The Obstetrics and Gynecology Student Interest Group at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences consists of a group of students who wish to learn more about the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and women's health care, and to explore the various career opportunities that exist within the specialty. The group is advised by the Director of Clinical Clerkships; however, all faculty in the Department take an active role in advising, mentoring, and answering questions related to the specialty and career field.
The Student Interest Group addresses these interests through a variety of formats. The Shadow Program has been in existence for several years. This program allows students an opportunity to "shadow" residents and/or staff faculty physicians in Obstetrics and Gynecology, in order to observe some of the factors involved in this career field. While shadowing opportunities exist in the clinic and possibly in the Operative Suite, the vast majority of shadow opportunities involve spending some time on Labor and Delivery, to see obstetrics "in action". The number of shadow opportunities, as well as the length of time spent during these shadow exercises, is entirely up to the student. Efforts are made to not schedule shadow students to be present at the same time as MS-3 clerkship students, such that the shadow student may be the only student present and will hopefully obtain an even greater and direct appreciation of the activities involved as well as directly interact with residents and faculty. Scheduling a shadow opportunity is easy - it just involves contacting the Coordinator, who will then let the Departmental faculty know, who will then let the residents on Labor and Delivery know that a student is coming. It's pretty simple!
The main other format for Student Interest Group events involves periodically scheduled sessions throughout the year addressing various topics primarily chosen by the students. Events have included a simulation/skills lab (suturing, simulated vaginal delivery, simulated pelvic exam, obstetrical ultrasound, and simulated operative [forceps or vacuum] delivery), sessions addressing clerkship survival strategies, how to obtain residency and discussion of successful "audition rotation" strategies, discussions with subspecialty representatives, sessions addressing lifestyle and family and sessions addressing what it's like to be a Obstetrician/Gynecologist, particularly from a women's perspective. The schedule for these sessions is coordinated with student leaders of the group in order to minimize the potential for sessions to be scheduled during busy exam times, thus trying to maximize opportunities for attendance. Lunch is usually provided, supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Armed Forces District.
The Student Interest Group is also a format to learn about other items of interest to students interested in women's health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers free membership to medical students. The College is dedicated to medical student education and enhancing interest in the field; there are a number of resources available to medical students. Additionally, registration for the Annual Clinical Meeting of ACOG is free to medical students; there are sessions at the Annual Clinical meeting specifically dedicated to medical students. Furthermore, the annual meeting of the Armed Forces District of ACOG is also very "student friendly". In fact, there are now 6 students funded by the District to attend the meeting each year! We highly encourage all students with an interest in OB/GYN to join ACOG.
The Student Interest group offers some great opportunities to learn more about OB/GYN and become involved. As the schedule for the sessions is finalized, it will be published and available; please also keep a look out for announcements. We look forward to seeing you at the sessions!