AMSA members around the world are doing amazing things every day. Each month we will be highlighting an AMSA National Leader or Chapter Officer who is making an impact on AMSA, medical education, and their own career. Join us as we celebrate the AMSA family!
Spotlight: Ton La, Jr. (T.J.) – AMSA Editorial Advisory Board Member
Class of 2021
Baylor College of Medicine
When did you join AMSA?
Freshman year at the University of Houston
AMSA Leadership Experience
The New Physician Editorial Advisory Board Member – May 2015-Present
The content of AMSA’s bimonthly magazine, The New Physician (TNP), is guided and informed by its Editorial Advisory Board. Published six times a year, TNP is in its 65th volume. With over 35,000 subscribers, TNP is one of the most widely distributed premedical/medical student magazines where the majority of content is written by students.
Why did you join AMSA?
As a member since my Freshman year at the University of Houston, I initially got involved after hearing about AMSA through the grapevine. Surprisingly, I was one of the very few who joined especially since there were hundreds of premed students at my university. When my peers asked me “Why AMSA? Why did you join?” I would say it was because of the immense opportunities, although I didn’t know exactly what they all were at the time. However, I knew that AMSA had a strong reputation of supporting premed students reach their goals and providing guidance throughout the medical school years and beyond. I knew that AMSA would help me become the leader I knew I was capable of being.
Why did you become an AMSA leader?
Going into my Junior year, I became an officer at my chapter and the team was able to increase membership by 60+ students, bring in innovative speakers from the Texas Medical Center, host a medical student/resident Q&A panel, volunteer at local hospitals and health events, plan medical school tours, and most of all provide opportunities to members in regards to education, service, comradery, and leadership. After the annual fall recruitment fair, AMSA became the largest premedical student chapter at the University of Houston and remains so today.
From my positive experiences with my AMSA chapter, I wanted to increase my involvement by joining the National AMSA Leadership Team. When I received an e-mail saying I was selected to The New Physician Editorial Advisory Board, I was overcome with excitement and joy. For national AMSA to invest in me still feels unreal, but this vote of confidence inspires me to do the best I can for The New Physician, to get the voices of students and professionals heard, and to most importantly show the issues that AMSA is passionate and supportive of and what we as students are doing today to address these issues.
Tell us about a favorite AMSA moment.
Very tough question to answer… I have met and worked with incredible people who I would have otherwise not come in contact with if it was not for my local university AMSA chapter and national AMSA. If I had to choose one moment, it would have to be the times I have heard Joshua Caulfield, AMSA executive director, speak to us at the Building on Foundations meetings. “There would be no AMSA if not for every single one of you.” When I took a step back and pondered on what AMSA does, it is nothing but extraordinary. AMSA helps thousands of students get into the medical school every year by MCAT and mentorship support, providing medical students with important advocacy opportunities, voicing students’ opinions and life stories through The New Physician, AMSA’s Ad Lib Podcasts which add a personal touch to topics such as the admissions process and medical school life, and so much more. None of this would be possible without the 30,000+ members who make up AMSA. Medicine is a journey and AMSA is the organization to be next to your side as you progress as a young professional.
What advice would you give to current & future AMSA leaders?
As a leader, you set an example for all AMSA members to take the next step in their personal and professional development. If you are steadfast in your commitment and responsibilities that your leadership position entails and always push the envelope, the impact you will make is nothing short of amazing. If you are interested in applying for a leadership position I strongly encourage you to do so and to contact us with any questions you may have.