SOIMA 2023-2024 Officer Elections
Candidates for Secretary-Treasurer
Veneeth Antony, OMS-III, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia
Dear fellow members of Student Osteopathic Internal Medicine Association (SOIMA), My name is Veneeth Antony, and I would be honored to serve as your Secretary-Treasurer for the upcoming year. My passion for internal medicine is directly intertwined with my journey to medicine. Both my dad and brother suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). I remember as a kid being frightened of these diseases that seemed to be consuming my family, but I was determined to help them. I reached out to my family’s gastroenterologist, Dr. Rai, who took me under his wing as the first intern at his practice. Here, I began to see and understand the importance of dietary changes in IBD management and started researching about the topic. After verifying this diet approach with my family’s gastroenterologist, I convinced my dad and brother to try the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD). They experienced relief from a variety of symptoms. With Dr. Rai’s permission, I began to encourage other patients to implement dietary changes in parallel with their treatment and saw that some found similar symptom relief. Motivated to share this information with patients, I designed and printed pamphlets for the practice that stressed the importance of a holistic approach to treatment encompassing diet, sleep, exercise, and taking medications as prescribed. Witnessing improvements in the well-being of my family and patients was inspiring and is what is motivating me to go into the field of gastroenterology. While on my rotations, I have also begun truly understanding the role of internal medicine. Internists have an essential role by being a crucial part of coordinating care and working alongside patients and their families. I believe my passion and drive for internal medicine will push me to be a valuable asset to the SOIMA Board. I will build upon the foundation of the previous SOIMA board to offer unique and thought-provoking experiences for student members. This past year, I served as the president of the Psychiatry and Neurology Student Interest Group at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM-VA campus). Through collaborating closely with my club’s secretary/treasurer, I have come to understand the roles and responsibilities expected. I spearheaded fundraisers, managed funds, and rationed funds for merchandise for our club. Beyond that, my experience as president has taught me that it is better to work as a team. Every board member and student member’s input is valuable, and I am willing and able to listen and implement ideas from members for this upcoming year. One idea that I think members can benefit from is having a specialty insights page available on the ACOI website. ACOI has a vast network of specialists that can provide guidance to residents and students. Topics covered may include activities to highlight on a CV, residency application advice, interview help, or other topics to help our members achieve their goals. I also think having a case presentation workshop will be a great asset to all those interested in internal medicine. Practicing before starting/during rotations can help students to stand out and impress preceptors. Finally, I hope to be a support system for all SOIMA members. I know you all have bright ideas on what you would like to happen on a local and national level. By holding meetings with regional representatives, we can collaborate and make regional internal medicine workshops, working to help make your ideas happen. I believe that my previous leadership experience and passion for internal medicine has prepared me for this role. With your vote, I will strive to create a stronger communication between the national and regional level, develop a specialists insight column on our website to guide students to the specialty they desire, and spearhead interactive workshops such as building the perfect case presentation. So, if that sounds good, vote for Veneeth he is not Beneath! Thank you for your time.
Marisa Vander Feen, OMS III, Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hello! I am Marisa Vander Feen, a third year medical student at ICOM. I am seeking the position of Secretary-Treasurer because I am passionate about Internal Medicine. I did not come into medical school knowing IM was for me. However, the unique patient population I have been able to work with during my rotations has shown me how important internal medicine is to rural and underserved communities. I want to bring the passion I have for IM to my fellow osteopathic students, by serving as a SOIMA board member. Being the Secretary-Treasurer, I would work with my fellow board members to coordinate relevant education on the many opportunities within IM and the fellowship options that students might not be aware of with the realm of IM. I would help keep track of our budget and use it to the best of our ability to support students and local internal medicine clubs!