AMSA On Call
  • Perspective: We lay down; now it's time to stand up

    Livy Low image

    (Photo courtesy Livy Low)

    Hannah Keppler
    Student, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

    Last Wednesday, thousands of students at more than 70 medical schools across the country staged “white-coat die-ins” to make a statement about racial injustice, including as it manifests itself in our health care system.

    As one of these students, I lay on the ground for 7 minutes, the same amount of time that Eric Garner’s body lay on a Staten Island sidewalk after he was choked to death by police. While I laid there, I thought about the systemic injustices in our society and how I and other students could effect change.

    When we first donned our white coats, my classmates and I took an oath to “do no harm.” To me, taking that oath was making a pledge to always respect and honor the value of human life.

    Looking at current inequalities in the health care system, it’s clear to me that not all lives are valued equally. Racial disparities persist, often insidiously. One study found that there is an excess of 83,570 African American deaths per year due to health disparities. [1]

    How can we explain this persistent inequality? Racial disparities are endemic ...

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  • Surviving Pre-med: When Work-Life Balance Matters Most

    AMSA and national partner Kaplan have teamed up for a blog series featuring AMSA leadership from across the country. We are calling this series The Premed Experience, and each week AMSA's On Call and Kaplan's Med School Pulse will post new articles from AMSA leaders on their premedical experience and journey to medical school.

    by Laté Lawson-Hellu, Professionalism Coordinator, AMSA Pre-medical Leadership Team

    Pre-med. That “Pre-,” tell us that we are working toward a specific goal. In our case that goal is medical school. With a great goal comes great challenges that we deal with day in and day out just so that one day we might lose the status "pre" and finally be one step closer to our common dream profession. Life as a pre-med student is incredibly challenging, and some of us face other external challenges due the environment we live in. For instance, some have to financially support themselves while taking classes, or some are taking classes and preparing for the MCAT. Some may also have to financially support their family while working toward their goals. Between going to school, working, and trying to stay sane (enjoying life), we risk an imbalance that can significantly affect our ...

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  • Reflections from an LGBTQ Premedical Student

    AMSA and national partner Kaplan have teamed up for a blog series featuring AMSA leadership from across the country. We are calling this series The Premed Experience, and each week AMSA's On Call and Kaplan's Med School Pulse will post new articles from AMSA leaders on their premedical experience and journey to medical school.

    by Corey Hoch, LGBT Programming Coordinator- AMSA Gender & Sex Committee

    When I heard about the opportunity to write a blog post for AMSA, I was excited for this wonderful opportunity. After the initial excitement wore off a bit, I was left thinking to myself, “What am I going to even write about?” As premedical students, it’s as though we are constantly being told what we should be doing, what we shouldn’t be doing, and it seems as though we are never doing enough. So instead of becoming just another one of those to-do lists, I wanted to make this more personal, a post with which maybe somebody else out there can relate.

     

    The Dilemma

    It’s a scary world out there, especially as a premedical student. Sometimes I get caught up second-guessing myself and pondering all the what-ifs. I become my own worst enemy.

    Can ...

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  • The "Excellence in Advocacy" Challenge

    The AMSA Grassroots Team
    Advocacy is a rather loose term that can be defined as the “public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy”. It’s no real surprise then, why some of us feel a little lost when it comes to figuring out how to be an effective advocate for a cause. The possibilities are nearly endless! A person can certainly advocate for a cause independently, but advocacy gains tremendous strength and power with numbers. A large group of people advocating for a cause will gain momentum and exposure leading to the possibility for change more quickly than someone working on their own, but it always starts with one person. Gandhi is often quoted for saying: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” But what does this really mean? Is changing ourselves enough to make others change, too? The fact of the matter is, personal transformation and social transformation go hand in hand. This is a key underlying component of advocacy; grassroots organizing is all about bringing about change from the ground up. If you are interested at the prospect of getting involved with advocacy with your local AMSA chapter but are not sure ...

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  • Pre-med Resources: Peer Mentors and Study Groups

    AMSA and national partner Kaplan have teamed up for a blog series featuring AMSA leadership from across the country. We are calling this series The Premed Experience, and each week AMSA's On Call and Kaplan's Med School Pulse will post new articles from AMSA leaders on their premedical experience and journey to medical school.

    Study group


    by Smridhi Mahajan –- AMSA Grassroots Organizing Committee Chair
    University of Texas at Austin

    Effectively Using Peer-Mentors and Study Groups

    If you’ve come across this blog post, you’re probably heavily considering a career in medicine. As a pre-medical student, I know that attempting to go through this path to medical school alone is quite a challenge. When you think about the number of things you have to do – getting good grades, acing the MCAT, balancing extracurricular activities, volunteering, shadowing, etc. – it can be overwhelming. I also know that most of you are used to being busy and are becoming increasingly skilled at dividing your time wisely. Because of this independence, it’s difficult for many of us to reach out for help when things become difficult. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to utilize your resources, such as peer-mentors and study groups, when ...

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