Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Intro to: The TDI Student Advisory Committee (SAC)

Hello readers,

Yeah...we know...less than a month and another posting...We know what you are thinking, "Dang those girls are good!" :) Haha!

An aspect of the TDI experience that we haven't really touched upon yet is the TDI Student Advisory Committee. At the beginning of early fall quarter, four officers are elected to this committee, and then serve in that capacity for the rest of the year.

The TDI SAC is committed to working towards the success of the The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Our primary role is that of communicating the thoughts and concerns of students to the administration, and dually serving as liaisons of the administration to the students.

Some of our responsibilities include:
  • Coordinating student involvement in community service
  • Evaluating the overall program ­ administration and academics
  • Establishing policies and/or procedures for new activities
  • Coordinating individual student comments into a coherent recommendation
  • Providing feedback on the progress of individual courses.
  • Coordinating social events for students
  • Serving as liaisons to the Dartmouth Medical School Student Government and the Graduate Student Council.

A more in-depth look at the activities of the current TDI SAC will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

TDI Love always,

Miriam Ayad (President)
April Semilla (Treasurer)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fall Quarter Recap

Welcome back everyone! :) Happy New Year! We trust that you all enjoyed your winter breaks and we would like to start our first blog back by apologizing for our absence these past couple months. This entry will serve as a recap of last term, and hopefully serve as a bit of an explanation as to the workload that served to taint our blogging creativity a bit.

Last quarter saw TDI students complete courses such Epidemiology and Biostatistics 1, the Continual Improvement of Health care, Medical Care and the Corporation, Inferential Methods and Systematic Review 2, along with classes specific to those pursuing a MPH or MS degree.

To give a quick peek into what kept us occupied in the last few months, students in the Medical Care and Corporation class (offered through the Tuck Business School), for example, participated in term long consulting projects with various clients in the Upper Valley. Clients included Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth College, with the final deliverables being a full-length presentation as well as a client report. Inferential Methods part 2 concluded with the final products of a systematic review paper and poster session, and please see attached pictures as proof that all the hard work paid off. In our Continual Improvement of Health Care class, we completed personal improvement projects and had the opportunity to tackle issues in real life setting, in team improvement projects, where we learned all about issues of quality improvement.

In the MPH Seminar Series, a three term course spread through the Fall-Spring Terms, students worked in groups to conduct a Needs Assessment of various programs within the community, and present their findings to their respective clients. For the MS students, the Research Tutorial Series 1 began the process crafting what may eventually become grant proposals worthy of submission to the NIH.

Although may seem like all we do is go to class, and then when we’re out of class, we’re either doing class work, or preparing for more class, we do actually have time for social events.

Prime example? Before TDI students scattered all over the country before thanksgiving break, we had our own version of thanksgiving dinner, with Turkey, Ham, mashed potatoes and all the fixings, not forgetting the apple pie of course.

As the student advisory committee, we also hosted a holiday movie night before we all left for our holiday breaks! The movie selections were: A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Home Alone. The winning movie was A Christmas story and we enjoyed the evening with popcorn. We also hosted a study social for students preparing for finals. There was plenty of food and it was good to be surrounded by fellow classmates for the final stretch.

The TDI Holiday Party was a big hit. :) It was beautifully decorated and the food was delicious! It was a nice way to meet an greet with professors and other TDI staff and faculty.

It definitely was an action-packed term to say the least, but we all made it through. :) Stay tuned because we are going to be blogging machines...don’t believe us? Oh you just wait and see.

TDI love,
Miriam Ayad (President)
April Semilla (Treasurer)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Win HOP Winter Film Passes!

Graduate Students: Win DFS winter film passes from the Hop!

The Hopkins Center is giving away 8 pairs of passes to the DFS Winter
Film Series “Quixotism” to graduate students. To be eligible, sign up
for Hopmail, a weekly e-newsletter with a comprehensive list of upcoming performances, films and outreach events as well as breaking news and special offers from the Hop.

We will draw 8 winners and each will receive 2 film passes that are good for all DFS winter films (20+ movies!).

Upcoming DFS movies include:

This giveaway ends Wednesday, January 5.

See you at the Hop!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guess what? Its fall and the leaves are changing color in New England!

Hey TDI followers,

Greetings again! Since it has been a month since our last posting, we have so much to update you on! It is a testament to how busy we have been over the last month that even with two people, our pledge to update biweekly fell to the wayside!

In our defense, in the week after our last post went up, our 10 page White Paper, a 5 page analysis, our Final Systematic Review Proposal, Poster presentation were due, on top of our usual 50 page readings, homeworks and meetings. To say we have been busy would be an understatement. And then the week after that, Finals were upon us. Dun dun dun...

So be warned ladies and gents: TDI is not for the faint at heart.

It wasn’t all work and no play, however, as there was plenty of opportunity to kick back and relax. The Wellie Formal-formerly-known-as-BEMA was a very well attended semi-formal event that gave us the chance to let off a little steam and mingle with other graduate students from the medical school and students from the Graduate Arts and Sciences. Dartmouth also hosted it’s first home game of the season (we fell to Penn, but we’ll get them next time!) and then suddenly, our first quarter was done, and we had a few days of breathing room to gear up for Late Fall Quarter.

Some highlights? Having the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop stop by to speak in our Critical Issues in Health and Health care class seriously sticks out. Members of our cohort who are in the Medical Care and the Corporation elective in Tuck had the opportunity to listen to a presentation by Michael Porter, who is widely known as the ‘Father of Modern Strategy’, which was also very exciting.

This quarter, we are welcomed back into Epidemiology and Biostatistics, continue on with Inferential Methods and Systematic Review 2, and we have also added two new classes to the mix!

On to other news, it is starting to get a lot more chilly around these parts and the leaves have starting changing colors. Fall in New England is absolutely beautiful. We just got back from a Fall Break and it has been really interesting hearing where everyone visited for our 5 day vacations. Some went back to their hometowns, and others went exploring other states in New England.

We have our first TDI Student Advisory Committee meeting this week, and we will make sure to update you on the progress we make in that department soon!

As for the late fall term that is upon us...BRING IT ON!

Reppin' TDI till we die yo,
Miriam E. Ayad (President)
April P. Semilla (Treasurer)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome Class of 2011!


For first post of the year, we would like to welcome the TDI class of 2011. We are aware that there has been a significant absence in up-keeping the TDI blog...but have no fear, regular blogging starts now! Our aim is to keep this up get excited!

Looking back at the first month of TDI, we have a lot to report! Hard to believe, but the first month of our TDI experience has blazed by, leaving a trail of homework assignments, group presentations, and readings stacked two inches deep. Congratulations, Class of 2011, for surviving your first round of midterms!

Hanover has been an interesting place so far, a lot different from California and Zambia, where we both are from! One thing we are getting used to is...a lot of trees! We have been exploring, hiking, eating (maybe a little too much), and enjoying meeting people from various backgrounds.

Upcoming events to be mindful of when you can get away from the books:
Friday September 10- North Park Wine and Cheese Mixer 6:30pm
Tuesday September 21- Convocation 11:00 am
Friday September 24-Welcome Reception 4:00 pm

Alright, we think that is all we have for now!

Peace. Love. & TDI.,
April Semilla (
& Miriam Ayad (

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Go TDI, represent!"

I first apologize if an alum making a post on the TDI blog would constitute as "hijacking" but I wanted to share an experience that resulted from a TDI education that may serve as motivation for others.

This past Sunday, Emily Neely (formerly Emily Smith, congrats Emily!) and I presented our systematic review on the role of a low-carbohydrate diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients at the American Dietetic Association's Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Denver, CO. It was a pretty informal setting and it may have seemed that taking our MPH work to a dietetic conference would be a big mismatch, but our poster got some great attention, and we got some great feedback and ideas for future research related to health policy and clinical practice.

The timing seems great because the current class is well in the process of developing their own systematic reviews through Robin's ECS 102 class. I remember sitting in the same class listening to Robin talking about taking the opportunity to use our systematic reviews towards publications, presentations, and conferences. I never thought that I would take my own project and use its findings to advocate practices providers for fear of being criticized about miscalculations or lack of credentials. My perceptions were way off, and for those who have similar doubts about taking a school project and presenting it to the "real world," I would really encourage you to put those doubts aside, take a chance, and create opportunities out of your hard work. We had a great time at the conference and really enjoyed talking to everyone who stopped by our poster. We were even encouraged to publish our work, which has really motivated us to continue our work from our school days.

I do hope that all the current students are learning as much as I did in this program and that sharing my experience will encourage students to view what they learn and what they work on as efforts that can and will make an impact on health care policy and practice.

Best of luck on those systematic reviews!

Anna Chin, MPH
Class of 2oo9