WELCOME TO THE POLISH-AMERICAN MEDICAL SOCIETY IN CHICAGO
The PAMS was established in 1946 in order to facilitate social and professional relations, as well as improve and promote the status of the Polish physician émigré community in the United States. The Society organizes numerous fundraisers for charitable causes, including the annual Physicians’ Ball at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago to raise scholarship funds for medical students of Polish descent. We invite you to visit us frequently for updates on our activities and upcoming events.
Kornelia Krol, M.D.
President, Polish-American Medical Society in Chicago
On August 23rd, Society of Polish American Pre-Health Professionals, a society of young Polish American professionals, considering pursuing post graduate studying and their careers in health care associated fields, organized all day conference at the Polish Museum of America. Polish American Medical society was one of the main sponsors of this successful event and many of our members attended this conference providing their guidance and input, either through formal lectures or in informal mentoring sessions. Among many others, the following members attended: Drs: K.Krol, M.Siemionow, M.Rudnicki, J.Mazurek, A.Szpindor, A.Cios, J. Dlugopolski-Gach.
The text below, courtesy of Andrzej Mikolajczyk
“LIVES IN MEDICINE” CONFERENCE
RESPONDING TO A GREAT NEED IN AMERICAN SOCIETY
The “Lives in Medicine Conference” took place on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at the Polish Museum of America. It was a full day conference with a number of interesting presentations and workshops. Approximately 60 students and aspiring healthcare professionals attended the conference.
The day included various seminars about the application process, a small group mentoring lunch with current students and health professionals, and a resource fair featuring a dozen medical organizations and institutions from around the Midwest.
The purpose of the Conference was to create an opportunities for aspiring students who are ready “to step into the life of a healthcare professional and strengthen their current position in the increasingly competitive applicant pool”.
Chet Szerlag, Vice Chair for Finance and Director of Administrative Operations at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System gave a very insightful presentation “Healthcare: an Industry and It’s Professions in Transition”. Szerlag presented many vital facts about the current changes in our healthcare system. He discussed future trends and transitions in the health care system. The Baby Boomer generation (1946-1963), currently the largest generation in the US, is reaching retirement age by the thousands every single day. This will create an incredible need for additional health care services.
“What exactly does the life of a PA or DO/MD look like? What can I really expect from a career in healthcare? What healthcare profession fits me best?” These were some of the questions that students heard the answers to. The advice that they received will help them clarify their individual paths to a life in medicine.
Dr. Kornelia Krol, President of the Polish American Medical Society in Chicago and a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist, gave a presentation titled “Considering Your Options Before Match”. Her talk included an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of studying medicine abroad.
Dr. Josephine Dlugopolski-Gach shared some personal experiences from her path to becoming a physician, including her service as a community volunteer and activist. She is a specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics at Loyola University Medical Center currently.
Dr. Anna Szpindor, former President of the Polish American Medical Society and currently a practicing allergist, shared some insights about mentoring. She was excited to see her daughter-Marysia Szpindor-Watson, a medical student, leading the Conference as a co-chair of the organizing committee.
The Society of Polish American Pre-Health Professionals (SPAPP), is dedicated to helping students learn about careers in healthcare and how to reach them. Their goal is “to entice, foster and support passion for medicine in young Polish Americans through mentorship, scholarship and opportunity”. By connecting current medical professionals with aspiring professionals, they hope to provide people interested in health careers with a better understanding of the profession that best fits with their genuine passions, interests and lives. Organizing the “Lives in Medicine” conference is one way they are working to achieve their goal.
Another purpose of the Conference was provide participants with an understanding of different paths to becoming a healthcare professional and to give them the opportunity to be mentored by current medical students, residents and professionals.
The Keynote Address during the Conference was presented by Dr. Maria Siemionow, MD/PhD, who is a renowned Polish-American surgeon. She shared some of the challenges that she faced and her experiences leading up to the first face transplant in the United States. She coordinated a team of two dozen medical experts during 22 hours of complex face transplant surgery. Her patient is currently alive and her life has been transformed by the surgery. She now feels more accepted by society and enjoys her life. Dr. Siemionow’s primary objective during the full face surgery was to help the patient regain the basic functions of her face.
There have only been several dozen face transplant surgeries in the world during the last two decades. The risks for such surgeries are very high. They require a team of experts and afterwards they require cooperative patients due to the lifetime requirement for immunosuppressive medication.
The conference was organized by Joanna P. Tomaszewski, research associate at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Marysia Szpindor-Watson, medical student, Lukasz Sewera, MD-PhD student, Patricia Jamrozowich, health systems management professional, Angelica Rusilowski, PA student, Martin Wrobel, medical student, Agata Turowski, health systems administration student and Agatha Kielczewski, publicity chair. They truly deserve recognition. The conference was well organized, with presentations by renowned medical professionals from different medical institutions in the Chicago area and in the Midwest.
To learn more, visit their website at www.SPAPPchicago.com or visit them on facebook at facebook.com/SPAPPconference .
@ text by Andrew Mikolajczyk
XIXth Annual Family Picnic of the Polish American Medical Society took place Sunday August 17th at beautiful“ Jack and Lidia Resort” also known as “Honorary Polish Village” in Lake Villa, IL, on the shores of Deep Lake in far north suburbs.
Jack and Lydia are also running a restaurant called “Reflexions“ which is part of this large recreational complex.
In spite of a long distance from Chicago, we had very good turnout , over 60 members with families and many devoted sympathizers…
The weather was sunny, the mood was exciting, and the location was great, but the people in attendance made our annual PAMS picnic a wonderful success!
The picnic was skillfully organized by Dr. Beata Danek (PAMS board member),
Both old and new faces made appearances at the picnic. We all reminisced about the good times, listened to great live music, provided by Dr.Tucci, Dr. Niekrasz and his charming wife Iwona Niekrasz, entertaining us with some smooth, yet up-beat jazz that screamed dance! If only there had been a dance floor, then the party might have lasted into the early morning!
We also feasted on delicious grilled polish food provided by the resort owners, and later cooked kielbasa by the fire pit.
Some of us mustered up the courage to take out one of the paddle boats on the lake, and then proceeded to bask in the sun, some swam, some played beach volleyball and there was a competition going on in beanie bags toss.
The relaxation and fun lasted well into the evening hours.
We are already planning for the next year, in the same place and can only hope that this enticing description of the picnic will attract more of you in the future.
Written by Drs. E. Worwag and E.Buch
On Aug 3rd, 2014, at Chicago Jesuits Center, Dr. Anna M. Wegierek, PsyD, had interesting and important lecture on bullying, cyber-bullying, sex-ting, aggression, internet pedophiles etc. This was an open and free forum, well attended and well received and co-sponsored by Polish American Medical Society. The need for this type of information in our community is so great that Dr. Wegierek is already planning another lecture in November 2014. More information at: www.wegierekpsychology.com
We invite all PAMS members to attend our quarterly meeting on Sunday, Sep 7th at 2.30 pm at Embeya Restaurant. All those who have not paid their annual membership dues yet: please bring your checks/cash.
Speaker introduction – Dr. K. Krol, President
Lecture – Dr. Ruba Azzam ( University of Chicago) Topic: “Fatty Liver in Children – Not All is NASH”-see more about our speaker below|
Introduction of new members
Summary of PAMS events for last 3 months:
XXIII PAMS Tennis Tournament
Lives in Medicine Conference, Aug 23rd
Cooperation with University of Chicago
Report on progress in students clerkships:
University of Illinois in Peoria
PAMS November meeting
65 Physicians’ Ball – Jan 31, 2015
Sunday September 7th, 2014 – 3PM-7PM
564 West Randolph Street
(Corner of N Jefferson St and W Randolph St)
Chicago, IL 60661
Valet Parking at Embeya – $12
Surface Lot ½ block before Randolph on left side of Jefferson at approximately 112 N Jefferson St – $7
Ruba K. Azzam, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Director of Pediatric Hepatology
Medical Director, Pediatric Liver Transplant Program
University of Chicago
Ruba Azzam, MD, specializes in treating children with conditions related to hepatology, gastroenterology and nutrition. Her clinical interests include hepatobiliary diseases, liver transplantation, pancreatic disorders and the full range of gastrointestinal diseases. Dr. Azzam has authored several publications in peer-reviewed medical journals and book chapters focusing on liver-related research as well as general gastroenterology, hepatology and transplant hepatology. http://www.uchicagokidshospital.org/physicians/ruba-azzam.html
“Fatty Liver in Children – Not All is NASH”
On June 22, 2014, seventy-eight members of the Polish-American Medical Society met for a quarterly meeting at the residence of the PAMS President Dr. Kornelia Król.
We had the honor to host this years special guests, Prof. Ramaz Kurashvili and Dr. Elena Shelestova, who visited from the National Center for Diabetes Research in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Ms.Anne Zenzer represented the Cebulski Trust, which donated funds for student scholarships. Joanna Tomaszewski and Lukasz Sewera represented the Society for Polish-American Pre-Health Professionals, which organized the “Lives in Medicine Conference”.
We also welcomed new PAMS members: Drs. Ewa and Dariusz Borys, and Dr. Ewa Wójcik, pathologists from Loyola University Medical Center, Dr. Arthur Tokarczyk, anesthesiologist from NorthShore University Health System, and Dr Piotr Witkowski, transplant surgeon from The University of Chicago. We are very excited that they have joined our society.
We welcomed new board member Dr. Jagoda Samulak, who replaced Dr. Bartek Nierzwicki.
A report summarizing PAMS activities in last 3 months was presented by Board President, Dr K. Krol. Besides traditional participation in Chicago Polonia events, and sport events, we initiated one very new project to increase cooperation between PAMS and academic institutions in Chicago. Our goal is to help medical students studying abroad in finding medical clerkships and observerships in American hospitals. This in turn might improve chances of admission into limited residency positions. Cooperation with The University of Chicago has been especially fruitful, thanks to involvement and personal help of some academic physicians in this university.
PAMS is in the process of recruitment for a urologist from Poland for fellowship in urological oncology offered by University of Chicago’s Urology Department.
The treasurer, Dr Adam Cios, presented a short budget summary. As a means of increasing revenue, physicians will be able to place advertisements on our website for a cost of $50.00 per year.
Traditionally, the June quarterly meeting is devoted to present scholarship awards for medical, dental and veterinary students of Polish descent. President of PAMS Scholarship Committee, Dr. Ewa Radwańska handed out checks and diplomas to 11 students studying in US and in Poland.
Later in the evening, we were privileged to listen to a fascinating lecture “Quo vadis regenerative medicine” given by professor Mariusz Ratajczak from the University of Louisville Kentucky. He is an internationally known specialist in the field of stem cell research.
The meeting ended after a light and healthy meal accompanied by many stimulating and warm conversations between PAMS members and guests.
Meeting was sponsored by Dr. Kornelia Król and PAMS.
Kornelia Krol, M.D.
President, PAMS in Chicago
In recent months, PAMS in Chicago has been faced with an increased number of inquiries and requests for help in finding residency positions and student clerkships. Though it is not a new issue since most of our members are physicians of Polish origin and international medical graduates (IMGs). IMGs have always had more difficult access to residency positions than graduates of American medical schools, particularly in surgical specialties that are very competitive even for the best American graduates.
In recent years, this situation has been further impacted by many new factors. We monitor these changes and aim to acquire and disseminate accurate and current information about these trends. We are committed to helping our students as much as we can. Among us are very dedicated doctors who understand “the system” and work as faculty members at Chicago universities, training students and residents, However, their experience or influence is not enough.
In recent years, residency education in the US has been relatively stagnant, but medical school enrollment has not. Many medical schools have expanded and additional schools have opened. The number of American graduates will grow from approximately 18,000 in 2000 to almost 28,000 by 2020. But this growth will not result in increased numbers of practicing physicians. It simply displaces international graduates. In only four years, there will be more American medical graduates then residency positions, a circumstance that has never existed before. In 1997 the US Congress capped Medicare funding for added residency positions. Moreover, if Congress also decreases funding for existing residency education, the number of residency positions will likely decrease again.
While the interest of young Polish doctors in immigrating to the US is declining because of opportunities within the European Union, we have been observing an increasing number of American students of Polish origin seeking medical education in Poland and wishing to return to the US. Many medical schools in Poland which have opened English divisions with 4 and 6 year programs actively recruit US and Canadian students. For the most part, their intention is to return to the US later and apply for residency programs through the Main Residency Match. While all medical schools in Poland are accredited in the USA and provide excellent education, their graduates (even American citizens) are considered IMGs; and in this competitive environment they have a disadvantage. They not only compete with American graduates but also with other IMG’s who are often extremely well prepared to pass the required USMLE exams. Therefore the high USMLE score (>240) is of extreme importance for those seriously considering applying for the American residency position.
Our newly elected Board of PAMS has worked hard for the last 4 months to address these issues. These are the points we were able to address up to this date:
1. We contacted ECFMG and NRMP and obtained the most recent information pertinent to IMG Match in 2013
● Charting outcomes of the Match “International Medical Graduates” was published for the first time in Jan 2014 and provides information about criteria, requirements and statistics for all specialties: http://www.ecfmg.org/resources/NRMP-ECFMG-Charting-Outcomes-in-the-Match-International-Medical-Graduates-2014.pdf
● “National-Resident-Matching Program 2014 results” http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/National-Resident-Matching-Program-NRMP-Results-and-Data-SMS-2014-Final.pdf
2. We contacted directly several medical schools in Poland to provide them with realistic information and urged them to pay more attention to Polish-American medical students planning to return to the USA. Specifically we have met with Rectors from Poznan Medical University, Deans from Warsaw Medical University and from Medical University in Wroctaw. Some of the schools have already implemented measures such as introducing Kaplan preparatory courses to help students achieve better scores on USMLE.
3. We met with officials at the Ministry of Health in Warsaw to alert them to this problem.
4. We explored opportunities to obtain clerkships and observerships in American medical schools in Chicago for students studying in Poland. This is an extremely difficult and complex process that requires overcoming many legal obstacles, malpractice insurance and patient privacy issues, as well as availability and willingness of faculty members to participate in this process. Since official agreements between Polish and American medical schools do not exist, we are using our personal connections with universities in Chicago to facilitate this process. We are in contact with our academic colleagues at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois and Loyola University, and thanks to their understanding and good will, we are making progress in securing academic opportunities for medical students from Poland.
5. We are connecting with recent Polish IMGs who were successful in obtaining residency positions in the US and asking them to share any useful information that might be beneficial for students and future graduates. We appeal to any students or residents to contact us and share their experiences.
I would like to thank PAMS Board members, particularly Dr. Ewa Radwanska, Dr. Ewelina Worwag and Dr. Adam Cios for their commitment to work on these issues.
Kornelia Krol, M.D.
President, Polish-American Medical Society in Chicago
Serdecznie zapraszamy na specjalne zebranie kwartalne połączone z dorocznym rozdaniem stypendiów naszym studentom, które odbędzie się w dniu 22-go czerwca, w niedzielę w gościnnej rezydencji Dr Kornelii Król w Winnetce. Prosimy tych którzy jeszcze nie zapłacili skladek za ten rok o przyniesiene czeków na Zebranie! ($150 albo $200 ze swoja wizytówką!). Proszę przesłać RSVP do Dr. K. Krol: email@example.com
Prezes i Zarząd ZLP
Scholarship Committee of The Polish American Medical Society in Chicago is proud to announce the PAMS 2014 Scholarship Winners:
Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University
Medical University of Warsaw
Medical School of Wisconsin
Amy Renee Richmond
Indiana University School of Medicine
Rush University, Medical College
University of Illinois at Chicago
UIC College of Dentistry
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Julia Artymovych, M.D.
Dagmara Hausner, M.D.