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Top 5 reasons you should go to the FIRM symposium on March 13


Medical students: learn more about this year’s FIRM symposium and check out the top five reasons you should attend this year.

FIRM will take place from 8:30 am – 4:15 pm, Tuesday, March 13, at Marian University. Registration closes at 1 pm, Monday, March 12, but walk-ins are welcome as space permits. Register here for the event.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you (a medical student) should go to FIRM:

  1. Hear from the best speakers in the state (and even some international guests)
    All your favorite physicians will be there: Drs. Graham Carlos, Emily Walvoord, Brandon Brown and Richard Gunderman. But, have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an international medical graduate in the United States or how not to lose your amygdala? We’ll have international speakers to share those stories and more!
  2. Free yoga
    Ditch that expensive private class you were thinking about taking this week and start your FIRM day off right with a 30-minute yoga session. P.S. there will be coffee if you need a little extra pick-me-up.
  3. Take part in discussions about everything from art therapy to shipping containers
    Yes, shipping containers. We promise it has a really interesting tie to medicine. You’ll just have to attend FIRM to find out what it is!
  4. FIRM is an excused absence from didactic or clinical responsibilities
    That’s how important FIRM is. Dr. Emily Walvoord and Peter Gunderman worked hard to ensure FIRM qualifies as an excused absence so that all students can attend without worry of missing didactic or clinical duties.

    • Phase 1 students: This counts as one of the 3 (including travel) excused PDO absences for the year. If you want to attend, talk with your site leader to understand the impact of the absence and fill out a Time Away Request form. For more information regarding PDOs, see the Phase 1 attendance section of the Schedule Conflicts, Absences and Vacations Policy.
    • Phase 2/3 students: Be sure to coordinate your schedule with your clerkship site leader to ensure he/she is aware of the absence and you avoid any scheduling conflicts.
  5. We promise you won’t be bored during the sessions. You’ll actually be helping lead them.
    One of the best elements of FIRM is that it’s interactive. You won’t just be learning from some of the brightest minds in medicine, you’ll also be contributing to discussions and solutions. If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry. This is a forum for all ideas. In fact, many of the 2018 FIRM speaker topics came from ideas submitted by medical students!

More about FIRM: A medical student initiative
In 2014, a group of fourth-year medical students set out to do something big: create a way for medical students and professionals to find solutions for burnout in medicine. Inspired by Richard Gunderman, MD, and his course “Leadership in Medicine,” these students developed the Finding Inspiration and Resilience in Medicine (FIRM) symposium. FIRM, a collaboration between IU School of Medicine and Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, is  entering its fifth year of addressing physician burnout by generating conversation on resilience and inspiration in medicine.

Keeping the legacy going
Students on this year’s planning committee have worked hard to carry on FIRM’s legacy, while making changes to improve programming.

“This year we made a very deliberate effort to expand the scope of our FIRM topics,” said Peter Gunderman, fourth-year medical student and chair of the FIRM planning committee. “I’m hoping that the participants in this conference not only hear great ideas, but are also inspired to make changes themselves.”

The 2018 FIRM planning committee  also underwent some changes this year to make the symposium more representative and sustainable.

“I brought in – for the first time in FIRM history –  medical students from all years of training to help plan this year’s symposium and carry on the torch in years to come,” Gunderman said. “I hope in the future that more students across the state get involved in FIRM. I recognize it’s a harder task for students outside of Indianapolis to be involved in an Indianapolis-based event, but I think there’s opportunity to expand and hold FIRM events on other campuses.”

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

IU School of Medicine

With more than 60 academic departments and specialty divisions across nine campuses and strong clinical partnerships with Indiana’s most advanced hospitals and physician networks, Indiana University School of Medicine is continuously advancing its mission to prepare healers and transform health in Indiana and throughout the world.