AMA Wire

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

For Minority Physicians

AMA members inspire minority students to choose career in medicine

AMA members inspire minority students to choose career in medicine

Members of the AMA Medical Student Section and Minority Affairs Section (MAS) teamed up Friday morning to inspire local minority students to consider a career in health care.

The Doctors Back to School Career and Wellness Fair at Rachel Carson Elementary School gave students from Chicago Public Schools an opportunity to learn more about the medical profession through interactions with physicians and medical students.

In the opening assembly Principle Javier Arriola-Lopez gave physicians and medical students an overview about the school and thanked them for taking time out to give back. Afterwards, physicians gathered in the classrooms to share their personal stories about what led them to the practice of medicine and answered questions about medical school, specialties, and working in a hospital setting.

"If you like science or math, think about a career in medicine," Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD, an internal medicine physician in Chicago, told the students.

Medical students at the event ran healthy lifestyles activity stations modeled after hospital departments, where Carson school students got hands-on experience. At the risky-behavior station, children learned about the dangers of smoking and were able to feel and see the damaging effects it has on the lungs through a sample brought by the medical students.  At the healthy-eating station, AMA members informed the students about what should be the nutritional make up of their daily diet using MyPlate guidelines as an example.

University of Alabama medical student Julia Tan a first-time Annual Meeting attendee, said, "This event is great. You hear through the media about all the daily struggles and challenges these Chicago kids face in their neighborhoods. To be able to come here and inform them of options and careers that they can aspire to is an honor."

Endocrinologist Kevin McKinney, MD, from the University of Texas at Galveston said, "For me as an African American it's important that they see people of color like themselves in careers like this." 

Highlights from AMA-MAS Annual Meeting assembly

The AMA Minority Affairs Section (MAS) held two exciting programs in conjunction with its section business meeting and reception.

The AMA-MAS, along with the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) and the AMA Alliance, conducted a Doctors Back to School™ (DBTS) visit on Friday morning. This collaborative effort involved over 650 students in fourth through eighth grades from Carson Elementary School. The DBTS program is an effective way for physicians and medical students to introduce minority children to careers in medicine.

The AMA Minority Affairs Section held its business meeting on Friday evening. The keynote speaker was Linda Rae Murray, MD, chief medical officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health. The meeting also featured an open forum on AMA House of Delegates reports and resolutions that impact minority physicians and patients.

An awards presentation honored eight medical students who received the 2013 Minority Scholars Awards. Recipients won $10,000 scholarships from the AMA Foundation, made possible from Pfizer Inc. These scholarships recognize scholastic achievement, financial need and personal commitment to improving health care disparities among students in groups defined as historically underrepresented in the medical profession.

The newly elected officers for 2013–14 for the MAS Governing Council are Dionne Hart, MD, chair and Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD, vice-chair. Finally, Kevin McKinney, MD, received an award for his commitment to his patients and the profession.

All AMA members are encouraged to join the MAS. Visit the website to join today.