Michael Bolanos, Chair
Ponce School of Medicine
Mike, a native of Florida, is a third-year medical student at the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. He also currently serves as the Chair of Puerto Rico for the AMA-MSS. Mike did his undergraduate work at the University of Florida, majoring in Biochemistry and Microbiology and then went on to receive a graduate degree in Biomedical Sciences from Florida Atlantic University. During medical school, his principal medical interests have been in the areas of cardiothoracic surgery and general surgery, and he hopes to one day pursue a career in academic surgery. Mike is extremely excited to Chair the MSS Committee on Medical Education (CME) this year and is grateful for the strong team of individuals serving on CME and the diverse experiences each person brings to the table. Mike is excited to see what strides CME will make this year and hopes that his experiences and ideas coupled with those from the many other medical students across the nation can continue to shape the medical education of tomorrow. Aside from his involvement with the AMA, Mike enjoys volunteering at local health clinics, serving as the Surgery Interest Group’s President, traveling with no set plans, surfing, playing guitar, soccer, and being part of the Gator Nation. Go Gators!
Adam Bennett, Vice Chair
University of Florida College of Medicine
Adam is a second-year medical student at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Before pursuing his MD degree, he completed his PhD work in structural virology at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Cambridge. Adam became interested in medical education when his doctoral program shifted focus to become an MD/PhD program. He served as an advisor to faculty committees developing the program in their efforts to recruit and train the next generation of leaders in biomedical research. Adam continued this interest at the UF College of Medicine, where he works with the Curriculum Committee, faculty in the history and neuroscience departments, and Shands Hospital to develop improved integration and patient interaction in the curriculum. He also continues his research interests with investigation of cancer stem cells, and helps to lead a local chapter of the American Holistic Medical Association, the American Physician Scientists Association, and the Equal Access Clinic, a free clinic run by the students of the UF College of Medicine.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Samantha is a second-year medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas in May 2008. She serves as the UTMB American Medical Association and Texas Medical Association president. She is currently serving as MSS representative to the TMA Council on Medical Education. In January 2009, she organized and led a group of 100 UTMB students to speak with legislators at the Texas Capitol about supporting the legislation to rebuild UTMB on Galveston Island after Hurricane Ike. Samantha also serves on the AMA-MSS Committee on Medical Education, and recently assisted at the AMA-MSS 2009 Annual Meeting in Chicago, as a member of the credentials committee. Samantha has participated in lobbying efforts on the state and national level for graduate medical education, loan repayment, and other health policy items. At UTMB she is a Student Government Association senator, vice president of her class, student ambassador, and Hurricane Evacuation Assistance Team member.
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Monica is a third-year medical student at Brown University Medical School and a graduate of Amherst College and Hopkins Premedical Program. After her mother suffered an aneurysm, she co-founded The Aneurysm Foundation, serves on its Board of Directors, and produced a documentary on aneurysms. She has worked at Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute and at Novartis in Siena, Italy, on vaccine research. Monica was chosen as the 2009 Discovery Channel/AMA 'Medicine and Media' intern. She enjoys music and has studied opera at the Giuseppi Verdi Conservatory in Milan.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Emery is a third-year medical student at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in the great city of Chicago. He has been involved in both the AMA and the Illinois State Medical Society throughout medical school and is currently the Chair of the student section of the Chicago Medical Society. This is his second year on the MSS Committee on Medical Education, and he is excited to continue working on issues so important to MSS members. He hopes to increase medical education’s focus on non-medical issues, such as understanding the health care system, managing finances, and the importance of medical advocacy. Emery's other interests in medicine include orthopaedics and primary prevention education (especially nutrition). Outside of medical school, he spends his spare time juggling, playing ultimate frisbee and beach volleyball, and rooting for the Florida Gators. He also loves cooking and trying as many different foods as he can.
University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Chirag obtained his BS and MSE degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a MD/PhD student at University of Texas Medical School at Houston. His research focuses on the role of blood-spinal cord barrier permeability in the recovery from traumatic spinal cord injury. Over the past six years Chirag has enjoyed working with his fellow AMA-MSS members on the Committee on Scientific Issues, Committee on Long Range Planning, and Regional Infrastructure Task Force. Locally, he has helped create
and execute various multi-year lunchtime elective series (in the areas of cultural competency, ethics and professionalism, and the business of medicine) for his classmates. Chirag looks forward to contributing to the Committee on Medical Education, focusing on the institutionalization of auxiliary yet relevant content into medical school curricula.
Rush Medical College
Yalini Vigneswaran is a third-year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago. She received her BS in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2007. However with her passion and concern for our medical education system, she remained involved in many different activities through the years. She has spent several years teaching preparatory MCAT classes for premed students. She has also participated in various continuing education projects at the American College of Chest Physicians and explored the capabilities of using new technology as educational tools at the University of Chicago. This year she plans to continue these efforts to improve our education system while serving on the MSS Committee on Medical Education.