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  • Medical Humanities Institute

    By Aliye Runyan, M.D.
    AMSA Education and Research Fellow

    The AMSA Medical Humanities Institute was held the first weekend of April, bringing 24 medical and pre-medical students from around the country to AMSA headquarters just outside of D.C.

    The three-day workshop highlighted the importance of the narrative in a patient's history, provider-patient communication, reflective writing for well-being of both patients and providers, and skills for maintaining balance in medical training, including yoga and meditation. The institute keynote (for the second year in a row), was Rita Charon, director of the Department of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, and founder of the field of narrative medicine. She instructed the group through a writing exercise, spoke about the importance of listening to the patient, and explained her process of shared notes with her patients, where patients are able to edit and contribute to their medical history and plan throughout.

    Other sessions included an overview of humanities in medical education with Gretchen Case from the University of Utah, a poetry workshop with nurse and poet Veneta Masson, a writing and film session with Linda Raphael from George Washington University, expressive writing with Nancy Morgan from the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown, and meditation / ...

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  • Shortage of Primary Care Physicians

    In the United States, we are now short approximately 9,000 primary care doctors. This shortage is expected to grow to more than 65,000 doctors in the years to come.

    According to a new study by the Journal of American Medical Association, a majority of 50,000 physicians in training are planning on becoming sub-specialists.

    AMSA is dedicated to raising awareness of the need for primary care physicians and focusing attention on the failure of the health care system to provide equal, high quality health care to all individuals. For example, AMSA is hosting its Primary Care Leadership Institute in January 2013. Over three days, students will take part in interactive sessions, speakers, and an integrative experience at a clinic in Washington D.C. that will prepare them to become the future leaders in primary care. The deadline for this has passed but there are plenty of other ways to get involved. Check out some of our resources online:

    Healthcare Reform & Primary Care
    Professional Development in Primary Care
    AMSA's Primary Care Interest Group

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  • Study Tour Provides Students with Different Perspectives on Healthcare

    Is the United States on the path to "socialized medicine"?
    Are waiting times really that long in Canada?
    Will the healthcare reform bill be repealed?
    Do Canadians really drive down to the U.S. for "better" care?

    These questions and many more will be answered and discussed on AMSA's Seacouver Study Tour. A five-day tour taking place in both Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from April 6-10, 2011.

    Healthcare reform is one of the biggest issues in politics today as it affects all citizens, whether they are in the medical field or patients themselves. It is now more important than ever for healthcare professionals to understand our healthcare system so that we may become informed advocates for our patients. It is also equally important to study the systems of other countries as there may be certain aspects that we may borrow to improve issues like affordability and access to medicine in our own country. No one system is perfect, but it is necessary to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    The SeaCouver Study Tour aims to educate students on the intricacies of the U.S. and Canadian healthcare systems going beyond basic facts to delve into the core of ...

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