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Psychiatry Interest Group (PsyIG)


The vision for the Psychiatry Interest Group (PsyIG) at KUSM-Wichita is to bring medical students and residents together to foster interest in psychiatry, neuroscience and mental health.


The PsyIG provides an enjoyable social and professional venue for regular meetings of medical students and residents, elects officers and project leaders, and with the support of KU faculty, plans and performs activities to expand knowledge, explore career opportunities and perform service to the community consistent with the group's vision.

Brief History

The PsyIG at KUSM-W was started in academic year 2002-2003 under the guidance of psychiatry department faculty, Dr. Michael Burke. The goal was to provide more opportunities for medical students to become involved in psychiatric medicine and issues related to mental health and neuroscience. PsyIG has evolved into a social, educational and service organization that is directed by students and residents with sponsorship by the department of psychiatry. New leadership for the organization is elected at the beginning of each academic year. Clearly the organization has accomplished much since its inception. Numerous activities and opportunities continue to present consistent with our mission. A national Psychiatry Student Interest Group Network (PsychSIGN) was launched by the American Psychiatric Association in 2005. We look forward to using resources from this national network as they are developed and become available.

In its first year, members of PsyIG attended a screening of "A Beautiful Mind" and met the author Sylvia Nasar during her visit to Wichita. The group also produced laminated "pocket cards" for clinicians that list suicide risk factors, suicide screening questions, and resources for people at risk for suicide. These cards have been re-printed multiple times and distributed to students, residents and community practitioners. PsyIG members also participated in the "Walk for the Homeless" awareness program.

In its second year, the PsyIG membership participated in the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Taskforce activities, which included attendance at the first Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Forum. Several PsyIG members participated in a speaker's training program and joined the suicide awareness speaker's bureau. A group of PsyIG members went on to present an Issues in Medicine program for third and fourth year medical students on suicide prevention.

In 2004-05, PsyIG members manned sites at the Sedgwick County Health Department and Via Christi Regional Medical Center for National Suicide Prevention Day and National Depression Screening Day providing education and clinical screening assessments. PsyIG members also participated in the annual candlelight ceremony for mental health awareness, which is sponsored by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

In the 2005-06 academic year, PsyIG started a scoail gathering called "Third Thursday." Psychiatry department faculty frequently attended these meetings to discuss topics in psychiatry, neuroscience and career opportunities. In this year PsyIG partnered with the Mental Health Association (MHA) and the Counseling Center at Wichita State University (WSU) for National Depression Screening Day. Recognizing the increasing incidence of depression and suicide on college campuses, PsyIG members performed depression screenings on students at WSU.

In the 2006-07 academic year, the PsyIG members continued to participate in depression and mental health screenings and awareness programs at the Mental Health Association, Wichita State University, including our Spanish-speaking members who participated in programs at the Hispanic Health Fair. Psychiatry department faculty attended "Third Thursday" meetings and presented on topics of interest to participants. A practicing hypnotist was invited to one meeting to present on the theory and clinical practice of hypnotism. A highlight of the year was launching the Psychiatry Film Festival series, beginning with a showing of "The Bad Seed". PsyIG board members provided potluck dinners and the movies were followed by lively discussion and jeopardy-style prize drawings.

In the 2007-08 academic year, the PsyIG members continued the activities from previous years. This year, PsyIG also participated in the Memory Walk to raise funds for research and awareness of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. A PsyIG member participated in the Sedgwick County Suicide Taskforce and gave periodic reports to the group. The Psychiatry Film Festival series continued with a showing of "Manhattan, Kansas", a documentary about the filmmaker and her mother who has bipolar disorder.

In the 2008-09 academic year, PsyIG members collaborated with the Psychology Department at WSU during National Mental Health Awareness Month and had a station set up at WSU to perform depression screening of college students. As part of the Psychiatry Film Series started by PsyIG, there was a showing of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". The film was shown at a faculty member's house and the department provided a catered dinner.

Members of PsyIG are encouraged to take advantage of free membership in the American Psychiatric Association.


Ronda Magness
Medical Student Clerkship Director
(316) 293-3508

Last modified: Oct 26, 2018