Scholars Programs

The AMSA Scholars Programs are a training ground for physician leaders established by students, for students. The Scholars Programs strive to empower physicians-in-training to effect change in medicine, didactic, and experiential learning. Each program focuses on the value that health care must be patient-centered and enforces AMSA’s mission of fostering a community of future physicians through education and advocacy.

Course Structure

Each course is a community of interested physicians-in-training, engaged to learn more about a specific topic. Courses are facilitated by one or two dedicated AMSA members who serve as Course Directors. These Course Directors organize a curriculum, invite experts in their respective fields to come and expand your understanding of the topic, and provide valuable feedback. The courses range in size from 10 to 50 participants. Course Directors will facilitate between 8 and 20 sessions between the months of July and April with sessions structured around online presentations, readings, and discussions. At the end of their experience, participants develop a project utilizing the knowledge gained from the course. The projects are an application of their new skills, as well as a professional development opportunity in the participant’s school or community. Throughout the experience, participants gain valuable mentorship from their Course Directors, fellow Scholars, and partner organizations to enhance their projects.

Who Should Register

Free to AMSA members, the Scholars Programs are comprised of a versatile group of passionate individuals with different interests, experiences, and levels of knowledge of their program topic. Students who have the curiosity to ask why the status quo exists and the creativity to challenge it in productive ways. Students who want to share their new-found knowledge with their colleagues. Programs will foster an online community for students to work together with experts in order to gain new perspectives, knowledge, and clinical skills.

Registration for the 2021-2022 Scholars Programs will open in June 2021. In the meantime, please contact with any questions regarding our online learning opportunities.

Calling all Course Directors! The 2021-2022 Course Director Application is Now Open

If you believe in professional development and continuing education, we’ve got an opportunity for you! 

The AMSA Academy offers an online learning community of programs and courses open to premedical and medical students. Each course is led by a Course Director who engages a community of physicians-in-training around about an important health care topic. 

This is your chance to organize a curriculum around a specific topic, invite experts to contribute presentations, and provide mentorship and feedback to participants!

*This is a one year term. If selected for this position, you will serve as a Scholars Program Course Director for one year, corresponding to AMSA’s leadership year, May 1 through April 30 of the following year.

The Scholars Program Course Director is responsible for managing a Scholars Program Course within the AMSA Academy. The Course Director is responsible for the overall preparation, set up, and delivery of one Scholars Program Course, with guidance and support from the Scholars Program Chair and the Academy Chair (student leaders), and the Events and Marketing Manager, Partner and Program Manager, and the Programming Strategist (AMSA staff). 

A qualified candidate is an individual with demonstrated leadership or managerial experience and preferably with some teaching experience or considerable interest in medical education, such as learning science, educational theory, pedagogy, instructional design, or educational psychology . Preference is given to applicants who are previous Scholars Program Course Directors. 

The Scholars Program Course Director’s primary responsibility is to the participating students in the Scholars Program Course, ensuring that the Course demonstrates an ethics of educational care that is learner-centered, trauma-informed, and intentionally centering frameworks of knowledge and knowledge production that disrupt normative medical education and training. In sum, the Course Director should critically engage with the course’s underlying pedagogical and curricular foundations, in designing the course content, to shift medical education and training in the direction of liberatory education. The Scholars Program Course Director is directly accountable to the Scholars Program Chair, and indirectly to the Academy Chair.

Scholars Program Course Directors are responsible for: 

    • Actively participating in the transition from the previous Course Directors; the transition will require participation in meetings and careful review of the Course’s organizing documents
    • Working collaboratively with one or more Course co-Directors; based on historical enrollments, each course may have one or more co-Directors to maintain an approximate 1:25 director:student ratio.
    • Engaging in all necessary training provided by Scholars Program Chair and Academy Chair to build skills in curriculum design, course management, item development and assessment construction, speaker and student engagement, and use of technologies such as the learning management system and classroom platform.
    • Consistently using the provided course templates for syllabus development, course description, online course interface, and email correspondence with invited and confirmed guest speakers.
    • Adhering to timelines for planning, development, and delivery of the Course.
  • Proactively connecting with relevant Action Committees & Teams (ACT) leaders and AMSA Staff to achieve an optimal level of interconnectedness between the Course and AMSA’s other educational and experiential activities.
  • Supporting the Scholars Program Courses marketing campaign by utilizing messaging channels accessible to the Course Director, such as personal social media, on-campus clubs/groups, and listservs. 
  • Regularly communicating about progress and status of course, and the students’ and speakers’ experience with supervising leaders, including Scholars Program Chair and staff Programming Specialist.
  • Ensuring that participating students submit project proposals and finalized project reports according to established deadlines; encouraging participating students to submit their projects for inclusion in the AMSA Convention Poster Session.
  • Contributing to the continual improvement of the Scholars Program Courses through: 
    • Following guidance from Scholars Program Chair on scope of topics covered in the Course curriculum to ensure there is little overlap between Scholars Program Courses, while also drawing out the natural connections to other SP Courses.
    • Implementing evaluations at the conclusion of the programs and sharing feedback to the Scholars Program Chair, the following year’s Course Director(s), and relevant AMSA staff.
    • Analyzing session quizzes to determine the success of individual sessions and evaluating which sessions/speakers should be included in the next year 
    • Documenting all relevant information for the Course including speaker contacts, curricula, evaluations, resources used throughout the course, etc. 

Term and transition

The term of any national chair is one year, beginning on May 1 and ending on April 30 of the following year. Before the term begins, however, a transition period starts immediately after the selection of the Course Director(s) around the time of AMSA’s Annual Convention. During this transition period, the incoming Director(s) will work closely with the outgoing Director(s) to learn about the position and the particular Scholars Program Course. 

Additional requirements and responsibilities

  • AMSA membership is required.
  • Establish and maintain contact with the leader’s own local AMSA chapter. Attempt to attend both the chapter’s tabling events, initial recruitment meetings, and subsequent chapter activities.
    • Work with other national leaders to recruit new members. Individual recruitment of at least five new members during the leadership year is strongly encouraged.
  • Submit a mid-course survey and an end-of-course survey. Reports are submitted to the Academy Chair and the Scholars Programs Chair.
    • Participation in the AMSA Leadership Program before or during the leadership term is encouraged. 
  • Required meeting attendance
    • Meetings with Scholars Programs Chair (virtual), typically one or two per month
    • For course directors, attendance at the Annual Convention, April 7-10, 2022 (in-person, Washington, D.C.) is strongly encouraged but not mandatory.

2020-2021 Programs

AMSA programs/events have a no refund policy. If you would like to transfer your registration to another program/event or to another person to attend this program/event, please email