College of Medicine requests space and time


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Students in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine are just looking for a place to sit between shifts.

But in order to have their concerns heard, the student are taking the first step — they have put their requests to the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students, which has voted to bring the concerns to college deans.

The Executive Council heard from the two medical-school representatives at its Tuesday meeting. Miriam Weiner and Josh Schoenfeld explained the students’ requests — namely, a designated space in the UI Hospitals and Clinics for students and for fourth-year medical students to be excused from duties on Match Day, the day on which students are placed in residency programs.

Weiner said this has been an ongoing conversation for several years, but with the new expansion and renovations of the UI Hospitals and Clinics, she felt it was “a good opportunity” to address the matter once more.

During the presentation, she requested that the medical school provide designated workspace for medical students in the UIHC, noting that students don’t have a place to sit and do their work or relax throughout the day when they are not working.

“In our third and fourth year, we spend the majority of our time in the hospital,” Weiner said, noting that the lack of student amenity space was frustrating.

Schoenfeld pointed out that said nurses and pharmacy students have their own space, and medical students would like the same.

“In the winter it is particularly frustrating,” Weiner said, “because there’s no where to put your coat, and you have to carry your stuff around with you all day.”

Both Weiner and Schoenfeld said the medical school has a great space for students, but third- and fourth-year students spend most of their time in the hospital and therefore can’t take advantage of it.

“They do a lot for us, but this would be really great for us,” Weiner said.

Schoenfeld said the students do not necessarily want an extravagant space, just a room with a couple of sofas, some old computers, and a refrigerator, which is also an issue for medical students.

“There’s nowhere to put your lunch,” Schoenfeld said.

Schoenfeld and Weiner also requested fourth-year medical students be excused from duties on Match Day, March 21 this year.

“It’s a big day,” Schoenfeld said, noting this is when many students find out what they will do and where they will do it for the next seven years of their lives.

Most sections in UIHC give their students the day off, but the request is to cover all sections, Weiner said.

“We just want it to be made official,” Weiner said. “Almost every other med school gets Match Day off.”

Weiner said thus far, the medical-school deans have been very supportive of the request and she thinks getting Match Day off has “very good chances.”

Executive Council President Ben Gillig said the recommendations will be taken to campus administration and to Provost Barry Butler to be forwarded to the appropriate people.

Gillig said he hopes these recommendations will be useful for the council’s future officials to “hit the ground in June” with a list of what students are asking for.

“These are just conversation starters,” he said. “Hopefully, this will serve as a roadmap for future years.”

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