Everyone knows that medical school and residency are stressful for young physicians. The AMA Alliance knows that the training years can be just as challenging for the physician's spouse. Our new blog offers resources to provide specific support for partners of physicians in training, as well as assistance in finding an Alliance in your area.

We know that support for the family of medicine is most comforting when it is provided by the family of medicine.

To learn more about the Young Member Connection please view our first blog entry here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Researcher Discusses Medical Families and What Makes Them Resilient

Wayne Sotile, Ph.D., researcher, educator and author with wife Mary Sotile, MA, knows medical families well. They have been and continue to be the subject of his research. He knows they experience unique stresses and he knows how resilient they can be when they recognize their stressors and work together to address them.

Dr. Sotile is currently working on a survey with the AMA Alliance and the American Medical Association to update data on medical family stresses and relationships. He will discuss this survey and introduce preliminary findings in a special plenary session during the 2010 Medical Families Summit hosted by the AMA Alliance in Chicago, September 25-28. Medical students and their families are encouraged to attend.

Membership in the Alliance for medical students and partners is only $10, and it’s easy to join online.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

AMA Alliance Introduces New Family Focus and Discount Benefits

As a result of recent action by the AMA Alliance to broaden the scope of membership to include spouses and life partners, with full rights and privileges, a regular member of the AMA Alliance may be "any member of a physician or medical student couple, present or former, at least one of whom is a physician or medical student who is or was eligible to be a member of the AMA; or an individual physician or medical student who is eligible to be a member of the AMA."

In addition, some exciting new membership benefits newly introduced include:

Sears "Employee" Discount Program: Not available in any Sears store. It is the Alliance's way of saying thank you for your membership and support for the AMA Alliance and the work we do for medical families and healthy families everywhere.

Bally’s Total Fitness:The Alliance has teamed up with Bally’s Total Fitness to provide members with a corporate discount to enroll in the Club’s most popular membership plan—The Basic National Access easy monthly payment plan membership—for only $24.99 per month with no enrollment fee! You can sign up for as little as a few months or as many as you’d like.
Membership in the Alliance for medical students and spouses is only $10, and it’s easy to join online.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Some Medical Schools Try A Different Approach to Clinical Experience

Changes in health care and a growing need for family doctors have prompted UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke to consider a dramatic shift in the way their medical students get clinical experience.

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/05/03/464672/med-schools-try-new-path.html#ixzz0n4N3ZH00

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Millenials vs Boomers; A Healthier Approach to Work Hours?

A recent article in The Washington Post examines the effects of shorter resident work weeks on patient and physician health.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts on interviewing, the rank list, and the Match

At last—it is out of our hands. After months of interviewing, studying and discussion, our residency match rank list is submitted. What a relief! I am so happy to have the decision-making part over with that I almost don’t care where we end up. Almost.

Marilyn asked me to submit some thoughts on the match since it has been on all of our minds recently. Maybe it will spark some good discussion among us. How did you decide which order to rank your residency programs? What factors weighed the most in the decision? Was it an easy process for you? Was money an issue as you selected programs to interview? What ideas did you have to deal with that? And once you find out where you matched—would you go back and change anything about how your spouse interviewed? Are you excited for the residency years?

In case it is helpful to someone reading this at some point, I’ve described our application and interview process a little here, as well as how we figured out our rank list. I imagine our experience is pretty typical. When making our rank list, we had five programs at the top that were difficult to differentiate between—we loved them all. We felt they each offered excellent training and education, which is important to us. To help us rank them, some other categories we felt were important in choosing a residency are (in no particular order): ~Potential for future opportunities (inc. research), ~Exposure/Chance at fellowships, ~Hours/Schedule, ~Commute time, ~Reputation, ~Proximity to home/family, ~Cost of Living, ~Salary/Benefits, ~Research related to his engineering background, and ~“If we fit”. Again, to see more information and how we used these categories to help make our choice, click here.

Through all these decisions, one principle has seemed very important to me: trying not to influence my husband’s decision about which field to enter and which program he felt was the right fit for him. I strongly believe that once we’re in the thick of residency, it could be easy to question the choices that were made, and so I wanted him to be sure that they were his own studied-out selections. That way, in times of doubt he could rest assured that he made the most fitting decision he could, and proceed with confidence. That said, of course we took the time to carefully talk through everything and make the best choice together from all the knowledge we could gather—as I described here.

We feel we made an informed decision, but from our experience and others’, it seems there is something to that “gut feeling” about a place and how you fit there that is worth paying attention to. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out in a few weeks, but so far my feeling is that this strange process could, in fact, potentially turn out a real “match” so to speak. I’m looking forward to this next great adventure. I hope you’ll contribute your thoughts too! Best of luck to everyone…and may any tears on Match Day be those of relief, excitement, and a huge sense of accomplishment for all you have done and sacrificed, along with your student-spouse, throughout the last four years of medical school.

Julie Randall
Medical Student Alliance President

Monday, February 15, 2010

Together We Are Stronger

One of AMA’s well known mottos is “Together we are stronger”. We are currently in the midst of a necessary change to our health care system. However, this change will affect every one of us and how we will practice as future physicians. As Congress continues to debate and work on the many issues facing America’s healthcare system, we have a responsibility to our future patients to understand the issues and do what we can to facilitate change.

As medical students in the United States, we have many opportunities available to us through our state and national societies; AMA being one of these societies. As we have seen throughout the healthcare debate, the AMA is in the forefront, trying to make sure the importance of physicians within healthcare is not overlooked.

For students, the AMA offers opportunities to initiate changes in healthcare policy. For example, everyone knows there is no smoking on airplanes, but did you know that this was initiated by a medical student’s passion to create a healthier environment for everyone? He presented this idea to fellow students, who then presented it to the physicians. AMA took this to Congress and made sure this was addressed. He went on to become one of the leaders within our medical community.

A more recent example deals with the entire “cover the uninsured” initiative within the AMA. This also began with a medical student’s desire to highlight a problem in our national community. Physicians agreed with the medical students that this was a huge issue for our country. It was taken on by the AMA as a national campaign and is now one of the major reasons why this is one of the main debates going on in Congress now.

Aside from the opportunities in healthcare policy, the AMA offers students so much more! From email updates on legislation, minority issues and medical education to free conference registration and attendance, there are limitless prospects for us!

The AMA advocates for active and extensive student involvement. As part of a local AMA chapter, a student can get involved in community service, educational programs, and chapter representation. Many of these programs have a history, and AMA can provide supplies and the experience from these programs. The AMA Alliance is a tremendous resource and source of community service projects. You can consult their Project Bank on the Web site at www.amaalliance.org.

As a participant at the national level, there are conferences that give students great opportunities. Students can network with physicians, students, residents and even other professionals from across the country, learn about different aspects of medicine, and experience the excitement of national conferences. Students can become involved on many different levels or really focus on areas that interest them.

Lastly, networking is a vital skill we will need as future physicians and the AMA can help us polish this skill. With opportunities to work side by side with the AMA-HOD, AMA Alliance and the AMA foundation, we are given the chance to make life long connections that may help you in the future or may just give you a better perspective on your future profession.

We are the future of medicine and with that comes responsibility, but we are not alone on this road. Please do not hesitate to contact your AMA Alliance, AMA Foundation, and AMA physician colleagues because, Together We Are Stronger.

Good luck in your studies and I hope to see you at a future conference!

Felicity Kelly
University of Texas at Houston Medical School Candidate, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Message from Marilyn Kezirian

Dear Friends,

I have been thinking of all of our Alliance members throughout the country and concerned that the weather has brought havoc onto so many. Here in Los Angeles where it is usually quite mild we have many homes, cars and other belongings being swept away in torrents of rain and mud. The recent summer fires denuded the hillsides and now the onslaught of multiple storms causes the debris to come barreling down the streets and canyons. Municipal crews and individuals work around the clock to clear the streets and debris basins for the next downpour. I hope that where you are you are able to continue your routine uninterrupted.

Spring is coming soon with the promise of new opportunities as you continue your training. Please let the Alliance know if we can be of any assistance.

Marilyn Kezirian