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Meet Our Residency Advocacy Track Co-Chairs: Audrey Bickel and Nicole Novotny

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Have you ever wondered what additional opportunities are available to Emergency Medicine residents at Indiana University School of Medicine? The Emergency Medicine Residency program offers five separate, voluntary tracks which allow EM residents the chance to tailor their education towards their specific career interests. These tracks are: academic, advocacy, EMS, administrative, and global health. In this blog, we interviewed IUEM residents and advocacy track co-chairs, Audrey A Bickel, MD and Nicole R. Novotny, MD.

Keep reading to learn more about their experience as IUEM residents and what encouraged them to pursue the advocacy track and co-chair the committee.

  1. What do you enjoy most about the residency program at IUEM?

Audrey: The thing I enjoy most about IUEM residency program is the comradery of the residents and clinical experience. The residency program prides itself on the family feel and tight knit group of residents throughout all years of training.  The clinical experience that IUEM offers its residents was something I felt hard to be matched by other residency programs. We train at two level 1 trauma centers, each with vastly different patient populations in addition to gaining longitudinal pediatric training at a children’s hospital. The residency program offers various tracks to help residents find their niche and develop their interests while in residency prior to entering fellowship or practice.

Nicole: One of my favorite things about training at IUEM is that we are privileged to work with two different patient populations by working at both Methodist and Eskenazi. We also have fantastic faculty, and I have great co-residents. We truly have a wonderful group of people to work with.

  1. How did you get involved with the advocacy track at IUEM? What inspired you to chair the committee?

Audrey: I became involved in the advocacy track due to my interest in advocating for LGBTQ+ patients and learners. After having the opportunity to speak at conferences, I found myself becoming more passionate about advocating for this population. I had to opportunity to take over the advocacy track with Nicole Novotny as co-chairs. After talking with Nicole, we felt we had similar interests within the advocacy realm and felt through this position, we could increase our knowledge of various forms of advocacy and improve patient care in our residency program.

Nicole: I have a strong interest in sexual health. Becoming involved in the Advocacy Track has allowed me to foster my particular interests in an acute setting like the Emergency Department.

  1. Do you have any advice for students considering a career in medicine?

Audrey: My advice for students considering a career in medicine is to look for various experiences in as many aspects of medicine you can. One of the most influential experiences I had during my undergraduate education was the various experiences working and volunteering in the hospital and medical fields.

Nicole: It’s a long road but so far it is proving to be a rewarding career, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. If medicine is something that you are truly passionate about, keep up the hard work and stick with it!