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National Service Project

Every two years, the AMA-MSS chooses a National Service Project (NSP) theme around which to focus its community service activities. Healthier Life Steps, based on the AMA Healthier Life Steps™ program was selected as the NSP theme in 2009 and 2011. Given the continuing importance of this issue, the theme has been extended until June 2014.

Background

Four key health behaviors - poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive or risky use of alcohol - contribute unquestionably and significantly to morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other conditions, all of which result in premature deaths and billions of dollars in excess health care costs.

Medical professionals can play a key role in changing patient behavior by encouraging patients to think, decide, plan, and take positive action toward leading healthier lives. The AMA is dedicated to helping its members help their patients lead healthier lives, and, through the AMA Healthier Life Steps™ program, provides physicians with the tools they need to support their patients' efforts to change key health behaviors.

The AMA-MSS and Healthier Life Steps

Although medical students do not engage in direct, ongoing communication with patients, students can nonetheless positively influence patient health behavior by broadly promoting healthy life styles within their communities.

Over the course of the next two years, medical students from AMA medical student sections at medical schools across the country will organize events aimed at educating their communities' residents about key health behaviors, promoting community health activities, and encouraging patients to discuss healthy life styles with their physicians. Medical students will also encourage their peers to lead healthier life styles, themselves, so that they can provide a good example of healthy living to their future patients.

Get Involved

Since 1998, thousands of medical students at AMA medical student sections at medical schools across the country have dedicated countless hours to organizing and implementing hundreds of NSP events in their communities. Now it's your turn to get involved!

Each local section is encouraged to organize at least one NSP event each academic year. Additionally, each AMA-MSS Region is encouraged to hold an NSP-related service community service event in conjunction with its annual region meeting.

Please contact the AMA-MSS with any questions and for advice on how you can become involved.