OUWB Pediatric Interest Group nets honor from American Academy of Pediatrics
An image from the Pie a Pig fundraiser in early 2023
The OUWB Pediatric Interest Group's Pie a Pig event is one of several fundraisers that lead up to its annual PIG Roast, which benefits Care House of Oakland County.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine’s Pediatric Interest Group was once again honored by the American Academy of Pediatrics at its annual national conference.

The OUWB Pediatric Interest Group (PIG) was named Pediatric Interest Group of the Year.

Representatives of OUWB PIG accepted the award during the 2023 AAP National Conference and Exhibition held in Washington, D.C.

Created and presented by the AAP Section on Pediatric Trainees Medical Student Committee, the award recognizes a Pediatric Interest Group annually for excellence in interest group programming and involvement in the Section on Pediatric Trainees (SOPT) annual advocacy campaign.

The OUWB Pediatric Interest Group has been in place and continually evolved since the school’s beginning. This is the fourth time in the last five years the group has received the award from AAP. Currently, more than 50% of all four classes at OUWB are members of PIG.

“I’m very excited to receive this award, and it makes me proud to be part of the pediatric interest group,” said Ava Harvey, M2, current president of OUWB’s PIG.

“It really speaks to our dedication to the pediatric community and improving their overall well-being and health outcomes,” she added.

Harvey accepted the award on behalf of OUWB PIG with Max Troyke, M3, and president of the group last year.

“We’re still enjoying that initial shock and excitement that we did it again,” he said. “(We have) gratitude for being acknowledged for what we have done in terms of programming and money that we raised.”

Hitting all the notes

An image of PIG e-board members

Members of the OUWB Pediatric Group at AAP in October. From left, David Walker, M2 and PIG's current AAP representative, Ava Harvey, and Max Troyke.

According to AAP, Pediatric Interest Groups provide the opportunity to learn about and experience the field of pediatrics starting in the first year of medical school.

Members usually are interested in a career in pediatrics, combined internal medicine and pediatrics, or various subspecialties within pediatrics.

Groups typically sponsor talks and networking events, facilitate mentoring relationships with pediatric residents and faculty, and create opportunities to interact with pediatric patients and explore research interests.

Troyke said that the OUWB PIG “hits all of the notes” regarding what it does every year.

“We have educational programming, hands on activities, and we have fun…throwing pies at each other (as part of a fundraiser),” he said.

OUWB PIG activities for the year included:

  • The PIG Roast. This is the group’s largest and most highly anticipated event every year. In the weeks leading up to the roast, PIG holds five different fundraisers. More than $3,000 was raised for CARE House of Oakland County, a children's advocacy center for victims of child abuse and neglect.
  • Skills Night. The first OUWB PIG Skills Night in several years took place in the Applebaum Surgical Learning Institute. Students from all four current OUWB classes worked with residents and attending physicians to learn a variety of hands-on skills.
  • PIG Case Series. These are case presentations whereby group members gathered on campus for refreshments and an interactive presentation on high-yield clinical topics. Topics covered this year included Kawasaki Disease, ARDS and MIS-C, bacterial and viral pneumonia, and several others.
  • Lowry Reading and Classroom Connection. Two programs that run for the entire academic year. Lowry Reading, which takes place on Oakland University's campus, involves two to three OUWB students gathering on a weekly basis with local preschoolers for story reading and fellowship. Classroom Connection involves a partnership with local middle school teachers that is primarily based out of Pontiac. Working with OUWB faculty, PIG members created and delivered multiple age-calibrated lectures on relevant health topics to educate and improve the health outcomes of an underserved local community.
  • Sexual Abuse Prevention Workshop. In partnership with two other student interest groups, OUWB PIG funded and implemented the workshop at Corewell Health William Beaumont University Hospital in Royal Oak.
  • Kids Kicking Cancer Book and Toy Drive. PIG donated three large boxes of books and toys to the nonprofit around the holidays. 

Further, OUWB PIG participated in AAP’s advocacy campaign called Racing Against ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), which set out to educate about how to recognize and address ACEs and become part of a larger movement to address structural determinants of health.

After they received the award, Matthew Denenberg, M.D., chief of Pediatrics for Corewell Health and chair of Pediatrics, OUWB, took to social media to congratulate the group.

“Among the many applications received this year, you stood out as one that not only proves what a collective of dedicated medical students can do, but also sets the standard high for what is achievable,” he wrote. “(OUWB) and Corewell Health are proud of your efforts to improve the lives of children and families in our communities.”

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at [email protected].

To request an interview, visit the OUWB Communications & Marketing webpage.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.