By Wendy Sarubbi | March 6, 2015 11:25 am

Second-year UCF medical student and Air Force Lt. Eli Kinberg is combining his passion for the military and internal medicine in a new role with the American College of Physicians (ACP). The national group of more than 141,000 internal medicine specialists and interested students selected Kinberg as their first student representative to their Air Force Leadership Council.

“The chapter wants to know what topics and resources medical students are interested in, so that they can get involved,” Kinberg said of his selection. The ACP Air Force chapter’s 761 members are spread out across the country, making it more difficult to come together like local and state-based ACP chapters do. Kinberg is hoping to bridge that gap in his inaugural position. Kinberg says he wants to reach out to medical students from coast to coast, and show them the benefits of a career in the Air Force, and as an internal medicine specialist. “My job is going to be connecting medical students who are interested in internal medicine to the Air Force, and finding out what they need to support them in their military career and as a physician,” he said.

Kinberg was introduced to the ACP through third-year student Christin Giordano, who was elected chair of the ACP student chapter last year. “I am thrilled to have involvement from those serving in the military who are also interested in internal medicine,” said Giordano who was a physician’s assistant for two years before deciding to go to medical school to grow even further in her passion for primary care. “I really enjoy the diagnostic puzzle as well as the intimate relationships you have the opportunity to form with patients and their families.”

Kinberg connected with that sentiment when he joined the ACP last year. “An internal medicine physician has the opportunity to coordinate and streamline medical care and really make a difference to the patient and their family,” he said.

Kinberg is a recipient of the military’s Health Professions Scholarship, which pays for his tuition and living expenses in exchange for his service to the military after graduation. He has family members who served in the Navy and Army, including his grandfather and uncle. “It means the world to be able to serve my country in that way,” he said. “It’s something that my family is really proud of.”

The first official ACP event that Kinberg will attend as a national Air Force representative will be the Florida Chapter Annual Meeting March 27-29. “In the military you have a really healthy, motivated population of individuals who have volunteered to serve their country,” he said. “We have the opportunity to serve them. That, to me is very special.”

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