"As someone looking to go into the field of medicine, it was very engaging to partake in activities that simulate the process of differential diagnosis. It helped me to learn medical terminology, and more importantly, to learn how to think in a diagnostic way."
The Investigative Diagnosis Society is a club that presents a mock medical case, and the members then ask questions to determine the diagnosis. We also learn about different diagnostic tools as well as the disease presented.
Facebook: Investigative Diagnosis Society
Who can join? Why join?
Anyone can join the Investigative Diagnosis Society (IDS). There are no prerequisite considerations like major, background or career plan at all. This is a great time to get involved because we are a relatively small club, so member interaction is very engaging and several officer positions are available. Furthermore, this year will bring some exciting changes in terms of the structure of meetings: we’re going to focus our efforts on bringing in lots of guest lecturers and creating an open space for discussion of medicine and the process of diagnosis. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in science or medicine to just attend one meeting to see if you like it. I warn you though, you’ll probably be hooked after that first meeting, just like I was.
How did you get involved?
I got involved with this club last year after hearing about it from a close friend. The first time I decided to attend a meeting, I was instantly hooked. As someone looking to go into the field of medicine, it was very engaging to partake in activities that simulate the process of differential diagnosis. It helped me to learn medical terminology, and more importantly, to learn how to think in a diagnostic way. I enjoyed my first experience so much that I kept coming back every week and eventually sought an officer position in the organization.
What is your best memory?
My best memory is of the time we had a prestigious guest lecturer, Dr. Joe Beckman. At the time, he had just made a breakthrough discovery concerning a new drug that could substantially extend the life of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. His lecture provided a perfect mixture of medical and scientific information and was presented in a way that could be easily understood by a wide audience. Another great aspect of the lecture was that the audience was quite small, so everyone had the chance to ask any question they had. I feel like that experience was incredibly helpful to my personal knowledge of medicine, and it allowed me to make a connection with a well-respected expert in the field of medical research. Guest lectures are a main focus for this upcoming year. We will have experts from a wide range of fields and specialties come and share their knowledge with us.
What is the community like?
My experience is that the IDS community is very welcoming, but also very focused. While anyone from any major or background is happily welcomed into the weekly discussion, the group understands that we are all here to learn. Discussions can become intense, such as when two people are arguing over whether this or that disease is the correct diagnosis of the particular case we’re investigating. Discussions, however, are always respectful, and everyone is given a chance to speak their mind. Overall, the IDS community is one of compassionate individuals who are committed to increasing their and their peers’ expertise in the field of medicine.
When did you first feel a sense of belonging on campus?
I think that I first felt a sense of belonging on campus during my freshman year. Living in West Hall, the Honors College dorm, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals. I got the sense that the people around me had goals and interests similar to mine, which helped me make friends and succeed academically. Finding clubs and organizations such as IDS only strengthened my sense of belonging on campus. I would recommend IDS to anyone who loves to learn and wants to increase the well-being of others, regardless of their major or career goals.
How have you grown from being involved?
The knowledge and connections that I’ve made through IDS have helped me immensely in life. I have learned medical terms and methods that I would never have acquired on my own. I have met researchers and physicians who have imparted useful knowledge to me and who will continue to be sources of advice and support for years to come. More than anything, though, this club has helped me personally overcome my own anxiety and doubt about a future in the field of medicine. Engaging in thoughtful discussion with other future medical professionals constantly reminds me why I am dedicating my life to this field in the first place. These effects that IDS have had on me were a real source of support and motivation over the last year.