Leadership

Members Move Medicine: Increasing influenza vaccination rates

Stephanie M. Strohbeen

The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine. 

On the move with: Stephanie M. Strohbeen, who is a second-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin – Central Wisconsin (MCW-CW). She is also a member of the AMA Medical Student Section (MSS). 

AMA member since: 2017.  

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: Growing up, I admired my family physician for always taking time to explain things to me, a child, as well as my parents. As life went on, I became a medical assistant, working in both primary care and specialty settings. It seemed to me at that point, the physicians with the better patient rapport, better outcomes, and happier lives were those who became true advocates of their patients.  

They did not treat them as another number or another task to get through the day. They took a genuine interest in providing the best care to their patients. As I also saw things on the other side of that spectrum, I felt drawn to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a physician and an advocate for my patients as a way to counteract the negativity and poor patient care one can encounter in medicine.  

How I move medicine: I move medicine by writing resolutions, passing policy, supporting colleagues, and participating in local and national initiatives to serve our communities and improve our health care system.  

Career highlights:  

  • MSS Region 2 Chair, 2018-2019. 
  • MSS CME Vice Chair, 2018-2019. 
  • Very first MSS MCW-CW Delegate, 2017. 
  • AMA MCW-CW Co-president.  
  • Wisconsin Medical Society MCW Student representative, 2019-2020. 
  • MCW-CW Outstanding Clinical Skills Award, 2017. 

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Know your passion, what it means to you, and what you would or would not be willing to sacrifice it for. Then, stick to it! It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, so you need to make sure the day-to-day includes time for yourself and what, or who, you love.  

How I give back to the community: Through MCW-CW’s Physician in the Community Pathways Project, I was able to gather input for a mobile app to increase the health and wellness of Wausau, Wisconsin by encouraging downtown employees to be more active during their workday. I am also working on increasing influenza vaccination rates and decreasing the incidence of influenza in our community by establishing a free flu shot clinic for those who may have limited access to the vaccination.  

Aspect of my work that means the most: I’m able to mentor others and foster resolutions and efforts to do the work my colleagues are compelled to do. That is the wonderful thing about being in the AMA. I’m surrounded by an incredible group of intelligent people who can really bring forth the best policies and initiatives because they are not afraid to have differing opinions and debate in a clear, concise, respectful, and productive manner.  

My hope for the future of medicine: I look forward to the community I serve and our nation having consistent, quality patient care and improved access to health care, as well as increased wellness within in the medical community.   

Visit MembershipMovesMedicine.com to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.