The Orthopaedic Surgery Club is one of St. George’s University’s newest student organizations and was formed to help introduce School of Medicine students to the competitive field of orthopedics early on in medical school. SGU News spoke with Tiamo Blankenship, the club’s president, about the motivation for forming the club and how students can get involved.
St. George’s University: Congratulations on the formation of the Orthopaedic Surgery Club. What was the inspiration for creating this club?
Tiamo Blankenship: This club was formed to provide a place for students and alumni to share their experience about programs that are receptive to internal medicine graduates, and to help them navigate the many pathways into orthopaedics.
Every year SGU students match into this competitive specialty. Part of matching into orthopedics means raising awareness about the specialty and offering advice to students to help them match into this specialty. All of our guest speakers this term are SGU alumni. We are excited to hear about their experiences when applying to orthopedic residency programs and becoming orthopedic residents themselves.
SGU News: Who can join the club?
Ms. Blankenship: Membership is not just limited to just students in their basic sciences—any student who is currently enrolled in the SGU School of Medicine program is welcome to join. Because the advice and experience of clinical year students is invaluable, we have representative students for the club who are currently in their clinical years. Despite this being our first term being the official SGU Orthopaedic Surgery Club, we have already established great connections.
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SGU News: You just had your inaugural meeting. What was on the agenda?
Ms. Blankenship: We could not believe the support we received during our first meeting. We had almost 70 people show up! At our first general body meeting, we shared our plans for the year including our guest speaker series, a splinting workshop, and our philanthropy events. We also brought up our idea for a mentor/mentee program and heard some great feedback. It was great to see the collaboration between all of the members.
SGU News: How often will you meet?
Ms. Blankenship: We plan to have general body meetings with all members of the club once a month in order to give updates on club progress and activities to all members. We will also have meetings with the term reps and E-board members every two weeks. We have a wonderful team.
SGU News: How often do you elect board members and a club president?
Ms. Blankenship: We have executive board positions for our club with about one to three term reps for each term, including representative positions for clinical year students. Elections will be conducted before the end of April for the Fall 2022 OSC E-board. Each person has a vital role in contributing to the goals of the club.
The president, for example, oversees all activities of the group and is also responsible for reaching out to orthopedic surgeon alumni, local Grenadian orthopedic surgeons, and meeting regularly with our faculty advisor and executive committee to discuss group progress. Our faculty advisor, Dr. Bashir Heidari, has been a great support. We also have three to four guest speakers planned for this term who are all SGU alumni. Our SGU alumni in the field of orthopedics will also be an outlet for any questions our members have about becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
SGU News: How do you interact with other clubs on campus?
Ms. Blankenship: For this term, we already have a Splinting and Fractures Clinic planned for early April with the SGU Sports Medicine Club. This clinic will be for both in-person and online students so that every member has an opportunity. We are also planning on working with the SGU Radiology club on campus. We’re happy that we have great connections with a variety of clubs on campus and can interact with other specialties.
SGU News: Why is the formation of this club especially timely for SGU students?
Ms. Blankenship: We want to support students who are interested in orthopedics and provide as many resources as possible. It is a very competitive field. But with a lot of hard work and dedication, we have seen students from SGU create their own paths into successfully matching into orthopedics. We have great connections with clinical year students and fellow alumni who are graciously willing to dedicate time to help other students with similar aspirations.
— Paul Burch