Director of the MBS program at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine: Listen to your students

Share@Geisinger Commonwealth talks created to allow master of biomedical sciences (MBS) students to share their passions

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SCRANTON, PA (12/07/2017) Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) students at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine have inaugurated a series of talks called "Share@Geisinger." The talks focus on health, science and medicine, as well as inspirational personal experiences, struggles and achievements, and current and past health-related issues.

The talks have grown very popular at the School of Medicine and, since the inception of the series, faculty and staff have joined in delivering the talks. The series is a way for MBS students to hone their presenting skills, but more importantly, it provides a vehicle for discussing issues that are important to the Geisinger Commonwealth community.

"In my mind, schools are very much monologue-oriented. We, the instructors, always talk to our students, and rarely listen to them. This is our loss, because all of our students have amazing stories to tell and lessons to teach us too," said Darina Lazarova, director of the MBS program and associate professor of molecular biology at Geisinger Commonwealth.

The series is modeled on the popular TED talks. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of no more than 18 minutes. TED began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design (TED) converged, and today covers almost all topics - from science to business to global issues - in more than 100 languages.

The first Share@Geisinger talks were presented in September and have been taking place on a monthly basis since.

Students Ambica Chopra and Charles Bay delivered the most recent presentations.

Ms. Chopra shared ideas on how to overcome problems with data collection for patients with depression and anxiety. One pressing problem is that patients are forced to actively recall symptoms that occurred weeks or months between medical appointments. Ms. Chopra discussed her participation in developing an app that would "passively" collect data, like patient activity and sleep patterns, to develop a clearer picture of a patient's mental state between visits to the doctor.

Mr. Bay discussed research he is conducting under the supervision of Ida Castro, J.D., Geisinger Commonwealth vice president for community engagement & chief diversity officer. The research has revealed that Community Health Needs Assessments, taken at regular intervals as directed by the Affordable Care Act, often overlook significant populations - minorities, immigrants and homeless, for example. Ongoing research will examine the needs of these "invisible populations" in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Some of the other student talks delivered included:

  • Christopher Logan SanCraint, MBS student presenting Flint Water Crisis: A Resident's Prospective.
  • Moses Moua, MBS student presenting his volunteer experience at a nonprofit medical clinic, his managing clinical work and his most recent trip to Thailand.
  • Ebuwa Ighodaro, MBS student presenting his social research on drug laws.
  • Brianna Dade, MBS student presenting Thoughtfully Caring for Patient with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Richard Sofoluke, MBS student presenting The Road to Recovery in Surviving Advanced Cancer.
  • Tina Giutashvili, MBS student presenting The Sweeter Side of Life: A Journey with Type 1 Diabetes
  • Oyeniyi Akinleye, MBS student presenting Social Quarantine: Post-Ebola Sequelae