Miller School Students Successful at Physician Scientist Symposium

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The American Physician Scientist Association at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine hosted its first annual meeting, featuring more than 55 virtual participants from medical schools across the country, with 35 medical students selected to present poster presentations.

APSA Symposium
APSA Symposium.

“Fully planned and executed by Miller School students, the first symposium of many to come was a great success,” said Jamie Clarke, third-year M.D. candidate and APSA chapter president. “The Miller School got first- and second-place finishes, plus various honorable mention spots. Students, judges, and speakers all greatly enjoyed the day of learning and look forward to meeting once again for the 2022 edition next fall.”

Research Wins
Sarah Griffith
Sarah Griffith.

First place in the symposium went to Sarah Griffith, a second-year M.D./M.S. in Genomic Medicine candidate for her poster “Effects of Cancer Treatment on Educational Outcomes in the South Florida Pediatric Cancer Population.”

Griffith’s research allowed her to dive deeper into the long-term impact of cancer treatment on children in different ages, diagnostic, racial/ethnic, and treatment groups while bringing awareness to childhood cancer treatment burden pertaining to cognitive impairment, particularly in South Florida.

“I was honored to have had my abstract accepted to the APSA Symposium,” Griffith said. “I hope to share a less-emphasized perspective on childhood cancer treatment and acknowledge the importance of thinking about long-term survivorship in addition to immediate treatment.”

Marika Psyhojos
Marika Psyhojos.

Marika Psyhojos, a third-year M.D. candidate, achieved second place for her research “Slow Recovery of Pre-COVID Contraception Referral Rates Among Underserved Populations in Miami, FL.” Her work depicts how COVID-19 has caused a decline in the pediatric patients’ ability to access contraception counseling, resulting in unintended pregnancies, deferred gynecological care, and loss of health care follow-up.

Psyhojos collected the data as a co-president of Reproductive Health Advocates, an organization that helps uninsured, undocumented, or otherwise underserved patients access contraception, terminations, prenatal support, and postpartum care.

“My interest in the topic stems from my passion for gender equality,” Psyhojos said. “Reproductive justice is still one of our generational struggles, and access to high-quality reproductive health care is foundational to achieving health justice and gender equality.”

Honorable Mentions in the symposium included the work of five Miller School students on topics such as street medicine, hand injury compliance, children's autism care, and a lung sarcoidosis model.