Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine students Ahmad Alach and Alexander Argame recently became Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) 2023 Medical Student Scholars. As part of this program, the students learn about Interventional Radiology (IR) at an early stage in their medical careers. In addition, both will receive free registration to the SIR 2023 conference, scheduled March 4 through 9 at the Phoenix Convention Center, each will receive special recognition during the meeting, and they have the opportunity to participate in dedicated medical student programming. The conference will expose the students to a broad range of learning environments with diverse topics related to IR and access to leading thinkers and faculty in the specialty.
We checked in with both students to better understand how they gained an interest in IR, what exposure they’ve had to the specialty thus far, what they hope to gain in attending the conference, and which mentors have helped to spark their individual interest in this particular area of specialty. In part 1 of our series highlighting these students’ experiences with the SIR 2023 Medical Student Scholar Program, we talk with Ahmad Alach.
How were you exposed to the field of interventional radiology?
I was first exposed to the field of radiology during my MS1 year through a journal club set up by KPSOM’s Radiology Interest Group. Drs. George Vatakencherry and Alok Bhatt (both interventional radiologists from Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center) came to the school to discuss two seminal IR articles. Their passion and knowledge about medicine shined through immediately. My experiences shadowing them throughout my first year solidified my interest in radiology.
What about IR interests you most?
I studied Bioengineering in undergrad, so I have always been drawn to technology and medical devices. IR is a very innovation-driven field that is constantly developing, and I feel like that fits in perfectly with my background and interests. I also love that IR touches everything from the head to the toe. It’s a very involved specialty that is not just isolated to one system or part of the body.
What do you hope to gain by attending the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting?
I hope to gain deeper insight into the different areas of IR as well as the new state-of-the-art innovations in the field. I also hope to meet other students and clinicians from across the country to learn more about the various IR practice settings.
Have any KPSOM faculty or staff assisted you in gaining more exposure in the area of IR?
As I previously mentioned, Drs. George Vatakencherry and Alok Bhatt have played a large role in my interest in IR. From my first time meeting them, it was clear they would always be willing to teach and mentor, so I immediately felt very comfortable exploring IR with them during my M1 year through informational interviews and shadowing experiences.