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A Word from AMSA's 2014-2015 National President

Britani Kessler, DOHey AMSA! This is Britani Kessler, your new National President. My first month in office has been a whirlwind of activity. However, it is nothing compared to the past 4 years of hard work at Nova Southeastern University. I attended commencement a few weeks ago and I’m still taken back that I’m now a DO – a reality that I couldn’t fathom when I first started on this journey.

Coming into this position, I have had the time to really reflect on my experiences both as a physician-in-training and as an AMSA member. I have been a member since my first year as a premedical student, not really knowing how I could get my head out of the books and engage in something other than my studies. Joining AMSA and meeting other students like me and having the opportunity to do lobby days and other events really opened my eyes to all that students can do to advocate for themselves and for their future patients. The years that you spend in medical school go by so quickly and you come out of it a different person than when you started. They were probably some of the toughest years of my life but I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. These experiences make you stronger and you come out of it with friendships that will last a lifetime because of all that you have gone through together. I mean, when you are eating mac and cheese out of a cardboard container at 1am, desperately trying to come up with acronyms for obscure disease processes, you become close with your fellow classmates. My point is that as physicians-in-training, enjoy the limited time that you have as students. Open yourself up to a world outside of books, meet new students from around the country, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourselves and future patients now. I was able to do this through AMSA and I believe that all students should engage in any way that they find meaningful.

With that in mind, I am very excited about our upcoming events! We have our Chapter Officer Recruitment and Engagement (CORE) training coming up at the end of July. This will be the first time we are hosting Chapter Officer training completely virtually, so I expect to see all of you new Chapter Officers to participate! We are also in the works are our two Fall Conferences on global health and changing the culture of medicine. These are the perfect opportunities for you to get involved and learn how to be an empowered student. If you have any questions about these opportunities, just ask! My e-mail is pres@amsa.org.

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