Medical Students Selected to ‘Try On’ Family Medicine During Month-long Externship PDF Print Email
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Thursday, May 11, 2023 07:54 AM

Medical Students Selected to ‘Try On’ Family Medicine During Month-long Externship

Over the course of four weeks this summer and fall, medical students Nikita Bhangu and Leya Maliekal will gain unique hands-on experience of the family medicine specialty as they train under a practicing family physician member of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians. Funding for the tailor-made externships, which earn each student a $2,000 stipend in addition to valuable real-life experience, comes from matching grants from Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan and AAFP Foundation’s family medicine philanthropic consortium.

Nikita BhanguNikita Bhangu

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Class of 2025

Through her externship, Nikita plans on combining her passion for family medicine with her strong interest in addressing health disparities. She will train at Care Free Medical, a nonprofit patient-centered medical home in Lansing that provides medical, dental, and optometry services to people with limited access to the healthcare system, primarily those who are underinsured and uninsured.

“Lack of health insurance can be a cause for adverse health outcomes; however, it can also indicate other social determinants of health are at play in the patient’s life. I believe interacting with the patients at Care Free will help mature my awareness of the social and economic factors that impact health,” said Nikita.

Under the supervision of Farhan Bhatti, MD, chief executive officer and medical director of Care Free Medical, Nikita will conduct the initial part of patient visits to collect pertinent history and physical exam information. Beginning the process of simply talking to patients to hear their stories and concerns will be a “fruitful addition to her current medical education.”

Leya MaliekalLeya Maliekal

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Class of 2024

“I am excited to further experience the everyday life of a family medicine physician, practicing urban medicine and engaging in full-spectrum family medicine,” said Leya, of her plans for the four weeks she will spend at the Detroit Medical Center-Sinai Grace Hospital Family Medicine Clinic in the heart of Detroit. She will be guided by Fatin Sahhar, MD, FAAFP, associate program director and core faculty at the hospital’s family medicine residency program.

Tops on Leya’s wish-list are honing her physical exam skills, specifically musculoskeletal, neurological, and cardiologic auscultation exam skills; participating in inpatient and nursing home palliative care interprofessional conversations; and learning about nutrition and lifestyle counseling.

She is hopeful the externship opportunity will allow her the time, mentorship, and resources to fully immerse herself in family and community medicine.

Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan’s Medical Student Externship Program has been successful in increasing interest in the specialty and helping students determine if family medicine is indeed the career for them. Applications for the next cohort will open early in 2024.