Humanistic Elective in Activism,

Reflective Transformation, and Integrative Medicine (HEART-IM)

It is only with the heart that one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eyes….

The Humanistic Elective in Activism, Reflective Transformation, and Integrative Medicine (HEART-IM), will provide up to twenty-five (25) fourth-year medical students with a unique and rewarding way to conclude their medical school careers and prepare for their future work as healer-physicians. The experience takes place at the Quaker Center in Ben Lomond, California. Applicants should have a strong interest in integrative medicine, activism, and exploring the path of healing within the modern world and medical system.

Students will spend the month in a cooperative living and learning environment. Students will cook and clean together, teach and learn from each other. At the same time, students will be expanding their knowledge on a number of important topics not typically emphasized in medical school curricula. Students will dedicate the majority of their time during the day immersed in the curriculum. Didactic and experiential sessions will be facilitated by inspiring physician mentors and experts on a variety of topics. Specific sessions will be focused on integrative medicine, intentional community building, social justice and activism, reflective transformation including meditative practices, and personal growth skills such as communication and intention. The experience is designed to cultivate each participant’s vision of what it means to be a healer and support a plan for maintaining that vision throughout residency and beyond. Students will leave HEART-IM with a rich knowledge base in integrative medicine and activism, preparing them for patient care and advocacy.

See below for a typical day at HEART-IM. Specific learning sessions will vary year to year based on student feedback and speaker availability, but examples of workshops in past years include advocacy in community mental health and in times of political change, healing in nature, how to stay healthy in residency, nutrition and cooking demonstrations, and yoga as medicine.

The planning team for HEART is currently working on fundraising and logistical planning for this unique experience. We welcome your support and suggestions. To contribute to this effort, please contact the HEART-IM Student Leadership Team at heart@amsa.org.

Meet the 2021 HEART-IM Planning Committee

HEART-IM is powered by a group of students, faculty, and AMSA staff. Meet the leaders who make this elective a possibility.



Add your name to our HEART-IM 2021
waiting list today!

Program options due to COVID-19 restrictions
are in the works,
those on the waiting list will have first options.

Support HEART-IM

HEART-IM is an AMSA student project funded by student tuition and donations. If you would like to make a donation to support HEART-IM please visit the AMSA Donation Page and select “Make a Donation.” Thank you for your support!

Registration to attend is $1000 for AMSA members and $1100 for non-members. Click here to pay AMSA tuition fees. This covers all major expenses for the month, including housing, meals, snacks, lectures, evening on-site activities, and local transportation for official activities. Students pay their own way to the designated airport, and transportation is provided from there. Some weekends will be free, with optional scheduled activities each weekend. Additional $125 tuition fees will be paid directly to the University of New Mexico.

APPLICATION DEADLINE November 1, 2019. If positions remain, additional applications will be considered on a rolling basis until February 1, 2020. Upon reviewing your application we will inform you as to whether you have been accepted or deferred. Applicants accepted after November 1, 2019 will need to make their 1st tuition deposit within 48 hours of acceptance notification to confirm their slot.

All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing via email to heart@amsa.org by February 1, 2020, for consideration.   Telephone cancellations will not be accepted. Cancellations after February 1, 2020, are not refundable. Partial refunds – registration amount minus 10% processing fee –  will be considered only if AMSA is able to fill your spot.  If you would like to transfer your registration to another person to attend this event, please email heart@amsa.org to allow facilitation of the new registration. In the event that AMSA should need to cancel an event or shift the date/location of an event for any reason, all paid registrants will have the option of receiving a full refund or applying registration fees to a future HEART-IM event. All refunds will be processed within 10-14 business days. AMSA is not responsible for any transportation (airfare, train, taxi, etc.), lodging or other costs incurred by attendees.

Each individual attending and/or participating in this program/event assumes all risks associated with his/her attendance and participation in all on- and off-site activities that occur during this time. By registering you agree to indemnify and hold  harmless AMSA and its governing bodies, officers and employees from all loss, damage or liability arising out of or related to your attendance and/or participation at this program/event.

AMSA has official photographers and videographers for their meetings and events. Photos, videos, and audio taken may be used, without compensation, in future marketing, publicity, promotions, advertising and training activities for AMSA. By registering for this event, you agree to allow AMSA to use the photographs, video and audio-which may include you-in all media formats worldwide.

By registering for this event, you acknowledge that your email address may be included on attendee lists made available to AMSA’s Exhibitors and Sponsors for this event. You will only receive email regarding this event and only during the time-frame leading up to the event.