DMU Students Practice Skills, Build Networks During Procedures Night

A longtime event of DMU’s Internal Medicine Club enables students to practice and hone skills, learn from local medical residents and gain insights on applying for and performing well in residency: Every year the club hosts a surgical procedures night with MercyOne residents in the university’s surgery/simulation lab.

“We are truly privileged to have great connections with hospital systems in the Des Moines area that take an interest in our education. We collaborate with the internal medicine residency program directors and residents from area hospitals to facilitate learning opportunities for our students,” says Mercedes Foster, M.S.B.S.’22, D.O.’26, president of the Internal Medicine Club. “Our procedures nights especially help students grow connections in the community while teaching them skills that will be beneficial on rotations and beyond.”

During the event this year, on Jan. 23, six MercyOne residents, three of them DMU graduates, guided students in inserting central lines and chest tubes, performing lumbar punctures and intubating “patients” – in this case, the lab’s medical mannequins.

“When I was a DMU student, we had these events. Having residents show you techniques is so helpful, and it’s a chance to give back to the university,” says Dylan Hengst, D.O.’23, below, a MercyOne internal medicine resident.

Second-year D.O. student Shrinidhi Joshi, vice president of the club, says the event requires “a lot of coordination and set-up,” including finding a viable date among busy students and residents and choosing interesting procedures that will fit in the two-hour event. The effort is well worth it, Joshi says.

“We remember how fascinating and interesting the event was when we participated as first-years, which is what drove us to ensure the current first-years have an incredible experience, too,” she says. “The event itself flies by in two hours.”

The Internal Medicine Club also hosts case presentations led by MercyOne residents, many of whom meet DMU students during their third-year rotations. Some DMU faculty are attendings at MercyOne, including Daniela Frankova, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, assistant professor of osteopathic clinical medicine and the club’s advisor.

Such hands-on opportunities greatly benefit DMU’s first- and second-year D.O. students not only in enhancing their skills but also in fueling their excitement for their future careers.

“In the first two years of medical school, there is a lot of reading and studying required and not much clinical exposure,” Joshi says. “We of course always hope students learn crucial skills during procedures night. But most importantly, we want participants to go home with an excitement and reminder of why they wanted to enter medicine in the first place. Procedures night gives students a glimpse of what they are working toward.”

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