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Professional Development in Primary Care

Journal Club


  • Discussion on ethics in primary care
  • Interactive Workshops
    • Basic suturing techniques
    • How to read a chest x-ray
    • Casting and splinting
    • Emergency first aid
    • Mini mental status exam
    • Osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM)
  • Sensitive Issue Workshops
    • Death and dying
    • Delivering bad news
    • Ethical issues
    • Multicultural issues
  • Organize a debate. Divide the participants into two groups. One side will argue that using the emergency department for primary care is inappropriate and unnecessarily expensive; the other will argue that the ED is an appropriate environment for primary care and therefore hospitals should be adapted to meet this responsibility. Do not let student participants choose their own group. Often the best way to remain open-minded is to defend an argument you do not support.
  • Do a self-assessment of cultural competency. This allows students to explore issues of prejudice and bias without judgment by others.
    • Consider topics like your family origins; when, how and why your ancestors arrived; ethnic advantages/disadvantages that you may have; and stereotypes of other ethnicities that you may hold. Then get a group together and do a cultural self-assessment. Discuss your similarities and differences.
  • Arrange a panel of traditional healers or practitioners of complementary health care to discuss their methods and cultural beliefs.
  • Funding and the Shortage of Primary Care Physicians
    Learn about ways to make a primary care career more affordable

Special Topics in Primary Care 

  • Culture and Language:
    • Work with culturally/ethnically organized student groups, health care groups or community groups and ask about specific health or competency issues unique to that community. Check out the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) at <> and the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) at <>. Cultural groups have some health issues that are particularly important to them and you might be able to take part in their organized interventions.
    • Host presentations and workshops on:
      • American Sign Language
      • Spanish
      • Any language common in your area
  • Mental Health
  • Spirituality
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • LGBT
  • Women’s Health
    • Invite a practicing provider with a special interest in women's health who sees many female patients to come share personal experiences and opinions.
    • Ask a provider involved in planning your school's curriculum in women's health (if there is one) to meet with students and discuss the parameters and purpose of the program. Invite female patients from different backgrounds to discuss challenges they have faced accessing the health care system and finding good, comprehensive care.
    • Invite education or government policymakers who are particularly active and interested in women's health issues to address women's health from a policy standpoint.



  • Invite a physician who received their education from another country or has practiced in a region that is culturally different than yours to come speak about their differing experiences
  • Write for the student newspaper/magazines about Primary Care & NPCW
  • The Center for Mind-Body Medicine is dedicated to providing education to healthcare professionals working with underserved communities, and to spreading the word about how simple, powerful self-care techniques can improve health and well-being.

National Primary Care Week 

For more information, contact NPCW.

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Upcoming Meetings & Student Opportunities

AMSA works year round organizing events and coordinating institutional opportunities for its members. We hope you will get involved.