By Alexandra Cooper, AASLD Intern
Since 2012, the Emerging Liver Scholars (ELS) program has been sending residents to The Liver Meeting® to experience the world of hepatology, meet with AASLD leadership, connect with fellow residents and network with experts in the field from around the world. At the conclusion of their ELS experience, recipients are invited to apply to become an AASLD resident/fellow ambassador.
Ambassadors are invited back to The Liver Meeting® and return to their institutions to share what they learned with fellow medical students and residents. Their experiences are shared through planned events such as discussions over breakfast or lunch, presentations during morning reports or other events their institution hosts.
Last year, 35 AASLD ambassadors attended The Liver Meeting® and held events at their institutions. One presentation covered a cold case about a young man with an acute liver injury. Another presentation, aimed at medical students, focused on highlighting internal medicine, gastroenterology/hepatology fellowships and the 3-year transplant hepatology pilot program AASLD has to offer. Other presentations included “Stump the Experts” session, lectures and more.
Maureen Whitsett, MSEd, BA, MD, a gastroenterology fellow at New York University and member of the ELS Class of 2016, hosted a panel discussion at her institution and invited Ira M. Jacobson, MD, FAASLD, to speak and be the event’s hepatology expert in January 2018. “Dr. Jacobson is a fantastic teacher and his passion for liver disease is quite infectious. Afterward, we had a few very interested students and residents approach him like bees to honey!” said Dr. Whitsett after the event. She plans to hold a similar event for students in the near future.
Another member of the ELS class of 2016, Sebastian Larion, MD, a resident physician and research fellow at Augusta University (formerly known as Georgia Regents University), recently organized two events as an ambassador. The first event took place in February 2018 and was a Grand Rounds presentation to internal medicine residents on NAFLD trends and management. After the event, Dr. Larion said, “I think people appreciated the basic science aspect of the presentation, as well as the latest statistics on NAFLD trends and management. I included clinical information to try to keep the audience engaged. I was mostly trying to showcase some of the liver research we have been doing around the lab, as that is something I am very proud of.” The second event Dr. Larion organized took place in May and outlined hepatology, transplant hepatology, the pilot program, AASLD and how to get involved with research to a group of about 75 medical students.
Now in her final year as an AASLD Ambassador, Christina Lindenmeyer, MD, held the now-annual “Stump the Experts” event for internal medicine residents at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Lindenmeyer, a member of the ELS class of 2013, completed her transplant hepatology fellowship in June and is now working as a transplant hepatologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. For the event, five residents interested in GI/hepatology collaborated to present two interesting clinico-pathologic cases to a panel of hepatology experts at the Cleveland Clinic. Reflecting after the event, Dr. Lindenmeyer found that, “the residents enjoyed ‘stumping’ the expert panel. The panel was challenged to quote evidence-based medicine, to unravel the case and to entertain a large interactive audience.”
The AASLD Resident/Fellow Ambassador Program offers former Emerging Liver Scholars another chance to be active members of the AASLD community as they continue their training. Through their experience and creativity, these inspiring residents are helping to influence future medical professionals to choose a career in hepatology.
Questions about the Ambassadors Program? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-299-9766