Medical Students Place First in Arizona Doctor’s Dilemma Competition

Medical Students Place First in Arizona Doctor’s Dilemma Competition

A team of three Creighton University medical students placed first in the American College of Physicians (ACP) – Arizona chapter Doctor’s Dilemma Competition Nov. 9 at Arizona State University’s Memorial Union in Tempe.

Third-year medical students Michael Raffetto and Jaclyn Lundberg joined with fourth-year student Armeen Mehrabani to beat out teams from University of Arizona – Tucson, Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Medicine and A.T. Still University’s Kirkwood College of Medicine.

The Doctor’s Dilemma is a trivia competition similar to the television game show Jeopardy. This particular competition featured teams of students from Arizona medical school programs and was part of ACP’s statewide meeting. ACP is an organization for internal medicine physicians.

“I really enjoyed getting to work together with my peers and support each other during this competition,” said Lundberg, who is interested in plastic and reconstructive surgery and neuroradiology. “I loved working in a team and collaborating to find the correct answer in a time-sensitive situation. It was definitely an adrenaline rush.”

The trio received coaching and support from Jaya Raj, MD, a professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine Phoenix Regional Campus and program director and vice chair of education of the Department of Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. “Although we did not have much time to prepare, the team took this competition very seriously and practiced as many sample questions as they could find,” Raj said. “Most importantly, they worked collaboratively to bring out each other’s strengths.” 

Mehrabani, who is pursuing an internal medicine residency, cited the team’s strategy as one of the reasons they were successful. “We were the only team picking the highest-point questions first. Even though we only knew a couple of the answers, the other team started becoming impatient and answered some of those harder questions incorrectly.”

In another competition, third-year Creighton medical student Elizabeth “Liz” England won a science paper competition at the 10th annual Southwest Trauma and Acute Care Symposium put on by the Arizona Trauma Association Nov. 8-9 in Scottsdale.

Her successful entry discussed the use of the resuscitative endovascular balloon of the aorta as a strategy for vascular injury repair during a robotic surgery. She received a cash prize in addition to the notoriety of having the winning paper.

“I feel honored to have been able to participate in this presentation, and it is very exciting to have won,” she said. “I plan on doing a residency in general surgery. I have not decided yet on a specialty; however, I really enjoy trauma surgery.”

She received support and help on her paper from Creighton medical faculty members Thomas Gillespie, MD, James Mankin, MD, Jordan Jacobs, MD, and James Bogert, MD.