. They are also likely to further underscore the need for a multidisciplinary team-based approach to solving problems.

The objective of the group is to bring together medical students who are interested in the field of neuroscience through dinners, workshops, lectures and clinical skills training opportunities. Speakers discuss a wide variety of topics, from clinical knowledge about their subspecialties to a general discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a career in neurosurgery/neurology. Additional benefits include the opportunity to meet professors, attendings and residents, as well as to observe their work in both clinical and surgical settings.

Ob/Gyn Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Ella Damiano MD'15, Brittany Katz MD'16, Julia Kim MD'14, Joy Liu MD'15

The Ob/Gyn Interest Group is dedicated to expanding preclinical opportunities for those students interested in women's health issues. Our goal is to stimulate interest in the field and to provide students with resources, mentors, education through lecture series, and exposure to further explore various career opportunities within Ob/Gyn, including Reproductive Endocrinology, Gynecologic Oncology, Urogynecology, Family Planning, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Clinical Research.

Orthopedics Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Theodore Albright MD'16, Vickram Tandon MD'16

The OIG is committed to improving exposure, knowledge, interest, and research opportunities for medical students interested in pursuing a career in orthopedics. We represent all topics falling under orthopedic surgery, including orthopedic trauma, hand surgery, shoulder andelbow surgery, arthroplasty, pediatric orthopedics, spine surgery, foot and ankle surgery, surgical sports medicine,spine surgery, and muscoloskeletal oncology. The OIG's goals are:

  1. To raise awareness about arising issues and groundbreaking research in orthopedics
  2. To provide mentorship for those interested in a career in orthopedic surgery

Palliative and Hospice Care Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Jason Bowman MD'16, Rachel Dunlap MD'16

The Palliative and Hospice Care Interest Group exposes students to the special needs of patients of all ages who are experiencing serious illness, require complex symptom management, and/or may be entering the final stages of their lives. These patients can benefit from specialized and holistic care that focuses on relief from symptoms and suffering and also addresses their psychological and spiritual needs. Regardless of the specialties medical students ultimately enter, learning about palliative care and end-of-life issues will help prepare them to best care for patients and their families. The Group's goals include:

  1. Introducing the concepts of palliative medicine and hospice care to the AMS student body through specialized speakers and events
  2. Exploring the medical, psychological, and spiritual needs of these patients and the roles of palliative and hospice medicine in various settings
  3. Fostering discussions about end-of-life issues, handling patient death, and physician self-care

Pediatrics Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Nan Du MD'16, Jenna Kahn MD'16, Emily Shelkowitz MD'16

The Pediatric Interest Group is dedicated to expanding and providing preclinical opportunities for students interested in issues related to pediatrics. The Pediatric Interest Group aims create a platform for the sharing of ideas and support of students' own pediatric-related pursuits; to increase awareness of the various career paths related to pediatrics; as well as to promote child advocacy. The group brings together individuals of all different training levels- students, residents, and faculty- for lectures, discussions and demonstrations in order to increase  exposure and experience in the area of pediatrics.

Plastic Surgery Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Austin Ha MD'16

The PSIG exists to support interested students in exploring careers in plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as to debunk the notion that plastics is just face lifts and tummy tucks. We represent all subspecialties falling under plastic and reconstructive surgery, including, but not limited to, wound healing, hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, deformity corrections, burn care, grafts, microsurgery, and aesthetic surgery.

Everyone is welcome to participate in our events or seek advice! In the past, we have sponsored information sessions led by the department chair and attending physicians, as well as case studies sessions led by residents. Organized lectures and workshops have also been offered before. We can also help arrange shadowing opportunities with attending and/or resident physicians.

Radiology Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Adam Driesman MD'16, Kimeya Ghaderi MD'16, Atin Saha MD'16

The Radiology Interest Group aims to provide learning, networking, and research opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in radiology. The organization works closely with faculty in the RIH Radiology Department to provide students exposure to the broad scope of imaging subspecialties within diagnostic radiology by putting students in contact with radiologists from all different stages of training and types of practices.

Bringing together medical students, residents, and faculty, the group meets several times a year and serves as an interactive forum for discussions and demonstrations. Anyone who is interested in radiology is encouraged to join!

Surgery Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Matthew Shalvoy MD'16, Jordan Thompson MD'16

The Surgery Interest Group at the Alpert Medical School aims to promote greater interest in the field of general surgery and its subspecialties, as well as expose students to the training pathways, skills, and innovations in surgery.

Student members attend lectures given by attending surgeons and residents representing various subspecialties, as well as various workshops including suturing, knot tying, and laparoscopy.

Any and all students with an interest in surgery, whichever the subspecialty, are encouraged to join!

Translational Medicine Interest Group

2012-2013 Leaders: Clay Wiske MD'14, Linda Chao MD'15

The TMIG aims to provide a connection between the many researchers at Brown in the "knowledge district" and students of the Alpert Medical School for mentorship and involvement in clinical and translational research. The group aims to help students find mentors for student research, to help researchers to share their work and to recruit students, and to provide a forum for students to share their own work with others. The group also aims to help students interested in clinical and translational research to learn about careers in academic medicine.

Urology Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Alex Berger MD'16, Patrick Lec MD'16

The Urology Interest Group was created to expand preclinical opportunities for students interested in surgical and medical diseases of the male and female genitourniary system. Our goal is to expose students to the varied research and clinical cases which make urology exciting! Students involved in the UIG will have the chance to explore both the field of General Urology, as well as the subspecialties of Pediatric Urology, Endourology, Urologic Oncology, Female Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Male Reproductive Health and Reconstructive Urology.

Vascular and Interventional Radiology Interest Group

2013-2014 Leaders: Erica Alexander MD'15, Atin Saha MD'16

The Vascular and Intervention Radiology (VIR) Interest Group aims to provide learning, networking, and research opportunities for medical students interested in a career in radiology or surgery, or for those who would like to learn about direct opportunities in the VIR field. Interventional radiology revolutionizes medicine through the use of image-guided, minimally invasive therapeutics. Innovations such as angioplasty and the catheter-delivered stent, allowed for minimally invasive treatment of peripheral arterial disease over thirty years ago. Since then interventional radiologists have continued to discover new and effective means to target a variety of disease states, including thermal ablation for cancer treatment and carotid artery angioplasty and stenting to prevent stroke. VIR is a unique surgical field with a large emphasis on patient management and continuity of care.

Wilderness Medicine Interest Group

2012-2013 Leaders: Cate Berger MD'15, Joe Schmidhofer MD'15, Jonathan Thorndike MD'15

The Wilderness Medicine Interest Group (WMIG) seeks to highlight the challenges and opportunities of working in a remote medical setting. The group hosts related speakers, practices wilderness and survival techniques, and explores application of austere medical skills. The WMIG offers these opportunities to all students, but especially those who were not selected for the Wilderness Medicine Preclinical Elective (which has limited enrollment).

WMIG also recognizes the importance outdoor recreation to the mental and physical well-being of the student body. Therefore, it sponsors outdoor events such as rock-climbing, backpacking trips and participation in MedWars, an annual medical adventure race.