Baby beepers, push-ups and jars full of tar?

Fair opens door for student involvement on campus

“It’s so important for students to have a chance to take a break from their studies and do something that helps them see the light at the end of the tunnel, experience different specialties and start to build a network of like-minded peers and mentors."

- Nicole Deiorio, M.D., director for career advising, SoM

OHSU students looking to become familiar with what’s going on around campus in different departments, both clinically and academically, recently had the opportunity to learn what was available to them by attending the 2012 Interest Group Fair, held in the atrium of Richard Jones Hall.

The annual fair is an opportunity for students, particularly the incoming classes of medical, physician assistant and radiation therapy students, to sign up to participate in various campus interest groups and further their educational experience.

Forty-three tables (representing about 38 groups) ranging from family medicine to global health to student diversity were present, handing out promotional materials (and some M&Ms or peanut butter cups) with the hope of recruiting new members. While the majority of the groups were campus based and student led, external groups, like the United States Army, were also present.

The logistics of the fair were the responsibility of second-year M.D. class Vice President Liska Havel, who said she learned that putting together a project like this was a “wonderful practice in leadership” and a “very rewarding” experience.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with all of my classmates,” Havel said. “Their hard work helped make this event a success. A few of them even acted as ‘elves’ and set up many of the tables the night before.”

The interest group leaders (primarily second-year students) were responsible for the displays that advertised their particular group or organization. The Teaching Services Office (TSO) served as the liaison to the students.

ifg1Organizers said that the fair exceeded turnout expectations and several group leaders mentioned that they had gained new members.

“It was great to be reminded that medical school is not just a lecture hall and a PowerPoint,” said first-year medical student Geoff Gillespie, who attended the fair between classes. “It is, in fact, full of so many unique and interesting ways to translate the lecture hall time into real patient care by getting involved with campus groups.”  


Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) is a national organization aimed at promoting the health and well-being of the Asian/Pacific American community through outreach and service projects. The OHSU group also fosters community and dialogue among future physicians who want to address issues pertaining to this patient population.

Baby beeper is a program in which students with an interest in with an interest in family medicine or OB/GYN are paired with a family physician who has OB/Gyn patients. The physician suggests a prenatal visit the student may wish to follow. The student can attend as many clinic prenatal visits as possible with the patient, then is “beeped” (called) when the patient goes into labor. The student is invited to join the family for labor and delivery!

Push-Up Interest Group (P.U.I.G) started as two medical students doing pushups once a day in between morning classes. Now it continues as a group of 15+ first- and second-year medical students, men and women, who meet at precisely 9:50 every morning. Students perform pushups, pull ups, and any other kind of exercise that they can do on a 10-minute break. Members say that when they get back to class they are awake, attentive and slightly sore.

Tar wars is an educational program (nationally headed) in which medical students and/or physicians teach an anti-smoking lesson to 4th and 5th grade classes in the local schools; complete with jars full of tar and lung sections of healthy and smoke filled lungs. The students that receive the presentation are then invited to participate in a national poster competition to express why smoking is bad and to support the anti-smoking campaign.
To learn more about how you can join a group, please contact Laura Foran at the TSO.

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