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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.

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

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!

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

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