Infectious diseases are the focus of activities on campus this week thanks to the Women in Medicine student group who have put together an agenda that includes a research symposium, lectures, and a fundraiser for the benefit of Grenada Planned Parenthood Association.
On Monday, March 23, the group teamed up with SGU’s Department of Microbiology to facilitate a research symposium on ‘Premonition’, the groundbreaking project taking place in Grenada via collaboration with SGU, Microsoft Research, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pittsburgh. The team is using mosquito-collecting drones and Next Generation Sequencing for pathogen surveillance and anticipates that their research can one day be used to help tackle diseases like dengue and chikungunya.
On Thursday, WIM presented students with information on how to take an accurate sexual history from patients in their presentation, “Let’s Talk about Sex.” WIM prides itself on taking on the hard subjects with talks that have focused on issues like human trafficking and domestic violence. “We like to push taboo topics and get people out of their comfort zone,” said Chelsey Russ, co-president of WIM. “The more we touch on them now, the more comfortable students will be in a clinical setting, and they will be able to help their patients become comfortable too.”
“These are all hot topics happening around us in the world right now,” said Iana Gueorguieva, the other WIM co-president. “We always seek to provide the students with issues that are out of the box and relevant in today’s world.”
The week’s events are capped off on Saturday, March 28 with a fundraising party in aid of the Grenada Planned Parenthood Association, with whom WIM shares the goals of educating on, and providing care for sexual and reproductive health. Coming soon, WIM is gearing up to host its Pink Run, a 5k run that benefits the Grenada Cancer Society.
WIM is a committee that advocates for the interests of women in medicine, particularly physicians-in-training. The group promotes women’s health, emphasizing wellbeing and autonomy, and works for the inclusion of women’s health issues in medical school curricula and continuing medical education. They also work to affirm the basic right of reproductive freedom and to educate women to become full participants in their own health care. Other WIM projects include providing free breast exams at SGU health fairs, teaching a sex education program at two secondary schools and hosting students from the Program for Adolescent Mothers (PAM) on campus every semester for an enlightening program, all in keeping with their three pillars: education, empowerment and healthcare.