TCOM student makes overnight presentation to Thailand Conference

By Steven Bartolotta

TCOM student Jennifer Archer
Fourth-year TCOM student Jennifer Archer

Life of a medical student is filled with many sleepless nights and early mornings, so when fourth-year Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine student Jennifer Archer had the opportunity to present to an audience halfway around the world, she was prepared. 

Archer, along with TCOM Assistant Dean of Rural Medical Education Dr. John Gibson, gave a virtual presentation at 12:30 a.m. Texas time to the Suranaree University of Technology in Thailand on the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. 

I have studied that late before, but also I could roll out of bed and rush to my exam the next morning,” Archer said. “Instead this time I needed to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to present to a crowd of people. Sleep wise I took a nap around 9:00 p.m. and woke back up around 11:30 p.m. to get dressed and look as lively as ever.” 

Archer, a member of TCOM’s ROME program, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with future colleagues from around the world. The conference was hosted by the Suranaree University of Technology in Thailand and featured speakers from around the globe who presented about science and technology research fields, and gave industrial panel sessions and virtual presentations. 

It definitely was a nerve-wracking experience presenting at such a large event — even virtual you still feel a little nervous,” said Archer. “Presenting at a conference like this allows you to meet people from all over the world who you could possibly work with in the future.” 

After the initial presentation with Dr. Gibson at 12:30 a.m., Archer stayed alert for her poster presentation at 2 a.m. to the International Virtual Conference on Science and Technology. The research project is a vital one. Archer, along with many of the ROME students, will be practicing in areas where resources are limited and improving outcomes in the rural setting is important.  

These projects are very important to creating new ways to improve patient health outcomes in areas of Texas that may not have a major hospital for 30 to 40 miles,” Archer said. “Projects, such as the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Project, show that physicians can purchase the handheld ultrasound device for cheaper than a normal ultrasound machine and perform this screening in clinic, which improves the screening rates and takes away the stress of the patient having to make another appointment at the hospital for radiology to do a screening that takes less than 15 minutes.” 

Dr. Gibson has seen the door opened many times internationally for TCOM and UNTHSC students. He’s been conducting clinics in Thailand for years, and multiple universities in Thailand have invited students from HSC to present.  

We now have had multiple ROME students present posters and research at International Research Forums at Suranaree University and Mahasarakham University in Thailand,” Dr. Gibson said. “These activities serve to reinforce our strong affiliations and Memorandums of Understanding between our institutions In addition, these experiences are valuable to students’ academic experiences and also offer good evidence to residency programs concerning students’ academic qualifications. 

The early morning wake-up call was worth it for Archer. Her presentation was well received and it gave her an international experience she might not have ever gotten with the ROME program. 

I never thought I would be able to say I would be presenting at an international conference, and I am very grateful for the opportunity,” said Archer. “I am also thankful to have worked with my other two classmates, Jonathan Hughes and Dallas Miller, who worked behind the scenes to help create the recording for our presentation along with doing the data analysis for this project.”

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