Student Organizations and Interest Groups

Academy of Osseointegration (Implant Interest Group)

The mission of the Academy of Osseointegration is to improve oral health by advancing the science, ethics, and practice of implant dentistry and related technologies.

The UConn chapter is open to all dental students, regardless of specialty interests. Lectures will explore the various applications of implant surgery, adjunct procedures such as bone grafting and soft tissue management, and the clinical and scientific principles behind these therapeutic approaches.

Events:
Example lunch and learn topics include:

  • Digital workflow and modern approaches to treatment planning
  • Comprehensive case reviews (surgical and prosthetics)
  • Current and emerging technologies in the implant space

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Sejal Thacker

Student Contacts:
Julia Mainelli, jmainelli@uchc.edu, Class of 2024
Hamza Qadri, hqadri@uchc.edu, Class of 2024
Tudor Ilies, ilies@uchc.edu, Class of 2024

Addiction Medicine Interest Group

The mission of this group is to provide medical students with additional education about substance use disorder through speakers, training events, and group discussion. This group will encourage open mindedness towards the complexities of substance use disorder and its treatment. Our goal is to foster scholarly inquiry regarding addiction medicine while reducing stigma and improving students’ knowledge of harm reduction methods. The group will work to promote relationships with the local community impacted by substance use disorder, while also advocating for improved public health and perception regarding these topics. With the knowledge that most medical students will encounter these issues in the future, regardless of their chosen specialty, we hope this group will serve to benefit the entire UConn Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine.

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. Suzanne Doyon
Dr. Surita Rao

Student Contacts:
Jessica MacIntyre, jmacintyre@uchc.edu
Christian Tallo, tallo@uchc.edu 

Ambroise Pare Society (OMFS Interest Group)

The Ambroise Pare Society provides an opportunity for discussions of current topics in oral and maxillofacial surgery from experts in the field as well as to introduce basic surgical techniques to aspiring oral surgeons. Meetings are held once a month. The group focuses on guiding aspiring oral surgeons through the application process, as well as providing resources and information to achieve a career in OMFS.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. David Shafer

Student Contacts:
Isiah Sumler, sumler@uchc.edu
Spencer Infranco, infranco@uchc.edu

American College of Physicians (ACP)

ACP’s Mission: To enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.

Core Values: Our core values answer the question: "How do we want to act as we move toward achieving our vision?"

  • Leadership
  • Excellence
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Professionalism
  • Responsibility

The American College of Physicians is a national organization of internists – physician specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States.

Membership for medical students is free and offers many valuable benefits and resources, including access to a number of online journals and newsletters (outlining recent medical literature, clinical guidelines, commentaries, and public policy), free admission to regional and national ACP meetings, networking opportunities, as well as national student research competitions. In addition, via the “Medical Student” portal there is much information about career paths, residency programs and a student specific publication called “The Internal Medicine Newsletter for Medical Students (Impact). There is also the opportunity to become involved with our state’s local chapter as a student representative or on the national level as a member of the Council of Student Members.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Jaclyn Cox

Student Contacts:
Ireoluwatomiwa Opayemi, opayemi@uchc.edu
Lily Zhong, zhong@uchc.edu

American Dental Education Association (ADEA)

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is The Voice of Dental Education. Its members include all 76 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, over 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, 66 corporations and more than 20,000 individuals. The mission of ADEA is to lead institutions and individuals in the dental education community to address contemporary issues influencing education, research and the delivery of oral health care for the overall health and safety of the public. ADEA’s activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications. The UConn Dental ADEA Student Chapter is an organization that seeks to engage students, residents and fellows in the promoting knowledge of and interest in academic careers. On a local level, our student chapter provides opportunities for students, residents and fellows to participate in curriculum initiatives, to learn with and from faculty about strategies for teaching that best promote effective learning in didactic and clinical settings, and collaborate with faculty and administration on projects that advance the educational activities at UConn Dental. On a national level, our student chapter works to advance ADEA’s mission, strategic directions, key priorities and initiatives, and prepare our students, residents and fellows for local and national leadership positions.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Eric Bernstein

Student Contact:
Mychael McKeever, mmckeever@uchc.edu

American Geriatric Society (AGS)

The American Geriatric Society (AGS) is the national organization of healthcare providers dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all older adults. Through panels, education, and service, the University of Connecticut School of Medicine/Dental Medicine Student Chapter seeks to inform all medical and dental students about the clinical needs and healthcare concerns of older patients, encourage and provide opportunities for medical student clinical and basic science research in geriatrics, and interest providers-in-training in the field of geriatrics.

All UConn Medical and Dental students are invited to join the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) Student Chapter.

Through monthly meetings that include learning and service opportunities, exposure to geriatrics in a variety of specialties, and residency advising, the UConn Student Chapter seeks to:

  • Educate students about the clinical needs and health care concerns of older patients
  • Increase awareness of end-of-life care, such as palliative and hospice care
  • Encourage and provide opportunities for medical student clinical and basic science research in geriatrics
  • Interest physicians and dentists-in-training in the field of geriatrics
  • Develop relationships between geriatrics faculty and medical/dental students

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. Victoria Costello
Dr. Margaret Rathier
Dr. George Kuchel

If interested contact:

Student Contact:
Lily Zhong (President), zhong@uchc.edu

American Medical Association (AMA)

AMA Mission: To promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.

Core Values: Leadership, Excellence, Integrity, and Ethical Behavior. Like other organizations, the AMA chapter at the UConn School of Medicine creates and sponsors a range of educational, social and community service events. However, unlike other medical student organizations, we are voting members of the strongest medical organization in the country, the American Medical Association.

Our chapter hosts speakers who discuss leadership, professionalism and current topics in medicine. We have a mentoring program that supports both undergraduate students from the Storrs campus, and pairs incoming medical students with second year students. Importantly, the UConn AMA Student Section provides opportunities for leadership to its students through participation in national and regional conferences and professional development. We have significant involvement throughout the state through partnership with the Connecticut State Medical Society, and within our region (Section 7: MA, NY, CT, RI, VT, ME and NH) where UConn students hold leadership positions. Through the AMA Policy subcommittee, our students write and submit policy within the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) and attend national conferences, where they are able to interact with and influence leaders who create national health policy for the AMA. The AMA-MSS provides democratic voting rights and participation to students at the highest levels of policy making. The MSS is known affectionately as "The Conscience of the AMA,” and medical students from across the country have united to spearhead such successful policy as universal health coverage, smoking prohibition in public spaces, and more. Many of our chapter policies have passed through the AMA-MSS and have been presented to the House of Delegates at national conferences. Sign up today to make a difference as a conscientious student physician locally, regionally and nationally!

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Angela Hart

Student Contacts:
President: Micaela Nelson, minelson@uchc.edu
Vice President: Jessica MacIntyre, jmacintyre@uchc.edu
Membership Chairs: Christian Tallo, tallo@uchc.edu and Sydney Taylor, sytaylor@uchc.edu
Advocacy Chair: Stephanie Humen, humen@uchc.edu
Policy Chair: Jake DeFrancesco, jdefrancesco@uchc.edu

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)

The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and strategic alliances.

Membership is open to all those (medical students, graduate students, and undergraduates) who wish to advance women in medicine and promote the health of women and their families.

Membership benefits for medical students include:

  • A national mentoring program with female residents and physicians
  • Networking opportunities at both the annual AMWA meeting and regional conference
  • Discounts on exam prep materials
  • Medical school tuition scholarships

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Barbara Edelheit, bedelhe@connecticutchildrens.org

Student Contacts:
Amber Lee Wilkes, awilkes@uchc.edu
Pearl Sutter, psutter@uchc.edu
Seda Sahin, sahin@uchc.edu
Hiromi Terai, terai@uchc.edu
Angela McCarthy, amccarthy@uchc.edu
Pooja Prasad, pprasad@uchc.edu

American School for the Deaf Health Education (ASDHE)

American School for the Deaf Health Education is an organization that was founded by Sarah Schlegel, M.D., and Chris Skurkis, M.D., when they were medical students. They discovered that there are many misconceptions regarding medical care and topics among deaf children, due to lack of exposure to information compared to hearing children. ASDHE, therefore, was developed in an effort to dismiss some of those misconceptions and to educate deaf children on various health topics. Medical and Dental students teach classes to children and teenagers at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) throughout the year on numerous health topics. Classes are held in the evenings at ASD in West Hartford, Connecticut. At the beginning of each year, an orientation is held at the American School for the Deaf. A baseline curriculum for each topic is also provided to the medical/dental students beforehand. The students are welcome to tailor the curricula to best fit their teaching styles and objectives. Curriculum support/development is provided by the coordinators throughout the year. Interested students are encouraged to contact one of the coordinators for more information and to learn about teaching opportunities.

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. Isabella Paolino
Dr. Sarah Schlegel, sschlegel@connecticutchildrens.org
Dr. Chris Skurkis, cskurki@connecticutchildrens.org

Student Contacts:
Alyssa Maurin, maurin@uchc.edu

American Student Dental Association (ASDA)

The UConn ASDA is a chapter of the American Student Dental Association at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. The American Student Dental Association is a national student-run organization which protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. It represents students with a unified voice and provides information, education, advocacy and services. The association introduces lifelong involvement in organized dentistry, and promotes change for the betterment of the profession.

Community activities include:

  • Hartford Marathon
  • Special Olympics
  • KEEP Associated Oral Health Screenings
  • Give Kids and Smile Day
  • Healthy Smiles Program
  • Supplies Drive to Zimbabwe
  • Wax and Relax and Chill and Drill for Students
  • Vendor Lunch and Learns

Instagram
Facebook

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Donna Paolella

Student Contact:
Sarah Nevolis, nevolis@uchc.edu

An Apple A Day Interest Group

"An Apple A Day" Interest Group.

We believe in the health, environmental, and societal merit of veganism/vegetarianism. Any small step that someone takes towards reducing their intake of animal products can have an impact on their health and the planet’s health. Our goal is raising awareness of the benefits of veganism/vegetarianism in our student population and patients, to advocate for more vegan and vegetarian options in the cafeteria and on patient menus, and creating patient health materials that cater to vegan/vegetarian individuals. We also hold events where we watch documentaries, share recipes, cook, and just eat good food together. Everyone is welcome to join! If you are vegan, vegetarian, an omnivore, curious about eating less meat, interested in sustainability, or wanting to learn how to talk to your patients about these things, join us at our meetings!

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Janice Oliveri

Student Contacts:
Dedrian Barrett, dbarrett@uchc.edu

Anastomoses – UConn Literary Magazine

Anastomoses is the official literary magazine of the UConn School of Medicine and Dental Medicine. Anastomoses publishes works of fiction/non-fiction, poetry, and visual art created by students and faculty. The goals of the magazine are largely to provide an outlet for creative energy in the UConn medical and dental communities as well as to advocate for the strong relationship between the humanities and health care. Submissions need not be related to medicine or dentistry. Submissions to the virtual magazine are published as soon as they are reviewed by our editors and can be accessed via the Anastomoses website.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Hugh Blumenfeld

Student Contacts:
Nishika Navrange, navrange@uchc.edu
Flora Dievenich Braes, dievenichbraes@uchc.edu
Eddy Ansari, eansari@uchc.edu

Anesthesiology Interest Group (AIG)

Sleep better by taking part! The AIG is where students interested in the specialty of anesthesia come to get an insider view of the going-ons behind the curtain in the OR. Under the advisorship of Dr. Stephen Panaro and Dr. Howard Gutstein, various presentations are given by students as well as by residents/attending physicians that showcase various aspects of anesthesia. Students have the opportunity to mingle with residents and attending physicians to discuss the field in general, residency options, as well as gain added exposure to a field, without which, surgery does not occur! Previous talks in the past few years given by students have included airway and intubation, pain management, regional anesthesia, and history of anesthesia. Hands-on training has included intubation techniques and regional anesthesia ultrasound practice, just to name a few. As well, students get an inside opportunity to ask questions regarding the first-year preceptorship in anesthesia, where students between their first and second year of medical school have the opportunity to rotate for one month in anesthesia at either UConn John Dempsey Hospital, Hartford Hospital, or Saint Francis Hospital.

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. Stephen Panaro
Dr. Howard Gutstein

Student Contacts:
To be announced

Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA)

The Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA) is a national organization of medical students committed to addressing the unique health challenges of Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) communities. Our mission is to improve healthcare for Asians and Pacific Americans (APA), foster cultural sensitivity and understanding, and encourage student leadership and community engagement. We promote the health and well-being of the Asian and Pacific Islander community as well as help health care workers who work with these communities understand how to care for the Asian and Pacific Islander patient in a culturally sensitive manner. Finally, APAMSA provides an important forum for APIA medical students to meet, exchange information and experiences and develop personally and professionally.

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. George Wu
Dr. Clifford Yang

Student Contact:
Annie Yao, ayao@uchc.edu

Better Futures

We, as UConn medical students, have developed a mentorship program at the Hartford Juvenile Detention Center called Better Futures. The Better Futures program has the main goal of helping the detention center residents (males age 17 and younger) to see a more hopeful future for themselves. Through weekly sessions with the detention center residents, UConn medical and dental students provide planned activities in the realms of: 1) Health classes, 2) Life skills, 3) Healthy coping mechanisms, and 4) Community service with the overarching goal of guiding the young men towards brighter futures. Mentors meet with the young men for one hour each week in the aims of building trusting and meaningful relationships. We hope to act as positive social role models, while also guiding the residents towards a better future!

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Lisa Barry

Student Contacts:
Rachel Cohn, rcohn@uchc.edu
Lauren Colburn, lcolburn@uchc.edu
Skylar Wright, skywright@uchc.edu

Bioethics and Medical Humanities Interest Group

The Bioethics and Medical Humanities Interest Group invites students to integrate topics of ethics, literature, history, philosophy, religion, sociology, anthropology, and the arts into the practice of medicine. By communicating through humanities and the arts, our goals are to provide more humanistic care to our patients as future providers, and to help students develop a more holistic skill set of critical thinking to enhance experiences of their medical/dental educations.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Hugh Blumenfeld
Dr. Elizabeth Simmons

Student Contacts:
Jeska Guirguis, jguirguis@uchc.edu
Catriona Hong, chong@uchc.edu
Thea Anderson, thanderson@uchc.edu
Felicia Woron, woron@uchc.edu

Building Bridges (Prosthodontics Interest Group)

Mission Statement: The goal of the Prosthodontics Interest Group is to help dental students build bridges between like-minded students, residents, and faculty who can help them better understand the full scope of Prosthodontics. Dental students will be exposed to and encouraged to interact with doctors at the top of their field through a variety of case presentations, discussions, and workshops.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. John Agar

Student Contacts:
Julia Mainelli, jmainelli@uchc.edu
Alyssa Maurin, maurin@uchc.edu

Carabelli Society

Vision Statement: To introduce dental students to the future of dentistry and the dental profession.

Mission: To develop an extracurricular educational program for dental students that will encourage exploration of the interaction between science and clinical dentistry.

Our primary goal is to expand the knowledge and exposure of our members to the advancing field of Oral Health Sciences and, by extension, the ever-changing practice of dentistry. We will utilize all available resources; including current journal articles, faculty, guest speakers, and collaborations with other UConn Health student organizations to achieve this goal. Insights gained from innovative research makes for health professionals prepared for the future of dentistry. Students will be able to establish a network with current health professionals – many, leaders in their respective fields. Students with early exposure to aspects of dentistry beyond the classroom will have a greater appreciation of the field and enhance their ability to critically evaluate literature. Carabelli welcomes all interested students regardless of their post-graduate plans.

Members are expected to do the following at monthly meetings during the academic year:

1. Attend meetings and participate in discussions.
2. Recommend relevant journal articles or topics.
3. Share related experiences, knowledge, or advice.
4. Contribute ideas for discussion topics, club activities, etc.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Aditya Tadinada

Student Contact:
Jay Dalal, jdalal@uchc.edu

Cardiology Interest Group

The Cardiology Interest Group aims to expose interested UConn School of Medicine students to the many diverse subspecialties in cardiovascular medicine through interactive presentations and speakers. Students can learn about the fields of preventative cardiology, cardiovascular imaging, electrophysiology, interventional cardiology, pediatric cardiology, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. We also host events that are useful to any student hoping to become more confident in their cardiovascular knowledge including EKG night and cardiac ultrasound night (a joint event with the Ultrasound Interest Group).

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Peter Robinson

Student Contact:
Kayley Siemiatkoski, siemiatkoski@uchc.edu

Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group aims to expose students to CT surgery as a potential career path. Through interactive wet labs, robotic simulations, journal clubs, and more, students will gain the opportunity to learn more about this specialty and the different paths to becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. This group will provide information on the highly competitive integrated program (I-6) into which students match directly out of medical school. Additionally, there will be opportunities for networking between students and surgeons, research, and CV building to increase one’s competitiveness for this residency track. Even if students are not planning to pursue CT surgery as a residency or fellowship, this interest group will hold events that apply to various surgical specialties. For any questions, please reach out to the student leader below!

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Dustin Walters

Student Contact:
Alessandra Bassani, bassani@uchc.edu

Celebrating Seniors

Celebrating Seniors will seek to provide companionship and activities for healthy aging to senior citizens in skilled nursing homes in the greater Hartford area. Additionally, this club will provide an opportunity for medical and dental students to learn from a geriatric population in the hopes of improving clinical awareness when serving this population as providers. The agenda of this club will be to visit a nursing home monthly and participate in activities with seniors that promote socialization, mobility, relaxation, and most importantly - an intergenerational community!

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Lisa Barry

Student Contact:
Patricia Hare, hare@uchc.edu
Suzanne Allen, suallen@uchc.edu
Lingli Zou lzou@uchc.edu

Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA)

Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) Founded in 1931, the Christian Medical and Dental Society (CMDA) is a group of almost 10,000 Christian physicians, dentists and medical and dental students committed to living out faith through the health care professions throughout the world. CMDA recognizes the unique pressures that medicine and dentistry bring to families and individuals and offers resources to help meet those pressures. The CMDA is concerned about the ethical challenges brought by modern technology, and seeks to bring a biblical understanding to those challenges. It is dedicated to making the most of the exceptional opportunities for ministry afforded by medicine and dentistry. CMDA has the only extensive ministry of any Christian organization in the nation to medical and dental students, strengthening them during their demanding years of training, and preparing them for future years of practice and service. The UConn CMDA chapter is student-run and works to provide specific opportunities to grow in relationships, in spirituality, through service and missions, and intellectually. The UConn chapter meets on a monthly basis for dinners hosted by different students, residents, and physicians in the area. This is a chance to gather for fun, food, and fellowship, and is always open for anyone to attend. Often different topics for discussion or presentation are part of the evening.

Other events include weekly bible study, prayer group, and community service events every semester.

More information can be found on Facebook and the CMDA website.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Cynthia Price

Student Contacts:
Emma Bergstrom, bergstrom@uchc.edu
Mychael McKeever, mmckeever@uchc.edu

Craft of Caring

Our primary goal is to encourage and facilitate the use of creativity and craftsmanship to help homeless members of our community get back on their feet. We will host events where students can both unwind and create crafts to donate to this cause. These events will promote mental well-being among professional students while also helping our local community. The project is designed to be flexible so that whether or not students can fit a workshop into their schedule, they can still participate and use their passions to give back. Our members will organize semi-annual craft fests, where the donated crafts will be available for purchase to help fund our mission. The proceeds will be used to create care kits for the homeless. We want to help people look and feel healthy so they can pursue the opportunities around them to live their best life.

Activities and Events:

  • Crafting workshops where people can relax, create and give back.
  • Fundraising by selling crafts made by community participants and club members.
  • Assembly and distribution of care kits.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Isabella Paolino

Student Contact:
Sarah Hyman, shyman@uchc.edu

Community Crisis Management and Support Interest Group

Crisis Text Line is a national hotline available 24/7 to anyone who is experiencing a crisis ranging from suicidal ideation to domestic violence, elderly abuse, depression, anxiety, substance use, LGBTQ concerns and more. UConn’s Community Crisis Management and Support Interest Group is composed of medical and dental student volunteers who undergo training in active listening techniques, suicide and self-harm risk assessment, safety planning, active rescue initiation, and national resource distribution to become certified crisis counselors and respond to texters in crisis. The group dually functions as a support network for its own members; bimonthly meetings are held during which members can debrief about their experiences. Physicians from multiple disciplines join us for periodic lectures and workshops on topics such as coping with death and dying, leading a team in a crisis, remaining calm, recovering after trauma, and more.

Faculty advisor:
Dr. Margaret Evans

Student contact:
Priya Gupta, prgupta@uchc.edu

Debate Club

The goal of this club is to foster debate skills and to help students explore different perspectives. We’d like to host debates on medical topics (medical ethics, malpractice, etc.) as well as light-hearted topics for fun (food, pop culture). If we gain enough traction and members, we would also like to sign up for debate competitions against other schools and clubs.

Faculty advisor:
Dr. Kirsten Ek

Student contacts:
Srisudhakar Nowduri, nowduri@uchc.edu
Antonio Espinoza, aespinoza@uchc.edu

Dental Student Activities Congress (DSAC)

The mission of the Dental Student Activities Congress (DSAC) is to act as an umbrella organization in order to provide central support to all the dental affiliated groups. Moreover, it is the intention of the Dental Student Activities Congress to raise awareness of the UConn School of Dental Medicine policies of hosting activities and events. The Dental Student Activities Congress will assist in coordinating their efforts to engage in internal activities and volunteer service projects and will familiarize the student body with all dental student activities, including interest group meetings, and volunteer opportunities.

Events:

  • Student activities fair.
  • Order supplies for dental student groups and their outreach events.
  • Order supplies for dental service trips.
  • Honduras (city) service trip.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Sarita Arteaga

Student Contacts:
Tudor Ilies, ilies@uchc.edu
Mishil Nana, nana@uchc.edu

Dermatology Interest Group (DIG)

The Dermatology Interest Group aims to foster medical student interest in the field of dermatology, promote faculty-student interaction and enhance dermatological skills and education. Approximately 6 to 8 meetings are held each year covering topics from current faculty research, residency application advice, and hands-on suturing workshops. The group also aims for community outreach by hosting two free skin cancer screenings at community events.

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. Hao Feng
Dr. Jane Grant-Kels

Student Contacts:
Nehal Lakdawala, lakdawala@uchc.edu
Catherine Qiu, qiu@uchc.edu

 

Disabilities Interest Group (DIG)

The UConn student Disability Interest Group (DIG) was founded over 25 years ago under the direction of Dr. Bob Greenstein and Dr. Mary Beth Bruder to increase the capacity of future healthcare providers to provide quality healthcare to persons with disabilities and their families across the lifespan. DIG has always been advised by clinical experts and faculty leadership from the CT University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and CT Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (CT LEND) program.

DIG is a student-driven organization committed to providing more education and learning opportunities to future medical, dental, public health, and other health and healthcare-related providers about disability and health. The group demonstrates a commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity through action. DIG participates in community outreach and engagement, curricular development, and advocacy initiatives for systems change. DIG has been recognized within UConn Health as a valuable resource for enhancing student education. Student leaders have developed and co-facilitated education provided during student orientation and during elective LEAP periods. In addition, DIG and the UCEDD provide a monthly Lunch & Learn series for UConn Health and other faculty and experts to share their experiences and expertise with students. The group actively advocates for increased disability-content in their training that includes persons with disabilities themselves as experts. DIG welcomes students of all backgrounds and disciplines. The group participates in disability-related efforts at the national level, as DIG is an official chapter of the national student organization Medical Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illness (MSDCI).

Faculty Advisors:
Dr. Mary Beth Bruder
Dr. Anton Alerte
Dr. Tara Lutz

Student Contacts:
Tara Peng, tapeng@uchc.edu
Nicolette Meka, meka@uchc.edu
Sarah Biron, sbiron@uchc.edu

Do No Harmony

Do No Harmony

Do you love to sing? Have you been looking for a way to do this at medical school? Are you worried you can’t make it work with your busy schedule? Not to fear! Do No Harmony is UConn’s first medical school a cappella group dedicated to the art of healing through song. Our purpose is to not only carve a safe space for friendship, fun and artistic expression, but also to share this musical gift with the Connecticut community at large. We perform at hospitals, nursing homes, school functions and more, and host events throughout the year to give back to the people that inspire us. Recorded music files will be sent out two weeks before rehearsals to allow members to learn the music at their own pace, and 1-hour rehearsal will occur weekly to meet the needs of the group. No stress, only fun!

TLDR; come sing with us in UConn’s first a cappella group! We’re all about friendship, community, and stress-free fun - all things we deem essential to surviving medical school. Plus, we have cookies.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Thomas Regan

Student Contacts:
Sarah Horowicz, shorowitz@uchc.edu
Tucker Rathe, rathe@uchc.edu

Emergency Medical Services Interest Group (EMS)

UConn Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Interest Group aims to foster community and mentorship among all those interested in EMS. Our group will expose medical students to this new subspecialty that focuses on medical oversight of pre-hospital emergency care systems. The UConn EMS Interest Group strives to hold monthly events with leaders in the field, including individuals involved in aeromedical transport/flight EMS, tactical EMS, and medical direction. In addition, many of these events include hands-on activities to teach practical skills such as using tourniquets, wound packing, vehicle extrication safety and more. ​​

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Richard Kamin

Student Contacts:
Class of  2024: Dave Patrick, dpatrick@uchc.edu

Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG)

UConn EMIG aims to foster community among all those interested in emergency medicine and to expose medical students to this exciting specialty. We hold monthly meetings throughout the academic year at faculty members' homes. Meetings typically feature dinner with case presentations from senior students and attendings. We also have special sessions focused on away rotations, residency applications, and interviews, along with simulation and skills nights. Every Fall we host a Wilderness Medicine Symposium that attracts medical students from across New England. We also run a mentorship program through which interested students are matched to UConn Emergency Medicine resident mentors.

More information can be found on our website.

You can contact us at emig.uconn@gmail.com  or reach out to our co-presidents.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. David Woo

Student Contacts:
David Cannata, dcannata@uchc.edu
Taylor Doolan, doolan@uchc.edu
Alden Landry, allandry@uchc.edu

Endodontics Interest Group

The Endodontics Interest Group’s focus is on all things endodontics. Our goals are to provide any student interested in endodontics with guidance in research, career expectations, new technology and procedures, and preparing for endodontic residency programs. These goals are achieved mainly by guest speakers from UConn's endodontic residency program as well as current endodontic faculty.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Aniuska Tobin

Student Contacts:
Stephanie Quezada, squezada@uchc.edu
Mathew Wikman, wikman@uchc.edu

Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG)

The Family Medicine Interest Group works to increase student awareness of family medicine as a career opportunity, and is open to all students interested in learning more about the specialty. The group hosts monthly to bi-monthly events discussing multiple topics relevant to family medicine and primary care. Meetings can occur on campus during the lunch hour, and more extensive workshops and discussions are hosted in the evening, occasionally at faculty homes.

Past events have included:

  • Introduction to Family Medicine Panel
  • Sports Medicine Casting and Splinting Workshop
  • Dermatology Hands-On Night
  • Global Medicine
  • Psychiatry in Primary Care
  • Medical Marijuana Panel

The FMIG leadership board meets every one to two months to discuss programming and develop new ideas. FMIG leaders, as well as all other students, are encouraged to attend regional and national conferences to increase their exposure to family medicine opportunities. FMIG is currently working to develop local community service efforts in conjunction with existing service projects at UConn. The FMIG is part of a national network of similar groups supported by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

More information can be found on the AAFP website.

Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Adam Perrin

Student Contacts:
Callista Love, calove@uchc.edu

First-Generation Medical Dental Group

Mission Statement
To support and provide resources to first-generation health professional students. We would also encourage and mentor high school and college students who are first-gen and considering entering a health profession. Anyone who would like to support these goals is welcome to join.

Goals/Events

  • Provide resources (first-year guide, research, residency information, etc.)
  • Establish mentorship between first-years and upper years
  • Connect students to faculty
  • Events to discuss rotations, research, residency, etc.
  • Outreach mentorship for pre-health high school, community college, and college students
  • Ideally focused on under-resourced areas

Faculty Advisors:
Medical: Dr. Thomas Manger
Dental: Dr. Sarita Arteaga

Student Contacts:
Medical: Heather McClure, hmcclure@uchc.edu
Dental: Vivian Van, van@uchc.edu

Future Doctors in Progress

    Future Doctors in Progress (founded by Harvard School of Medicine) is a non-partisan, and unequivocally patient-centric and equity oriented organization that seeks to equip medical students with the skills and knowledge necessary to effect systemic political change. The organization views political advocacy as a core responsibility of the medical profession and aims to create a network of medical students committed to this type of work. Goals of Future Doctors in Politics include: shifting medical school culture to recognize patient and community-centric political activism as a professional responsibility, equipping medical students with the skillset to shape political and policy action, and connecting medical students to pathways for servings as agents of political and structural change. Possible actions of FDIP at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine include direct interaction with policy-makers (through town halls, testifying in Congress), get out the vote campaigns, op-ed writing workshops, and more. To learn more about our mission, visit Future Doctors in Politics.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Zita Lazzarini

    Student Contacts:
    Ajshe Zulfi, zulfi@uchc.edu
    Jordyn Williams, jorwilliams@uchc.edu

    General Dentistry Interest Group (GDIG)

    The goal is to promote General/Family Dentistry as a respectable career option and to provide a forum for students interested in a career in general dentistry to connect with each other and the dental community and to explore topics not covered in the dental school curriculum. The primary activity is lunch and dinner meetings to host speakers on various topics of interest to future general dentists. Topics may include:

    • Residencies
    • Joining a practice
    • Practice management
    • Continuing education
    • New technologies in dentistry
    • Cosmetic dentistry
    • Office design

    These meetings are not intended to be solely a lecture, but rather a presentation with abundant question and answer interaction. Speakers will be invited from the regional dental community, within the dental school, and from the dental product and equipment industry. The group hopes to host at least one speaker per month.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Sarita Arteaga

    Student Contacts:
    Emma Bergstrom, bergstrom@uchc.edu

    Global Health Interest Group

    The global health interest group is made up of both medical and dental students who are interested and committed to learn about global health. The group focuses on expanding global health involvement within the health field, providing mentorship and support for students interested in traveling abroad, and attending educational workshops about global health opportunities. The group also supports an ongoing photo project composed of culturally meaningful photos from UConn students and staff members.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Kevin Dieckhaus

    Student Contacts:
    Class of 2024
    Justin Salm, jsalm@uchc.edu
    Corbinian Wanner, cwanner@uchc.edu

    Graduate Student Organization (GSO)

    For more information, visit the GSO website.

    Hartford Health Education (HHE)

    The Hartford Health Education (HHE) Program is a collaboration between the Hartford School System and the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine. Each year, pairs of students spend one hour a week in Hartford elementary and middle schools teaching about topics such as nutrition, exercise, bullying, mental health/identity, substance use, puberty/hygiene, healthy relationships, and sexual health. The program is one of the few health education resources available to these children, and it depends on the commitment of UConn medical and dental students to teach these once-a-week lessons. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in mentoring, teaching, urban health education, or who just loves working with kids.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Stacey Brown

    Student Contact:
    Corbinian Wanner, cwanner@uchc.edu

    Humanity First Student Organization (HFSO)

    The primary purpose and intention of the HFSO at UConn School of Medicine is to advocate for human life by means of undertaking disaster relief efforts, as well as human development projects for socially disadvantaged communities in collaboration with Humanity First USA (HF-USA). Any HF-USA programs that HFSO at UConn School of Medicine members would like to partake in such as Water for Life, Our Kids Our Future, and others will have to be approved by HF-USA. Particularly, HFSO at UConn School of Medicine focuses on three major aims: Education Project, annual medical service trips to disadvantaged communities, and community outreach.

    The Education Project provides UConn School of Medicine first and second year medical and dental students with the opportunity to act as tutors in one-on-one settings for disadvantaged students around America in subjects such as mathematics, sciences, and English. Humanity First USA has annual service trips internationally in which students are given the opportunity to shadow physicians, take vitals, scribe, and experience international medical systems. Lastly, the HFSO at UConn School of Medicine will emphasize community outreach. Specifically, we want to expand the Education Project opportunity to local communities such as Hartford school districts as well as to other regions that would be interested in educational opportunities. In addition, the HFSO will run used glasses drives, work with local food pantries, and look to provide further community outreach volunteer opportunities for UConn School of Medicine members.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Dharamainder Choudhary

    Student Contacts:
    Anthony Zhang, anzhang@uchc.edu
    Jimin Shin, jishin@uchc.edu
    Cesar Rubio-Ramos, rubioramos@uchc.edu
    Param Patel, parapatel@uchc.edu

     

    Infectious Diseases Interest Group (IDIG)

    It was not long ago when the majority of people could expect to die from infections. The development of antibiotics, vaccination, and public sanitation revolutionized medicine, giving more of us the opportunity to succumb to heart disease and cancers. But a surge of issues makes infectious diseases and microbiology perhaps the most pressing medical challenge of our time. Widespread antimicrobial resistant “superbugs,” vaccine-hesitant populations, climate change bringing tropical diseases and strange new fungi to more polar latitudes, and a myriad of other challenges are anticipated to make infectious diseases the number one cause of mortality in the Global North and South alike by 2050.

    But not all is lost, and not all microbes are bad. We are at the beginning of a renaissance of microbial-based therapeutics: phage and bacteriophore treatments for infections, engineered probiotics for a vast range of pursuits, viral and bacterial vectors for oncolytic therapies. We are seeing a new age of “interventional” microbiology.

    More than any other field, whether you are a physician, a researcher, or a public health worker, when dealing with infectious diseases you need to be up to date on the relevant clinical medicine, basic science, and public health. That’s why the IDIG encompasses students from the medical school, dental school, school of public health, and anyone else who is interested. We host career panels, expert speakers, journal clubs, and outreach events. No matter your field, microbiology and infectious diseases will play a role, so come learn and rise to the challenge of the century.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. David Banach

    Student Contacts:
    Emma Carlson, emcarlson@uchc.edu
    Ajshe Zulfi, zulfi@uchc.edu

    Internal Medicine Scholars/Internal Medicine Interest Group

    The Internal Medicine Scholars/Internal Medicine Interest Group meets on the second Wednesday of every month at the homes of various faculty members. Students from all years have the chance to socialize with their classmates as well as to meet clinical faculty who they may not have the chance to work with until their third or fourth year. Each meeting focuses on a different specialty within internal medicine (primary care, cardiology, nephrology, etc.), allowing students to learn more about careers within the field. One or more faculty members are invited to share information about their career paths, training, their specialty, and the different ways it can be practiced. Additionally, at each meeting fourth-year medical students intending to pursue Internal Medicine give clinical case presentations focusing on the specialty of the month and highlight the latest news from the clinical literature. Presentations are formatted to engage all levels of students. Fourth-year students also serve as quizmasters for the annual Jeopardy tournament.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Jaclyn Cox

    Student Contacts:
    Timothy Mason, tmason@uchc.edu

    Interventional Radiology Interest Group

    The Interventional Radiology Interest Group is designed to expose medical students to the field of interventional radiology, which uses image-guided, minimally invasive treatments to treat a wide array of conditions in all parts of the body. Interventional radiology is the newest ACGME approved residency, which allows students to gain experience in interventional radiology after completing the fundamental training in diagnostic radiology. This year we plan to host an "Introduction to Interventional Radiology" meeting as well as several presentations from practicing interventional radiologists and a special ultrasound guided biopsy simulation event.

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Michael Baldwin
    Dr. Charan Singh

    Student Contact:
    Omar Moustafa Omar, oomar@uchc.edu

    Jewish Medical and Dental Student Association

    The UConn Jewish Medical and Dental Student Association is a resource for both current and prospective medical and dental students aiming to enrich students' understanding of Jewish culture and religious practices and how Judaism relates to the practice of medicine. The organization also aims to connect Jewish students with one another and with Jewish faculty at UConn Schools of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. The UConn JMDSA is open to people of all backgrounds and we look forward to seeing you at our events!

    Potential Events (Post COVID):

    • Guest speakers
    • Social gatherings
    • Shabbat and/or holiday dinners

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Isaac Moss

    Student Contact:
    Evan Risch, risch@uchc.edu
    Sarah Herbsman, herbsman@uchc.edu

    Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)

    The purpose of the UConn LMSA is to address the health needs of the Latino community, as well as to promote the interests and support of those students who identify themselves as Latino students of the UConn School of Medicine through social, cultural, educational, political and other activities.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Amanda Hernandez-Jones

    Student Contacts:
    Co-Presidents
    Andrea Rodriguez Melendez, rodriguezmelendez@uchc.edu
    Ariel Kogan Zajdman,koganzajdman@uchc.edu

     

    Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group

    The Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group, working with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) as well as the UCONN graduate and undergraduate programs, aims to explore Lifestyle Medicine through three main avenues. Our first aim is to spread information about the lifestyle medicine field, how students can explore it, and how lifestyle medicine can help patients in any field. Our second aim is to promote lifestyle medicine to our community through service and community projects. Lastly, we hope to promote healthy habits for students that they will learn for themselves and be able to share with their future patients.

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Helen Wu
    Dr. Jasmin Hundal

    Student Contact:
    Lucia Duenas-Bianchi, duenasbianchi@uchc.edu

    Medical Dental Student Government (MDSG)

    The purpose of this organization is to represent the interest of the combined medical and dental classes in academic, cultural and social spheres.

    MDSG Officers 2024-2025:
    President: Sumeet Kadian
    Medical Vice President: Gabriel Rodrigues
    Dental Vice President: Niha Irshad
    Treasurer: Manjot Singh
    Secretary: Erica Mallon

    Dental Class Representatives:
    2027 Class: Madison Witt
    2026 Class: Maxwell Marks
    2025 Class: David Cruzate
    2024 Class: Alexandra Estanislau

    Medical Class Representatives:
    2027 Class:
    2026 Class: Sarah Dickerman
    2025 Class: Sarah Hartman
    2024 Class: Grace McCann

    Social Chairs:
    2026 Class, Dental: Luis Romero
    2026 Class, Medical: Calista Stevens & Aaron Kiel
    2027 Class, Dental: Christina Budzinski
    2027 Class, Medical: Eddy Ansari & Nick Russello

    Medical Minds Matter

    Medical Minds Matter at UConn Health is a part of a national non-profit organization dedicated to destigmatizing mental health issues in the healthcare field. As future healthcare professionals, we face many challenges unique to our careers that are not often discussed in the healthcare community. Through discussions, advocacy, and storytelling, Medical Minds Matter aims to transform the narrative of mental health among students and professionals in our local community and beyond. There are many opportunities for students to get involved, including planning events, sharing experiences, and developing initiatives to create change.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Adam Perrin

    Student Contacts:
    Sumanya Kumar, sumkumar@uchc.edu
    Ireoluwatomiwa Opayemi, opayemi@uchc.edu
    Shivam Patel, shipatel@uchc.edu
    Dean Kim, dkim@uchc.edu

    Medical Students for Choice (MSFC)

    Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) is a nationally recognized non-profit network of over 10,000 medical students and residents in the United States and Canada. MSFC is dedicated to ensuring that women receive the full range of reproductive health care choices. MSFC recognizes that one of the greatest obstacles to safe and legal abortion is the absence of trained providers. As medical students and residents, we work to make reproductive health care, including abortion, a part of standard medical education and residency training. Examples of past events have included a renowned abortion provider speaking about his experiences, a panel discussion showcasing a whole range of opinions and experiences with reproductive health care, a "contraception night" held in concert with Planned Parenthood, lunch-and-learns about abortion laws, film screenings, and much more. Participation in MSFC also affords students the opportunity to shadow at an abortion clinic and attend the national conference to network with future reproductive health providers from across the country.

    More information about the national organization can be found on the Medical Students for Choice website.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Zita Lazzarini

    Student Contacts:
    Claire Surkis, surkis@uchc.edu

    Military Service Interest Group

    The Military Service Interest Group (MSIG) at UConn Health is an
    organization that provides information, support, and opportunities for students interested in caring for military members and their families. This includes those interested in various types and lengths of service from volunteering to pursuing a career in the military as a healthcare professional. Beyond military service guidance, mentorship, and opportunities, we also serve our local community in outreach to local veterans and welcome all students to join!
    Goals, Activities, and Events:
    ● Provide resources about healthcare opportunities in military service, including contact with Recruiters
    ● Educate students at all levels of education about opportunities and benefits of service in the military (such as the Health Professions Scholarship Program)
    ● Establish camaraderie and mentorship amongst prospective, active, and retired military healthcare professionals
    ● Prepare students for basic officer training courses, military residency applications, and help their transition from civilian to military lifestyle
    ● Learn from UConn faculty and alumni who have served in the military, whether Active Duty or Reserves
    ● Host military guest speaker events
    ● Participate in community volunteering and service to local veterans

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. John Agar

    Student Contacts:
    President: Lenka Serdar, lserdar@uchc.edu
    Vice-President: Stephen Ogarepke, ogarekpe@uchc.edu

    Mindfulness Interest Group

    The Mindfulness Interest Group mission is to support and promote mindfulness practices in our community, in education, and even in patient care.​

    Mindfulness meditation is a practice which has been empirically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and negative emotions, as well as improve cognition, memory, and even improve the immune system and cardiovascular health. It is a wellness tool with immense benefits, especially for those who work in a stressful field like health care. However, it is highly underutilized and there is a lack of information available about it.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Mary Guerrera

    Student Contacts:
    Daniella Carnevale, carnevale@uchc.edu
    Megna Senthilnathan, senthilnathan@uchc.edu
    MaryKate Staunton, staunton@uchc.edu
    Allison Nemensure, nemesure@uchc.edu
    Taylor Doolan, doolan@uchc.edu
    Michael Vazquez, micvazquez@uchc.edu
    Nicolas Jorden, jorden@uchc.edu
    Param Patel, parapatel@uchc.edu

    Music in Medicine

    Join in on the fun of musical expression within the UCHC community through Music in
    Medicine! Amidst the hustle and bustle of healthcare, this group provides a platform for all
    musical individuals to showcase their talents and passions. From guitars and clarinets to violins,
    we embrace a broad range of instruments, fostering an inclusive environment for all
    instrumentalists. As UConn's first instrumental ensemble, Music in Medicine is committed to
    fostering collaboration, community, and artistic expression. Our performances will span various
    venues (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), creating spaces where every member can actively
    participate and showcase their unique talents. The group will comprise a main chamber
    ensemble, with aspirations for a full orchestra in the future. Additionally, smaller groupings of
    instruments will be coordinated to ensure that every member has the opportunity to perform.
    Weekly rehearsals will provide a dedicated time for musicians, whether you're returning to your
    instrument after a few years or eagerly seeking the chance to play with others.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Hugh Blumenfeld

    Student Contact:
    Yee Won Kim, yeekim@uchc.edu

    Muslim Medical Dental Student Association

    The aim and purpose of the Medical/Dental Muslim Student Association is to serve the interest of Muslim students at the UConn School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. The Medical/Dental MSA seeks to provide essential Islamic services/resources to its membership with the intention of (1) fostering spiritual and religious development, (2) promoting and providing community service activities, (3) facilitating dialogue and partnerships with non-Muslim students, and (4) creating a forum for healthy intellectual and social discourse. Although we are focused on Muslim students, our doors are open to people of all backgrounds.​

    Community Activities: 

    • Jummah Prayers
    • Social Gatherings
    • Ramadan Iftars
    • Eid Celebration
    • Guest Speakers
    • Volunteer Opportunities

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Khamis Abu-Hasaballah

    Student Contacts:
    Nora Akila, akila@uchc.edu
    Humza Rashid, hrashid@uchc.edu

    Narrative Medicine Interest Group

    Narrative Medicine is the discipline of applying the skills used in analyzing literature to interviewing patients. The premise of narrative medicine is that how a patient speaks about his or her illness or complaint is analogous to how literature offers an interconnected series of events with characters and is filled with metaphors, and that becoming conversant with the elements of literature facilitates understanding the stories that patients bring. At its core, narrative medicine is medicine practiced with narrative competence, which is the learned ability to listen, absorb, and really be moved to action and advocacy by stories of illness. Put simply, narrative medicine is clinical practice fortified by the knowledge of what to do with stories.

    Put another way, narrative medicine is an alternative medical approach to patient encounters that utilizes patients' narratives in clinical practice and education to promote healing. Beyond attempts to reach accurate diagnoses, it aims to address the relational and psychological dimensions that occur in tandem with physical illness. Narrative medicine aims not only to validate the experience of the patient, but it also encourages creativity and self-reflection in the physician. The ideal result is a physician well-versed in both evidence-based medicine and narrative medicine, meaning they are both scientifically and narratively competent, who henceforth is able to listen to a patient’s story and understand the significance of the patient’s suffering.

    The Narrative Medicine Interest Group will promote the acquisition of narrative competence with lessons on how to apply it in clinical practice. We will host a series of workshops, with the initial focus being discussion of select pieces of literature (prose and poetry), visual art, and music in an effort to develop narrative competence. Subsequent workshops will focus on stories of illness and disability. At every workshop, students will write to prompts as a means to engage their sensibilities. Together, participants will decide how best to weave narrative medicine teaching into the curriculum.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Adam Perrin, perrin@uchc.edu

    Student Contact:
    Nicolette (Niki) Meka, meka@uchc.edu

     

     

     

     

    OB/GYN Scholars Interest Group

    OB/GYN Scholars is a student organization whose goal is to further students’ interest and knowledge in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Meetings are usually at night and include medical students, residents and attending physicians. Proposed meetings for this year include:

    • Hands on nights to practice simulation deliveries, suturing, and laparoscopic procedures
    • Shadowing opportunities
    • Research opportunities
    • A week of events regarding sexual health and women’s health
    • Other case presentations and discussion topics held throughout the year

    The meetings are open to anyone who is interested in OB/GYN, might be interested in OB/GYN or just wants to enjoy some interesting discussion.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Christopher Morosky
    Dr. Dana Scott

    Student Contact:
    Kiana Akhundzadeh, akhundzadeh@uchc.edu

    Oncology Student Interest Group

    Oncology Student Interest Group (OSIG) facilitates meetings and activities for interested students and trainees to learn more about cancer, patient care, and pursuing a career in oncology. We have meetings throughout the school year. Past and upcoming events include panel discussions, social meetups, mock tumor boards, and more.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Swarup Kumar

    Student contacts:
    Jessica Munck, munck@uchc.edu
    Ryan Hannon, rhannon@uchc.edu

    Oral Medicine Interest Group

    In 2020, Oral Medicine became an official ADA recognized specialty. One of the reasons the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) petitioned for specialty recognition was to increase patient and provider awareness of the expertise held by oral medicine specialists. Referral of patients to appropriate specialists is an important factor in improving patient outcomes. Currently, oral medicine is specifically addressed in the ODCM course, which takes place during second year.

    A highlight of the MDelta curriculum is the focus on interprofessional education. Oral medicine is a career built on interprofessional care and provides a bridge between medicine and dentistry. The interest group would be open to both dental and medical students. Events would include case discussions and talks by faculty.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Prazwala Chirravur

    Student Contacts:
    Claire Bisch, bisch@uchc.edu
    Jenna Whelan, jwhalen@uchc.edu
    Kathryn Kwochka, kwochka@uchc.edu

    Ophthalmology Interest Group

    The Ophthalmology Interest Group serves to educate students about the field of ophthalmology through panel discussions, case-based presentations, and experiential hands-on sessions. We provide mentorship about research opportunities and the residency application process. Broadly, we introduce students to the various subspecialties within ophthalmology, including retina, cornea, uveitis, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastics, pediatrics, glaucoma, and more. We highlight ocular pathology associated with common systemic diseases relevant to the non-ophthalmologist, and host practice sessions with the direct ophthalmoscope geared toward all students.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Elizabeth Simmons
    Dr. Jeanine Suchecki

    Student Contacts:
    Christopher Edwards, chedwards@uchc.edu
    Sarishka Desai,  sardesai@uchc.edu
    Jordan Dean, jdean@uchc.edu
    Jeffrey Boakye, boakye@uchc.edu
    Elias Mullane, emullane@uchc.edu

    Orthodontics Interest Group

    The Orthodontics Interest Group functions to promote students’ understanding and exposure to the discipline of orthodontics through lecture, research, discussions, and experiential activities within the field. We partner with both the Orthodontic Residency Program, its faculty, and local orthodontists in private practice to bring a multi-dimensional perspective to the specialty.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Niloufar Azami

    Student Contacts:
    Anthony Perez-Pino, perezpino@uchc.edu
    Maayan Schmidt, maschmidt@uchc.edu
    Eamon Whelan, ewhelan@uchc.edu

    Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group

    The Orthopedic Surgery Interest Group provides students with an awareness of orthopedics as a career option. It allows students to interact with fellow medical students, residents, and local physicians.

    Previous meetings include:

    • Q&A session with current residents
    • Visiting the Bioskills Lab for a hands-on experience
    • Orthopedic Jeopardy with Dr. Craig Rodner
    • Research opportunities
    • Learning how to match
    • Life as an orthopedic surgeon

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Craig Rodner

    Student Contacts:
    Mehreen Pasha, mpasha@uchc.edu
    Alyssa Lam, alylam@uchc.edu
    Charles Abrams, abrams@uchc.edu
    Tyler MacNeil, tmacneil@uchc.edu

    Otolaryngology Interest Group

    The Otolaryngology Interest Group is a student-run group that introduces students to the surgical subspecialty of otolaryngology. Students will learn about different problems that otolaryngologists manage surgically, as well as gain exposure to the physical exam components that are necessary in the field. Live demonstrations will provide students with a first-hand glimpse of techniques used in the inpatient and outpatient settings. This group is a great introduction to the field of otolaryngology, that is otherwise not emphasized in the medical school curriculum. Otolaryngologic problems are encountered in all fields of medicine, and as such, students interested in specialties ranging from primary care to surgery can benefit from learning more about otolaryngology.

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Todd Falcone

    Student Contacts:
    Desiree Campbell, dcampbell@uchc.edu
    Carly Malesky, malesky@uchc.edu
    Grace Nichols, grnichols@uchc.edu
    Anika Makol, amakol@uchc.edu

    Pathology Interest Group

    The Pathology Interest Group is concerned with promoting awareness and interest of the field of pathology. They meet every month or two to have discussions with leading pathologists in various fields, and to learn what it means to be in their position. Also, they have field trips to the Pathology lab of John Dempsey Hospital to learn about the multitude of machines and personnel involved in creating the samples that are ultimately used by Pathologists for diagnosis. Finally, the group explores various pathological conditions via slide examination, to give examples of what it might be like to be a pathologist. It is a very small group, so there is a lot of student-faculty interaction, and all meetings are very informal and entertaining. Meetings are generally held in the evenings during the week, to avoid conflict with classes. It is their pleasure to provide dinner during these meetings.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Gahie Nam

    Student Contact:
    Rory Geyer, geyer@uchc.edu

    Pediatric Dentistry Interest Group

    The Pediatric Dentistry Interest Group’s mission is to provide students of the School of Dental Medicine with an avenue to explore the specialty through a variety of events, activities, and speakers. The goal of this group is to expose students to what a Pediatric residency and career in pediatrics entails in order to help supplement their academics.

    Activities and Events:

    • Lunch and Learns throughout the year
    • Shadowing opportunities in the OR
    • Community Service: Oral health presentations to local schools, My Sister’s Place, etc.
    • Partnering with other interest groups to investigate interdisciplinary work

     Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Mina Mina

    Student Contacts:
    Desirae Lee, delee@uchc.edu
    Wesia Malik, wmalik@uchc.edu

    Pediatric Education Service Group (PEdS)

    The mission of the Pediatric Education and Service (PEdS) Group is to serve children and their families in the Greater Hartford area through education and service-based outreach. We host fun and educational events at My Sister's Place in Hartford, a shelter for women and children. We help coordinate the iCAN program for middle and high school students interested in STEM fields with Dr. Sharon Smith. We recently started our Make-A-Me! program, where we craft toys that are reflective of children with medical needs for patients at CCMC. Our group also runs a number of fundraising events throughout the year, including the holiday card sale, with donations made annually to local pediatric organizations including Nancy's Kids fund for medically complex children at Connecticut Children’s. Members of our board serve as an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) delegate. Follow us on Instagram (@uconnpedsgroup) and reach out to our contacts below if you're interested in joining the PEdS email list for more information on future events and how to get involved!

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Anton Alerte

    Student Contact:
    Joe Masison, masison@uchc.edu

    Pediatric Hematology Oncology Crafts

    Combined with the Pediatric Education Service Group (PEds), the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Craft interest group offers students the opportunity to give back to the community by assisting a population that is experiencing hardship and to learn more about the field of pediatric hematology and oncology. Activities include monthly visits to the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Outpatient Unit at Connecticut Children's to assist in arts and crafts projects with patients in the waiting room, opportunities for shadowing in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Outpatient Unit, and an end of the year small group discussion with the group advisor Dr. Kerry Moss and listen to her experience in the field of pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatric palliative and end-of-life care.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Kerry Moss

    Student Contact:
    Layne Oram, oram@uchc.edu
    Ashley Tucker, astucker@uchc.edu

    Pediatric Surgery Interest Group

    The pediatric surgery interest group provides medical students with the opportunity to explore the intersection of pediatrics and surgical specialties. We aim to provide students with the resources to develop their interests in surgical subspecialties in a different patient population than is currently offered. Our hope is to shine light on the pediatric-specific subtleties of surgery. This will occur via research, interactive workshops, shadowing, education, and volunteer opportunities, mainly through Connecticut Children’s. Interactive workshops may include suturing practice, SIM center activities, scrub training, and/or OR orientation. This club provides a unique networking opportunity through Connecticut Children’s, which consistently ranks nationally as a children’s hospital. We believe this group will allow students with a pediatric interest to explore future career paths and make valuable connections.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Christine Finck

    Student contacts:
    Summer Xu, sxu@uchc.edu
    Kat Fama, fama@uchc.edu

    Pediatric Scholars

    Pediatric Scholars is both an interest group (discussion) and a scholar’s (research) program. We generally meet once a month in the evening from September through March at the home of a faculty member. Fourth year students usually choose a topic to teach, often in a game show format and guest faculty may help. Attendance is open at all times to all UConn medical students without obligation. You do NOT have to “register” or be here frequently … just show up when you want to and can. Please join the pediatrics email list if you would like to get involved or reach out to the contacts listed below!

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Anton Alerte

    Student Contact:

    Emily Chu, emchu@uchc.edu

    Periodontology Interest Group

    The mission of the Periodontology Interest Group is to foster interest and express the capacity of the field of periodontics and implant dentistry among dental students. We seek to showcase the scope of periodontics as a specialty by educating all students about intra-professional and inter-professional organized dentistry and evidence-based periodontal therapies. Students will be exposed to the most current therapeutic, diagnostic, and surgical techniques used in the field. We will support and advocate students’ educational endeavors.

    Educational Opportunities:

    • Seminar and discussions with Periodontists contributing to the field as an academician, researcher, and practitioner.
    • Hands-on workshops
    • Opportunities to develop research profile
    • Participate in residency literature reviews and surgical seminars
    • A day in the life of a Perio Resident

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Sejal R. Thacker
    Dr. Namita Khandelwal

    Student Contacts:

    President: Dedrian Barrett, dbarrett@uchc.edu
    Vice President: Ryan Higgins, rhiggins@uchc.edu
    D2 Secretary/D2 Liaison: Mitchell Andrea, andrea@uchc.edu
    D3 Secretary/D1 Liaison: Pablo Piedra, piedraprieto@uchc.edu
    D2 Social Media Chair: Princess Stark, pstark@uchc.edu
    D2 Marketing/Adverting: Kavya Uddaraju, uddaraju@uchc.edu
    D3 Treasurer: Megna Senthilnathan, senthilnathan@uchc.edu

     

    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Interest Group

    The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Interest Group provides students an opportunity to explore PM&R as a medical specialty. It allows students to locate mentors and interact with fellow medical students, residents, and physiatrists. Our goal is to help students gain a better understanding of this exciting and growing field and help connect interested students with national and regional PM&R resources, including the Association of Academic Physiatrists and American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Joseph Walker
    Dr. David Gutierrez

    Student Contacts:
    Lea Mason, lemason@uchc.edu
    Bhavana Gunda, bgunda@uchc.edu

    Primary Care Progress

    UConn Primary Care Progress (PCP) is a local chapter of the national Primary Care Progress organization, bringing together medical students, residents, faculty, and physicians—involved in both primary care and specialties—to improve patient care and outcomes by promoting and revitalizing primary care, fostering innovation and leadership, and refocusing these populations on the common goal of patient care through teamwork, lunch and learns, motivational speakers, leadership opportunities, and direct patient care and outreach in our community.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Anton Alerte

    Student Contacts:
    Callista Love, calove@uchc.edu
    Julia Levin, julevin@uchc.edu

    Additional Contact:
    Email: UConnPCP@gmail.com

    Psychiatry Interest Group (PIG)

    The UConn Psychiatry Interest Group...also well known as the PIG has an active following of students. The group meets approximately 5 to 6 times per year for dinner gatherings where guest speakers are invited to present about a variety of topics relevant to psychiatry. One goal of the PIG is to try to present psychiatric topics that are relevant to other areas of medicine. The PIG aims to provide information about the diverse options within psychiatry as a specialty, support students interested in pursuing psychiatry, connect students with practicing physicians and residents, and provide information on exciting topics related to psychiatry.

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Andrew Winokur
    Dr. Kristina Zdanys
    Dr. Mario Fahed

    Student Contacts:
    Anisha Lewis, anlewis@uchc.edu
    Leah Azab, lazab@uchc.edu
    Alex Mitchell, almitchell@uchc.edu
    Thomas Shuster, shuster@uchc.edu
    Emma Paris Mastrobattista, mastrobattista@uchc.edu

    Public Health Student Organization (PHSO)

    The Public Health Student Organization (PHSO) was created in 2006 with the mission of strengthening students’ experience in the M.P.H. program through relationship building and networking. By building on that foundation, the current PHSO provides a variety of education and social activities to ensure a meaningful experience for all public health students. PHSO enhances students’ experiences by providing mentors, hosting socials and seminars, fundraising, participating in philanthropic events and organizations, as well as working with program staff to address student needs. Our three core focuses are on education, outreach, and community service all while encompassing public health core values.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. David Gregorio

    Contact Information:
    PHSO@uchc.edu

    Facebook Page:
    UConn Public Health Student Organization

    Radiology Interest Group

    The Radiology Interest Group aims to introduce UConn School of Medicine students to the many diverse subspecialties in radiology through interactive presentations and speakers. We are lucky enough to have connections to well established and productive research teams associated with radiological research and can provide opportunities for shadowing in many of the fields of radiology as needed. Mentors ranging from student to attending level are readily available to assist all students throughout their medical school career!

    More information can be found on our website.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Michael Baldwin

    Student Contacts:
    Maxime Braun, braun@uchc.edu
    Sarah Hartman, shartman@uchc.edu

    Reach Out

    Reach Out is a student organization dedicated to LGBTQIA+ awareness, education, and activism in the UConn medical and dental communities. Reach Out aims to bring students of any gender or sexual identity together through group gatherings, and in doing so, functions as a safe and productive meeting space for any student in search of one. Reach Out members aim to engage the student body by hosting panels with LGBTQIA+ health care professionals and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, making an impact through service in the greater Hartford community, and providing education amongst ourselves as clinicians who strive for excellence in well-rounded patient care.

    To join the mailing list, from which updates and LGBTQIA+ events and news will be shared, please email one of the student contacts and check out @reachoutuchc on Instagram for more information.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Zita Lazzarini, JD, MPH, lazzarini@uchc.edu

    Student Contacts:
    Ryan Hannon, rhannon@uchc.edu
    Cailyn Regan, cregan@uchc.edu

    Research Interest Group

    The Research Interest Group’s mission is to promote academic inquiry and increase access to existing research for medical and dental students at the University of Connecticut. Meetings and events will include lectures from prominent faculty researchers discussing their research career, as well as expert tutorials regarding common research skills. We hope to encourage and facilitate a collaborative research environment between students and faculty, and introduce students to their fellow classmates’ research experiences. The ultimate goal of the organization is to increase exposure and understanding of the practical elements of research amongst the student body!

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Kristyn Zajac
    Dr. Helen Swede

    Student Contacts:

    Medical:
    Max Trudeau, trudeau@uchc.edu
    Bennett Propp, propp@uchc.edu
    Sophia Angelo, sangelo@uchc.edu
    Charlotte Winkler, cwinkler@uchc.edu
    Maria Antony, antony@uchc.edu
    Maxime Braun, braun@uchc.edu
    Colin Cleary, cleary@uchc.edu

    Dental:
    Brian Kupchak, kupchak@uchc.edu
    Arvene Golbazi, golbazi@uchc.edu

    Ruth Jackson Orthopedic Society (RJOS) UConn Chapter

    Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS) – UConn Chapter is a networking group for aspiring women orthopedic surgeons that provides mentorship, professional development, and education for women interested in orthopedics. Our goal is to connect students with programs and educational platforms, leadership opportunities, community events, scholarships, and chapters at other medical schools to advance women's involvement in the field of orthopedics.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Katherine Coyner

    Student Contacts:
    Mehreen Pasha, mpasha@uchc.edU
    Calista Stevens, cstevens@uchc.edu
    Jordan Tyburski, tyburski@uchc.edu

    SIM Center Interest Group

    SIM Center Interest Group’s objective is to provide students with the opportunity to create and run simulation cases. In addition to cases, SIM Interest Group also holds teaching sessions where students are able to learn about various procedures through the use of simulation models. You can contact us by reaching out to our co-presidents or using uconnsimig@gmail.com.

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Mariann Kelley

    Student Contacts:
    Julia Neri, jneri@uchc.edu
    June Chu, jchu@uchc.edu

    South Park Inn Dental Clinic

    This program is accomplished in conjunction with the medical students. Dental students organize and provide oral health screenings and education for the men, women, and children that reside at the homeless shelter. Patients requiring emergent dental care are referred to School of Dental Medicine clinics. The program is conducted in fall through spring months. The program is coordinated by a third-year dental student.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Sarita Arteaga

    Student Contact:
    Vanessa Vlaun, vlaun@uchc.edu

    South Park Inn Medical Clinic

    The South Park Inn Medical Clinic is a student-managed medical clinic serving the homeless community of Hartford, Connecticut. The clinic was opened in October, 1987 by a group of medical students at the UConn School of Medicine. For the past 20 years, the clinic has served over 750 patients per year, providing primary care, counseling and information for the community of the South Park Inn Shelter, in Hartford's south end. The general medical clinic is open weekly and is staffed by hundreds of student volunteers and supervised by community physicians who donate their time. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, clinic volunteers see 10 to 15 shelter residents ranging in age from 1 to 80 years old, with medical problems, concerns about safety, and hygiene. The primary goal of the clinic is to provide much-needed medical attention to the residents of the South Park Inn, while providing an opportunity for medical students to become familiar with the special needs of a homeless population. The clinic is equipped to diagnose and treat minor medical and psychiatric problems and refer patients to area hospitals and support services when required. In addition to the general medical clinic, specialty clinics include a women’s clinic which meets the second Wednesday of each month, and a dermatology clinic which meets the first Thursday of each month. Also, at South Park Inn once a month there is education provided by medical students to the residents about a general health topic pertinent to that patient population and once a month there is education for the women to address issues such as contraception.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Bruce Gould

    Student Contacts:
    Sophia Angelo, sangelo@uchc.edu
    Javier  Licardie, licardie@uchc.edu
    Elias Mullane, emullane@uchc.edu

    South Park Inn Medical/Dental Clinic 5K Road Race

    Since 1998 annual benefit road race held in September on the UConn Health campus. The South Park Road Race is the largest fundraiser for the UConn Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine Outreach Clinics at the South Park Inn Homeless Shelter in Hartford. Contributions to the road race provide the funds for the medical equipment and medications necessary to run the clinics, which serve over 750 patients a year.

    Race Coordinators for 2023:

    Medical:
    Christian Tallo, tallo@uchc.edu
    Sarah Jacobson, sjacobson@uchc.edu
    Alicia Mitchell, alimitchell@uchc.edu

    Dental:
    Makara Sorel, sorel@uchc.edu

    Special Care Dentistry Interest Group (SCDIG)

    The Special Care Dentistry Interest Group (SCDIG) at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine is an official chapter of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD). The SCDIG seeks to build capability, capacity, and commitment to serving patients who require special care using integrated skills. The group hosts events to further educate our students about patients with a wide range of disabilities and special needs. Another important distinction of the group is to focus on patients who require special care but who are not of pediatric age and thus are not necessarily seen by pediatric dentists. SCDIG’s main initiative is participation in the Special Olympics Connecticut Healthy Athletes Special Smiles program to provide screening and preventive dental services to the adult and children athletes with special needs. The group also holds various panels and seminars. In the past, members have had the opportunity to shadow faculty with hospital privileges on operating room cases at UConn John Dempsey Hospital and/or Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. We look forward to these opportunities as well as shadowing activities at the DDS dental clinics. SCDIG also participates in the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to promote awareness for these two causes.

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Steven M. Lepowsky
    Dr. Steve R. Ruiz

    Student Contacts:
    Sierra Furey, sfurey@uchc.edu
    Jake Wallach, jwallach@uchc.edu
    Sam DePalma, sdepalma@uchc.edu
    Desirae Lee, delee@uchc.edu
    Demi Tsitsopoulos, tsitsopoulos@uchc.edu

    Special Program in Medicine Interest Group (SPiM)

    Were you in UConn Special Program of Medicine (SPiM)? Are you interested in maintaining a unique relationship with SPiM alums? Do you enjoy mentoring medicine-bound undergraduates? If so, join our interest group to create a link between undergraduate and medical students in SPiM.

    Note: This group is open to all medical students; you do not need to be a SPiM alum to join.

    The goal of our group is to allow alumni of SPiM to keep in touch after their undergraduate experience, while also improving communication and community once students start medical school. We will provide guidance and experience for the younger SPiM undergraduates through a variety of exclusive program opportunities as well as leadership and mentorship opportunities for the medical students. Specific plans include an undergraduate mentoring program, yearly undergrad ‘open house’ visits/tours to the School of Medicine, and maintaining a comprehensive website with resources for undergraduate.

    Please feel free to contact any of the individuals below for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Thomas Regan

    Student Contact:
    Lily Zhong, zhong@uchc.edu

    Sports Clubs and Other Areas of Interest

     

    Basketball Club
    Student Contacts:
    Aaron Kiel, akiel@uchc.edu
    Anthony Zhang, anzhang@uchc.edu
    Running Club
    Student Contacts:
    Margaret Boudreau, mboudreau@uchc.edu
    Jason Deck, deck@uchc.edu 
    Cycling Club
    Student Contact:
    Julia Neri, jneri@uchc.edu
    Ski & Snowboard Club
    Student Contacts:
    Kelvin Peterson, kpeterson@uchc.edu
    Colton Mailloux,  cmailloux@uchc.edu
    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
    Student Contacts:
    Benjamin Pesante, pesante@uchc.edu
    Yuichi Igarashi, yigarashi@uchc.edu
    Soccer Club
    Student Contacts:
    Kyanna Alleyne, kalleyne@uchc.edu (co-ed)
    Eamon Whelan, ewhelan@uchc.edu
      (men's)
    Pickleball Club
    Student Contact:
    Max Einbinder, einbinder@uchc.edu
    Ultimate Frisbee Club
    Student Contact:
    Ned Wilson, edwilson@uchc.edu
    Ping-Pong Club
    Student Contact:
    Morgan Lamb, molamb@uchc.edu

    Stop the Bleed Club

    A bleeding injury can happen anywhere. We've all seen it happen too often—on the news or in everyday life. Life-threatening bleeding can happen in people injured in serious accidents or disasters. Instead of being a witness, our goal as the Stop the Bleed Club is to teach our local communities how to take an active role and help save lives. Our main goal with these classes is to teach three quick techniques to help save a life before someone bleeds out:

    1. How to use our hands to apply pressure to a wound;
    2. How to pack a wound to control bleeding;
    3. How to correctly apply a tourniquet.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Alfred Croteau

    Student Contact:
    Rodolfo Valentini, valentini@uchc.edu
    Colline Wong, cowong@uchc.edu

    Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN)

    The Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN) and its meetings are open to students who are curious about the brain and its powerful ability to perform complex tasks ranging from emotional processing to coordinating the synchronized rhythm in which we walk. We welcome anyone with even a small interest in opening up discussions. Each year, our events aim to show what neurology and its subspecialties are about and how to get involved in research, shadowing, and volunteering. We host various physicians who speak about their work, lifestyles, and research. Some past events have included: Neuro Jeopardy for 1st and 2nd year students, Stroke Day, "how to succeed in neurology" panels with advice from fourth years who matched in the field, and a 5K to raise awareness for the CT Brain Tumor Alliance. We are also part of the Student Interest Group in Neurology, which offers numerous research and scholarship opportunities for students interested in the field.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Marie Eugene-Mbewe

    Student Contact:
    Sarah Anderson, saranderson@uchc.edu
    Jillian Haberli, jhaberli@uchc.edu

    Student National Dental Association-Hispanic Student Dental Association (SNDA-HSDA)

    The Student National Dental Association and Hispanic Student Dental Association promotes oral health awareness for disadvantaged populations through service, mentorship, and camaraderie among its members and the community. Members help advance the leaders of tomorrow through promoting good fellowship and aiding in the advancement of minority students in dentistry. These goals are achieved through local and global service events, publications and public service announcements, attendance at national conventions, and collaboration with other national dental groups.​

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Sarita Arteaga

    Student Contacts:
    Princess Stark, pstark@uchc.edu
    Mychael Mckeever, mmckeever@uchc.edu

    Student National Medical Association (SNMA)

    The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the nation's oldest and largest student organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Membership includes more than 8,000 medical students, pre-medical students, residents and physicians. The SNMA boasts over 40 years of service and is committed to addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent, and socially conscious physicians. UConn's SNMA organizes Culture Shock annually, which is one of the biggest social events of the year. It is a celebration of the diverse and unique heritage of the University of Connecticut student body and is attended by many members of the UConn Health community. In addition to the wonderful festivities, all proceeds are donated to a selected charity. Our UConn chapter is also involved in mentorship, community outreach, and service. National website.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Marja Hurley
    Dr. Hynes M. Birmingham

    Student Contacts:
    Mini Ajayi, olaajayi@uchc.edu
    Stephanie Chinwo, chinwo@uchc.edu

    Website

    Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry (SPEA)

    The Student Professionalism and Ethics Association in Dentistry is a national, student-driven association that was established to promote and support students' lifelong commitment to ethical behavior in order to benefit the patients they serve and to further the dental profession. Our chapter at the UConn School of Dental Medicine hosts several events throughout the year. We discuss legal and ethical issues that face dentists and dental specialists, and invite guest speakers to share their experiences and professional opinions on issues.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Jacqueline Duncan

    Student Contact:
    Lenka Serdar, lserdar@uchc.edu
    Keelin Hurtt, hurtt@uchc.edu

    Students for Accurate Vaccine Information (SAVI)

    Students for Accurate Vaccine Information (SAVI) is an organization of inter-professional health students with the aim of supporting the spread of factual, current, and accessible vaccine information through community outreach and education as well as advocating for public health measures and legislation that strengthen robust and equitable vaccine distribution practices. With the proliferation of vaccine misinformation and the increasing politicization of public health practices, there has never been a greater need to promote trust in science, healthcare, and evidence based vaccination practices. Through activities such as literature design and distribution, guest speakers, legislative advocacy, and public health campaigns, SAVI hopes to develop and strengthen community partnerships, expand our knowledge of vaccination best practices, and participate in the medical, ethical, and legal discourse surrounding vaccinations.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Jody Terranova

    Student Contact:
    Sara Schulwolf, schulwolf@uchc.edu

    Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP)

    Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) is the student arm of Physicians for a National Health Program. Our chapter at UConn is the first of its kind in Connecticut, and was borne out of an awareness that our nation's health care system is unsustainably and increasingly bloated, costly, and inefficient. We believe in establishing a national health insurance plan (commonly referred to as "Medicare For All"), as such a policy would not only lead to decreased costs from administrative consolidation and increased payer negotiating power, but would also ensure that all Americans can truly have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Our chapter's plans include lobbying at the local and regional level, organizing speaker events and policy debates, and other tactics that will help bring serious discussion of universal health care reform into the mainstream.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Zita Lazzarini

    Student Contact:
    To Be Named

    Surgery Interest Group

    The Surgery Interest Group provides medical students with events, panels, and resources to explore all medical fields involving a surgical component. The group is a home base for all surgical subspecialties, in addition to general surgery. This 2023-2024 academic year, the group's four student leaders are planning a wide array of events, including a welcome meeting, a surgical Jeopardy night, a tour of UConn's operating suites, a surgery night in UConn's simulation center, a suture class, a specialty panel with residency program directors, and a panel of graduating M4 students with advice on surgical residency applications and acceptances. The SIG also organizes a surgical mentorship program, pairing M1/2s with M3/4 mentors. For any questions, please reach out to the group's leaders listed below.

    Follow us on Instagram! @uconn_sig

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Yu Liang, yliang@uchc.edu

    Student Contacts:
    Jimin Shin, jishin@uchc.edu
    Calista Stevens, cstevens@uchc.edu
    Ethan Gasteyer, gasteyer@uchc.edu
    Angela McCarthy, amccarthy@uchc.edu

    Sustainability at UConn Health

    Sustainability at UConn Health is an interprofessional team of students striving to make changes within the greater UConn Health community through advocacy, curriculum building, institutional changes, and engaging events. We recognize the responsibility we have as health professionals to improve the environment for ourselves, our patients, and all future generations. Our mission is to address the health impacts of environmental damage and fight the progression of climate change.

    Faculty Advisor:
    Dr. Kirsten Ek

    Student Contacts:
    Kiran Singh-Smith, singhsmith@uchc.edu
    Ned Wilson, edwilson@uchc.edu

    TEDxUConnFarmington

    TEDxUConnFarmington student organization is a licensed team created to form a platform that harbors ideas worth spreading within the UConn Health community. The main goal of the group is to organize at least one main TEDx event per year as well as other engagement activities through the year.

    What is a TEDx event? A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and performances are shared with the community. It is an independently organized event that is unique but shares some common features with other TEDx events around the world.​

    Mission Statement:

    • Create a community and a platform to share our own ideas.
    • Sharing the ideas with the rest of the world!
    • Provoke conversations and discussion as well as inspiration and wonder.

          Faculty Advisors:
          Dr. Zita Lazzarini
          Dr. Aniuska Tobin

          Student Contact:
          Sergio Acevedo Cortez, acevedocortes@uchc.edu

          UConn American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Medical Student Chapter

          As defined by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, “The Mission of American Association of Neurological Surgery (AANS) Medical Student Chapters is to provide early support and leadership training to medical students exploring a career in neurosurgery. AANS Medical Student Chapters provide a forum for students to organize professional, educational, and research activities within individual programs, promote mentorship, and facilitate participation at a national level for the next generation of neurosurgical leaders.”  At the University of Connecticut, we embrace this mission.

          The University of Connecticut AANS Medical Student Chapter emphasizes three foundational pillars in our approach to cultivating future leaders in neurological surgery:

          1.  Clinical Excellence: From bedside to operative theater, clinical excellence in operative technique, medical management, and patient-provider relationships is a defining feature of a successful neurosurgeon. At the University of Connecticut, clinical excellence is continually developed through educational initiatives such as weekly teaching conferences, hands-on experiences/simulations, and journal club review of evidenced based literature.
          2.  Advancing Frontiers of Knowledge: Cutting edge treatment options for neurosurgical patients requires a foundation in basic and clinical research. This is also imperative to advance the field. At the University of Connecticut, we endorse a collaborative approach that includes our affiliated hospitals and regional/national hospitals incorporating faculty/staff at all levels of training and experience. Members of our group publish high quality research and present findings at local and national conferences.
          3.  Team-Driven Success: Neurosurgery is a highly collaborative discipline - clinical excellence and advances in knowledge rely on the success of the unit as a whole. At the University of Connecticut, we strive for open and honest communication, synergistic learning, and to establish a culture of trust and mutual support.

          Faculty Advisors:
          Dr. Ketan Bulsara
          Dr. David Hersh

          Student Contacts:
          Patrick Halloran, phalloran@uchc.edu
          Prabath Mannam, pmannam@uchc.edu
          Jimin Shin, jishin@uchc.edu

          UConn Health Chess League (UHCL)

          Mission: To provide a fun social outlet in the form of an organized year-round chess league for
          dental and medical students of UConn Health
          Objectives:
          a) To teach students the game of chess and/or increase their exposure to the many
          strategies of this extremely complex and brain stimulating game
          b) To provide students an easy and simple outlet to meet and get to know their other
          classmates
          c) To give students the opportunity to compete in a fun competition, amidst a sometimes
          long fall and winter consisting of many hours of studying
          d) To organize the many students who already play chess by providing an “official”
          opportunity to play against their classmates

          Planned Initiation and Activities:
          1. League intro and recruitment email to the student body
          2. Initial league sign up and listserv league voting to set up rules and regulations
          3. Instructions email on:
          a. How to register a free account on the school-safe website: chess.com
          b. The rules and format of the league
          4. Once everyone is signed up, the league schedule will be dropped to participants
          5. League will begin, students will play up to three matches with their
          scheduled opponent each week. It will be up to the two opponents to find time(s) that
          works to play their match(es). Matches will range from a few minutes, to at most a little less than twenty minutes in duration. Depending on the number of students enrolled, students will be set up in divisions within the league. Points will be accrued throughout the season as the weekly schedule moves forward and students will be ranked.
          6. At the end of the “season” there will be a playoff and “losers” tournament created, where
          matches will be initially again, online. Once a limited number of participants are left in the
          tournament, final matches will be hosted in the Academic Rotunda, where
          students could play on a physical chess board which could be broadcast to the rest of
          the league in the rotunda or virtually on WebEx.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Easwar Natarajan

          Student Contact:
          John Todd, jtodd@uchc.edu 

          UConn Health Financial Educational Society

          The goal of this group is to bring in outside speakers, ranging from alumni to financial specialists, to promote and better understand financial aspects of dentistry.

          Activities and Events:
          Dinner discussion and lunch and learns including topic such as:

          • Debt management
            • Loan repayment options
            • Refinancing options
          • Financing a practice
          • How to build a dental office
          • Managing a practice
            • Military
            • Health Care Center
          • Balancing a dental practice with home life
          • Accounting 101
          • What to look for when buying a practice
          • Job offers and Contract Signing
          • Marketing a dental practice
          • Smart Investments in the future
          • Always ask the students what they want to hear about or set up next

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Ron Albert

          Student Contacts:
          Mishil Nana, nana@uchc.edu

          UConn Health Leaders

          UConn Health Leaders (UCHL)​  is a student-run community health organization that recruits pre-health students to address barriers patients face due to social determinants of health. Operating independently within primary care clinics and inpatient at John Dempsey Hospital, our volunteers screen patients for barriers to care and help them overcome any issues identified by connecting them to community resources. Our volunteers currently serve outpatient at UConn Health Farmington and the Family Medicine Center at Asylum Hill, inpatient at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, and virtually in collaboration with UConn Population Health. Our program hopes to improve pre-health students' understanding of how to address social determinants of health and inspire them to pursue careers working with underserved populations.

          You can contact us at healthleaders@uchc.edu or reach out to our medical students.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Christopher Steele

          Student Contacts:
          Zoha Sarwat, zsarwat@uchc.edu
          Erin Cova, cova@uchc.edu
          Nivedha Natchiappan, natchiappan@uchc.edu

          UConn Immigration Rights Initiative (UIRI)

          UConn Immigration Rights Initiative (UIRI) is an organization that encompasses education, advocacy, and a student run asylum clinic. Education involves resident training, electives for medical students, and monthly meetings. UIRI has partnered with various Connecticut organizations that provide services to refugees and asylees. The asylum clinic is run in conjunction with Physicians for Human Rights to provide free medical and psychiatric evaluations for persons seeking asylum. Students can assist with evaluations and write the legal document after attending a Physicians for Human Rights one-day training course.

          Prior events include: IRIS Run for Refugees, organizing a showing for documentaries, Human Flow and This Is Home, public charge event. UIRI has now completed six asylum evaluations.

          Physicians for Human Rights website

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Susan Levine

          Student Contacts:
          Bianca-Maria Marin, marin@uchc.edu
          Jasmin Williams, jaswilliams@uchc.edu

          UConn Medicine Plastic Surgery Interest Group (PSIG)

          The purpose of the UConn Medicine Plastic Surgery Interest Group (PSIG) is to act as the primary resource for all medical student seeking more information on this dynamic and rapidly changing field. Our goal is to help all students navigate this multifaceted and competitive specialty, from students who are exploring a wide range of specialties to those who already have their sights set on a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency. Accordingly, there is a variety of informational, surgical, and networking events students may attend. PSIG further aims to coordinate and foster connections between established medical professionals and medical students interested in this field. More specifically, students will have the opportunity to interact with surgeons and residents in the field and gain knowledge, mentorship, and research advice. Please view our events, list of mentors, OR tips, and more at our website.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Andrew Chen

          Student Contact:
          Daniella Dennis, dennis@uchc.edu
          Catherine Qiu, qiu@uchc.edu
          Daniella Carnevale, carnevale@uchc.edu
          Margaret Boudreau, mboudreau@uchc.edu

          Ultrasound Interest Group

          The Ultrasound Interest Group seeks to introduce medical students to the widespread use of ultrasound across many different specialties. We will have a variety of events throughout each year, including lectures on various topics (from hypotension management to musculoskeletal ultrasounds), hands-on practice sessions, and journal clubs to review the latest literature.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Meghan Herbst

          Student Contact:
          Sara Schulwolf, schulwolf@uchc.edu

          Urology Interest Group

          The Urology specialty interest group will help introduce medical students to Urology, providing exposure to a diverse medical and surgical field. The intention of the group is to enhance student academic interests, technical skills, and career planning. We will begin with general events for students of all levels to attend. Ideally we will support opportunities for shadowing, mentoring, and research. The group will also offer the chance to meet and interact with current residents.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Jennifer Lindelof

          Student Contact:
          Grant Dorman, gdorman@uchc.edu

          UV&Me

          UV&Me is a national non-profit organization founded in 2015 with the mission to educate the nation's youth to protect themselves from the dangers of skin cancer and UV exposure. The UConn chapter will send medical, dental, and health science students to nearby schools to teach students K-12 about sun safety. Each lesson will be interactive and tailored to the specific needs of the class with the goal of instilling life-long sun safe practices. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in dermatology, oncology, pediatrics, or for anyone who loves mentoring kids.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Jun Lu

          Student Contacts:
          Summit Singhaviranon, singhaviranon@uchc.edu

          Vascular Surgery Interest Group

          The Vascular Surgery Interest Group (VSIG) aims to expose medical students to the rapidly growing field of vascular surgery. Students will have the opportunity to explore the field and its unique surgical procedures and patient population through interactive presentations given by current attending physicians and through hands-on simulation events. Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with current vascular surgery attending physicians and fellows to learn more about their experiences in the field, different research opportunities, and the different residency training tracts.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Kwame Amankwah

          Student Contacts:
          Colin Cleary, cleary@uchc.edu

          Videography for Care

          Videography for Care seeks to empower students with the knowledge and skills to integrate technology effectively into education. We aim to transform traditional presentations and classes into engaging and informative video content that enhances the overall learning experience for students. Our goal is to create a dynamic community of students passionate about utilizing technology as a tool to revolutionize education. Through our video projects, we envision a future where students can access high-quality educational content anytime, anywhere, fostering a love for learning and academic excellence.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Sophia Saeed

          Student Contacts:
          John Todd, jtodd@uchc.edu
          Megna Senthilnathan, senthilnathan@uchc.edu

          Walk With A Doc

          Walk With A Doc is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and combatting the nationwide epidemic of obesity in order to improve the health and well-being of our country. Our role as a UConn chapter of Walk With a Future Doc is to bring medical students and doctors together with members of the community for a brief 5-minute talk about timely health-related issues before walking together in the park for the remainder of the hour. During the brief address and throughout the walks, we engage members of the community and encourage them to speak with doctors and health care personnel in this non-threatening environment. In essence, we strive to encourage behavioral changes and physical activity within the Greater Hartford community in order to support healthy habits while simultaneously strengthening relationships between community members, future doctors and doctors. Walks are held on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month from 9 to 10 a.m. at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Wynee Lou

          Student Contacts:
          Elias Mullane, emullane@uchc.edu
          Corbinian Wanner, cwanner@uchc.edu

          White Coat Network

          The White Coat Network seeks to improve student’s understanding of the business, finance, and the entrepreneurial spirit. Together, it hopes to explore two different avenues. The first avenue is exploring entrepreneurship, business, and administration, and management within medical and dental careers. The second avenue is personal finance by exploring investing like real estate, cryptocurrency, and other options. Through various activities, we hope to explore a number of topics in business and entrepreneurship ranging from private practice to NFTs.

          Activities and Events:

          • Student Panels
          • Guest Speakers
          • Investing interest groups
          • Financial Education Seminars
          • Group projects

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Jason Ryan

          Student Contact:
          Lucia Duenas-Bianchi, duenasbianchi@uchc.edu

          Women in Dentistry

          The goal of Women in Dentistry (WID) is to encourage young girls to seek careers in the STEM field, support those currently within the dental profession, aid those in need through volunteer work, and help educate the next generation of dental providers in issues pertaining to gender equality.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Sarita Arteaga

          Student Contacts:
          Lexie Vasciannie, vasciannie@uchc.edu
          Lingli Zou, lzou@uchc.edu
          Demi Tsitsopoulos, tsitsopoulos@uchc.edu
          Kara Christensen, kchristensen@uchc.edu

          Women in Surgery Interest Group (WISIG)

          The Women in Surgery Interest Group at the UConn School of Medicine is a student run organization that aims to educate all medical students, but particularly women, about surgery as a career option. The group will expose participants to surgeons in different specialties to understand not only the surgical field but also the lifestyle of a surgeon, contrasting male and female perspectives. Additionally, the group aims to teach and foster the ability of medical students to network amongst peers and senior medical personnel. WISIG is committed to providing mentorship opportunities for students by creating partnerships with faculty. WISIG's goal is to support female medical students interested in the field of surgery by helping them get into a surgical residency and be competitive candidates through research opportunities and collaborative partnerships. Meetings for WISIG are open to anyone who is interested in surgery or might be interested in surgery. There are many opportunities for students who wish to become involved in the group.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Linda Barry

          Student Contacts:
          Lavanya Sambaraju, sambaraju@uchc.edu
          Sarah Horowitz, shorowitz@uchc.edu
          Mehreen Pasha, mpasha@uchc.edu

          Wilderness Adventure Medicine Interest Group (WAM)

          Love the outdoors? Interested in toxicology, disasters or medicine in extreme, austere locations? Wish medical school had an outing club? WAM is the group for you! Join us for hikes, active lunch and learns, workshops and more as we delve into the intersection of medicine and the great outdoors. You do not have to be interested in emergency medicine to join this group-just willing to be active, get your hands dirty, learn some new things and have fun!

          Faculty Advisors:
          Dr. Robert Fuller
          Dr. Natalie Moore

          Student Contacts:
          Xenia Bradley, xbradley@uchc.edu
          Tia Kozar, kozar@uchc.edu
          Sara Schulwolf, schulwolf@uchc.edu
          Zachary Towne, towne@uchc.edu
          Caroline Wolek, wolek@uchc.edu

          Y.E.S. Young Explorers in Science

          The goal of the Y.E.S. program is to provide research and science exposure for high school students within the under-served communities of Connecticut. As a group, we aim to foster interest in various STEM fields, while promoting science literacy and academic confidence. Ultimately, we hope to empower students to make informed choices about pursuing science as both a passion and as a career.

          Y.E.S. was founded by Ph.D. students at UConn Health who have a passion for mentoring and STEM education. Through Y.E.S., we hope to serve as a resource for students and teachers of our community. By building meaningful connections with schools in Connecticut through versatile outreach programs and events, we hope to improve and diversify the STEM fields. If you are an educator in Connecticut who would like to work with Y.E.S., please contact us at YES@uchc.edu.

          Faculty Advisor:
          Dr. Vanessa Scanlon

          Student Contacts:
          Medical/Dental School Contact:
          Emma Wentworth Winchester, wentworth@uchc.edu

          Co-presidents:
          Rachel Gilmore, rgilmore@uchc.edu
          Angie Demarco, ademarco@uchc.edu