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Event of the Month

The AMA's Section Involvement Grant (SIG) program selects one event every month as recipient of the Event of the Month. To be eligible for the nomination, AMA medical student sections must submit a SIG Recap Form and photos within 30 days of their event. At the end of the school year, all monthly winners will be voted on by students for the Event of the Year winner.

New this year, SIG provides the opportunity for recap forms to be submitted for events that did not request or require SIG funding. All events submitted through the recap form are eligible for the Event of the Month nomination.

Congratulations to the following 2014-2015 monthly winners!

A Step Outside - W. Carey Univ. College of Osteo Medicine

The local AMA medical student section at William Carey College of Osteopathic Medicine collaborated with the school’s wilderness medicine club, sports medicine club and anesthesia club to host a two-day event with Dr. Will Smith, Medical Director for several emergency wilderness first responder agencies, an emergency physician in Jackson, Wyoming, and a military physician in the U.S. Army Reserve. Dr. Smith opened the event with a presentation over dinner on his experience with a mass casualty incident involving a lightning strike at 13,000 feet on the Grand Teton. He incorporated dispatch tapes from the event and walked the students through the triage process, some of the challenges they faced as rescuers, and the resources and skills they used to combat those challenges in order to rescue each of the patients. The second day consisted of a hands-on clinic during which each student built a splint utilizing outdoor equipment found around various outdoor activities, such as sleeping bags/pads, clothing, and backpacks, and presented his/her splint for feedback on its utility and efficacy in a real life scenario. 

Cameron Petro-Sakuma, OMSII, president of the local AMA medical student section at WCUCOM said, “The skills clinic was very educational and exciting because it consisted of skills that we don't learn in every day curriculums. When would you normally make a forearm splint out of a sleeping pad?” He reported, “As a new club at WCUCOM, our AMA-MSS is making a big impact. We are bringing new and exciting events to the school and students.”

Dialogues in Health Policy - SUNY Upstate COM Syracuse

The local AMA medical student section at SUNY Upstate College of Medicine hosted the third annual Dialogues in Health Policy debate, an event that was developed to generate discussion of relevant health policy topics among students and faculty. This year’s event discussed the pros and cons of Accountable Care Organizations and featured eight students selected from SUNY Upstate’s College of Medicine & School of Public Health through an essay-based application.

"By presenting the pros and cons of ACOs in a debate format, the audience became more engaged about health policy issues and concerns than if the topic were presented as a lecture," said Yuxin Liu and Olivia Yost, Co-Debate Coordinators from the local AMA medical student section at SUNY Upstate. "Many attendees commented that they learned a lot and really enjoyed the event format."

The event attracted more than 90 attendees, the largest in the three-year existence. Attendees included medical students, masters of public health students, nursing students, nurse practitioners, physician faculty, and other health care professionals.

Upstream Medicine Lecture/Clinic Visit - Georgetown Univ SOM

The local AMA medical student section at Georgetown University School of Medicine earned the school recognition for Event of the Month through their upstream medicine lecture and clinic visit. The student leaders opened the event with a 15 minute TED Talk video that delved into the issue of upstream medicine and how physicians can care for patients using this newly conceived approach. Following the video, Dr. Erica McClaskey, a Family Medicine physician at Georgetown Medical Center that has experience in upstream medicine, presented several clinical scenarios on how to utilize the skills and the potential benefits to both the patients and the medical field.

Our upstream medicine event was a really wonderful experience for Georgetown medical students in attendance as they were able to gain a great perspective on the types of events our AMA section is capable of hosting,” said Alexander Friedman, advocacy chair of the local AMA medical student section at Georgetown.

The student leaders are expanding the lecture event to include a visit at the clinic of Dr. Robert Zarr, a local physician that has been using the upstream approach with his patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Dr. Zarr has offered to give the Georgetown students a tour of his clinic and provide hands-on experience with the upstream approach.

AMA Skills Lab - IUSM Evansville

The local AMA medical student section at Indiana University School of Medicine at Evansville held their fourth annual skills lab for the first and second year medical students on campus, earning the school recognition for the AMA Section Involvement Grant (SIG) Event of the Month. The skills lab offered students the opportunity to practice blood drawing, IV catheter placement, intubation and airway management, pig feet suturing, and basic clinical exam skills. The student leaders partnered with the Vanderburgh County Medical Society and recruited ten local physicians who volunteered their time at each of the various skills stations. The campus dean also participated in the event.

“This event is a great chance for first and second year students to practice skills that will be useful in third year,” said Thomas Shelton, the AMA recruiter of IUSM-Evansville’s local AMA medical student section. “In addition, this event gives local physicians a chance to see our student body and students get a chance to talk to practicing physicians about the things they enjoy most in their jobs.”

Peer Academic Advising Panel – FIU COM

The local AMA medical student section at Florida International University College of Medicine coordinated a Peer Academic Advising Panel to help prepare the first-year class for their Pathology course. Five second-year AMA members who were the top performers in their Pathology course presented on the panel and shared best practices for success. They also promoted AMA membership and helpful AMA resources to accompany Pathology study plans.

The best aspect of this event was promoting the AMA in terms of providing help,” said Muhammad Noor, recruiter for FIU’s AMA-MSS. “Without a doubt, many students find their first year of medical school very tough and actively seek advice before the start of each course at our school. Instead of students having to seek advice, the AMA members came to them to advise them on high-yield studying materials and techniques for Pathology.”

The AMA provided funding for food at the event and the local section is planning another Peer Academic Advising Panel for the start of a new first-year course.

Interdisciplinary Health Fair at St. Francis House – UF COM

The local AMA medical student section at the University of Florida College of Medicine coordinated a health fair at St. Francis House, a community resource center that provides temporary shelter, food and other services to homeless, unemployed and underemployed individuals and families in the community. The medical students collaborated with the pharmacy and dental local student chapters to host stations at the health fair for 150 community members, including blood pressure screenings, diabetes and heart disease resources, healthy diets, medication information and dental examinations. In addition, the students provided information about their student-run health clinics for the community members to receive free healthcare at a nearby clinic.

The health fair was very successful and St. Francis House has asked the students to coordinate on a regular basis. In the future, the students hope to expand the event to include local chapters from other health colleges, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. The AMA provided funding for health care goodie bags for the community members.

Community Health Fair – Rutgers RWJMS

The local AMA medical student section at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School participated in the New Brunswick Community Health Fair, held at a local elementary school, to promote healthy habits and health literacy to more than 200 families and children. The medical students collaborated with student interest groups from their school, including the Healthy Living Task Force and the Rutgers Physician Assistant Program, to host five interactive booths on immunization, hygiene, STD, healthy living and exercise with various workshops and games to engage with the community members. They also worked with the Medical Spanish student group to offer elective credit for Medical Spanish and with the Office of Community Health to offer elective credit for the Students Interested in Restoring Community Health (SIRCH) program for all participants. The AMA provided funding for booth materials.

Exploring Health Careers – SUNY Downstate

The local AMA medical student section at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine hosted a mentoring event for 80 local high school students from Central Brooklyn, NY, to educate and inspire them on various careers in healthcare. The section collaborated with the Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Public Health, Medical Informatics and Nursing programs for this event, which consisted of a student panel followed by small group sessions. The high school students received mentoring from the medical students and guidance on how to apply and succeed in college. The high school students also received a tour/demonstration of the hospital simulation lab and had learning with the use of a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer. The high school students and their teachers were grateful for the opportunity and expressed interest in future mentoring events.

Freshman Orientation Lunch – LSU Shreveport

The local AMA medical student section at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Shreveport hosted a lunch event during the incoming class orientation week for the new medical students to learn about the AMA. Upperclassmen AMA members joined the freshman class and shared personal experiences and discussed AMA benefits and opportunities for students. With the event being held during orientation week, the majority of the incoming class attended and 90 new students became AMA members. The student leaders also shared upcoming section activities, such as community service projects, conferences and policy making initiatives.

The local AMA medical student section at LSU Shreveport is one of the largest student organizations at the campus and they are planning several events and meetings throughout the year to continue engaging with the incoming class. The AMA provided funding for lunch.

From Tots to Docs – The University of Florida College of Medicine

The local AMA medical student section partnered with the local Salvation Amy and their annual Vacation Bible School elementary camp to host five, 45-minute educational sessions throughout the week. The program focused on child safety topics, including gun safety, road safety, water safety and poison control, and the importance of preventative health measures such as immunizations and healthy eating habits. The medical students demonstrated with kid-friendly medical equipment and first aid teaching supplies and the children had the opportunity to interact with the students and equipment.

The Vacation Bible School campers enjoyed learning about safety and preventative health from the medical students and participating in the activities, and the local section hopes to continue offering this program at their annual camp. The AMA provided funding for the equipment and supplies that the local section will reuse for future programs.

2013-2014 Event of the Month Winners

Orientation Week Recruitment Dinner - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center won for their "Orientation Week Recruitment Dinner" event held in July. The event was held on the first night of orientation week for the incoming first year medical students. The local medical student section presented an overview of the AMA and the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and the Tarrant County Medical Society spoke about the benefits of being involved in organized medicine. AMA materials were displayed and 85 students joined the AMA, TMA and the county medical society at the event.

The local medical student section at TCOM-UNTHSC shared several factors that contributed to the success of their event, which included advertising through social media, the school website and the incoming class orientation packets, coordinating the event on the first day of orientation, and offering food, music and prize drawings. The AMA provided funding for food at the event.

Scavenger Hunt - Rowan University

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine won for their "Scavenger Hunt" recruitment event held in August for the incoming class of medical students during their orientation week. The local medical student section coordinated a variety of tasks for the first-year medical students to complete to help them learn more about their medical school, engage with the upperclassmen students and faculty, and encourage teamwork and effective communication. Examples of the tasks included taking a picture with one of the Deans, finding an upperclassmen student pursuing a DO/PhD degree, and answering questions about their school, the AMA, and the osteopathic profession. Following the scavenger hunt, ice cream was catered from a local company with funds provided by the AMA, and the first-year students received additional information on the AMA and benefits from the upperclassmen members.

Healthcare Reform Debate - UIC

The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago won for their "Healthcare Reform Debate" event held in September. UIC's educational event included a debate on healthcare reform with four distinguished speakers: Robert Wah, MD, president-elect of the AMA; Claudia Fegan, MD, CHCQM, FACP, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and chief medical officer at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County; William Werner, MD, MPH, past president of Chicago Medical Society and Vice President of Clinical Transformation at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center; and Ram Krishnamoorthi, MD, MPH, Illinois State Director of Doctors for America and a teaching attending in Internal Medicine at the Edward Hines Veterans Hospital. The debate focused on what has happened in healthcare reform, the healthcare reform our system still needs, and what is the best way to educate medical students on reform and the healthcare system throughout their careers.

This educational event was open to the medical students, residents, and faculty of UIC as well as the public to have the chance to learn more about healthcare reform. Attendees learned key features and updates on healthcare reform, and an interactive Q&A session with the speakers followed the debate. The AMA provided funding for dinner at the event.

Health Eating & Diabetes Support Group - St. Louis University SOM

St. Louis University School of Medicine won for their “Health Eating & Diabetes Support Group” event in which they partnered with Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church to create a support group for individuals and families living with diabetes. The support group sessions are held twice per month from October through June, and include education workshops with lectures by St. Louis University physicians and cooking demonstrations led by dietetic interns.

The local AMA medical student section has also established a medical student interest group dedicated to diabetes outreach to recruit new student leaders every year to continue coordinating the sessions and partnership with the St. Louis diabetes community. This event aligns with the AMA’s goal to improve health outcomes for two of the nation’s most prevalent issues: Cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The AMA provided funding for dinner at the sessions.

AMA: From Student to Physician - Columbia University

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons won for their recruitment event, “AMA: From Student to Physician,” held in November. The local section leaders coordinated this event to educate their classmates about AMA opportunities that extend throughout medical school, residency and when they become a practicing physician. Dr. Michael Knight, a local physician, was invited to speak about his involvement in the AMA. Dr. Knight shared how the AMA assisted with growing his career, from his start as a medical student, to his transition into residency, to his future as an established attending. Following his presentation, Dr. Knight held an interactive Q&A discussion session with the students.

The event attracted almost 100 students, and encouraged a few first-year students to attend the AMA-MSS Interim Meeting later in the month. The local section leaders sent follow up communication to the student attendees with event highlights, membership benefits and involvement opportunities. The AMA provided funding for dinner at the event.

SaveGME Letter Writing Campaign - U. of Toledo

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences won for their “SaveGME Letter Writing Campaign” event held in December. The local section leaders worked with the AMA Government Relations Advocacy Fellow (GRAF), William Pearce, and the AMA’s SaveGME grassroots campaign to mail letters to their local congresswoman urging Congress to prevent GME funding cuts. The section printed letters from the AMA’s SaveGME website and received signatures and personal addendums from 300 medical students, PA/nursing students, faculty and physicians from the school.

The AMA provided funding for printing and postage. Local sections interested in replicating this event should contact the AMA GRAF, Taylor DesRosiers, at taylor.desrosiers@ama-assn.org.

Residency Fair Speed Dating Event - U. of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine won for their Residency Fair Speed Dating Event held in January. The local AMA medical student section worked with local residency programs to offer the medical students the opportunity to speak directly with residents and attendings, and learn more about each specialty. Prior to the event, the medical students ranked their interested programs and the local section prepared 15-minute time slots for each student with their top five program choices.

This event allowed students to establish relationships with the local residency programs, and many have started working with the residents and attendings at their clinics. U. of Arkansas plans to continue hosting this event yearly. The AMA provided funding for dinner at the event.

Specialty Speed Dating - U. of Toledo

The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences won for their Specialty Speed Dating event held in February. The local AMA medical student section offers this event annually for first- and second-year AMA medical student members. Thirty physicians representing a variety of specialties engaged with sixty preclinical medical students and shared experiences and offered guidance as they asked questions and learned about the specialties before starting rotations in their third year.

Every year, U. of Toledo medical students become AMA members to have the opportunity to participate in this valuable networking event and gain professional development. The AMA provided funding for dinner.

Mini-Med School Day - Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin won for their Mini-Med School Day event in which the local AMA medical student section partnered with the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) on campus and invited 40 minority high school students to participate in activities and gain exposure to the health care field. The medical students aimed to encourage, inspire and motivate the minority high school students to pursue medicine and a career as a physician. The event featured a variety of activities, including how to listen to heart sounds, take blood pressure, perform basic CPR, suturing, and how to set fractures, and every participant received their own stethoscope. According to a follow up survey completed by the high school students, they were very appreciative for the opportunity to interact with the medical students and engage in hands-on activities.

The MCW medical students plan to continue this event and hope to reach hundreds of minority high school students in the upcoming years. The AMA provided funding for medical supplies.

Week of Wellness - Take a Stand Against Sitting - UFCOM

The University of Florida College of Medicine won for their Week of Wellness-Take a Stand Against Sitting event in which they hosted several activities throughout the week of the AMA-MSS Week of Wellness that promotes the AMA's Healthier Life Steps™ program. The local section coordinated lunchtime sessions with a different theme each day to focus on improving physical, mental and emotional health, with activities including Zumba, meditation, and an informational session presented by the local dentistry student group. In addition, 10 students from the local section participated in the Region IV competition for Week of Wellness and tracked steps with pedometers, which contributed to Region IV winning the overall pedometer challenge.

Students that participated in the daily events were entered into a raffle to win prizes. The AMA provided funding for supplies, such as class exercise equipment and healthy food and beverages.

2012-2013 Event of the Month Winners

AMA First Years Recruitment Event - Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station

The July winner is Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station campus, for its AMA First Years Recruitment Event. The AMA provided funding for appetizers at the event, which was held during orientation before classes started, resulting in an excellent turnout among the first-year class. A promotional flyer announcing the event was included in the first-year orientation packet distributed by the school. The event provided the first-year students with an opportunity to mingle with their new classmates as well as upperclassmen students. AMA membership was actively promoted throughout the event by the upperclassmen. A table displayed the AMA banner, applications, pens and medical reference lab value cards, and approximately 50 students signed up for AMA membership.

AMA Recruitment Event for the M1 Class - Emory University School of Medicine

The August winner is Emory University School of Medicine, for its AMA Recruitment Event for the M1 Class. The AMA provided funding for appetizers at the event, which was held during the summer Olympics at a local sports restaurant. The event was an opportunity for first-year students to socialize with their new student peers and upperclassmen AMA members while watching the Olympics and enjoying good food. Section officers and upperclassmen talked about the benefits of AMA membership throughout the event and distributed flyers and applications to the attendees. The AMA banner was also displayed and the informal restaurant setting during an evening of the Olympic games allowed for students to attend at any time throughout a three hour period. At the event, more than 40 students signed up for AMA membership and members discussed upcoming community service and additional event opportunities.

Year 1 Recruitment Social - University of Missouri School of Medicine, Kansas City

The September winner is University of Missouri School of Medicine, Kansas City, for its Year 1 Recruitment Social that resulted in more than 20 students joining the AMA. The AMA provided funding for food at the event which spanned two days and targeted the incoming medical students. The first day included a presentation from UMKC’s AMA Advisor, Dr. Van Way, on how to survive in medical school and his involvement with the AMA. The second day included an interactive Q&A session with upperclassmen students and the Missouri State Medical Association attended and promoted joint AMA and MSMA involvement. The event was successful in promoting membership and providing an informal setting for the incoming students to socialize and receive guidance from the upperclassmen.

Sugar-free Halloween for Diabetic Children - University of Florida College of Medicine

The latest winner is the University of Florida College of Medicine for their Sugar-free Halloween for Diabetic Children event held on October 31. Through this project, student volunteers distributed candy-free Halloween packages to children with type 1 diabetes in the Diabetes Clinic at Shands hospital at UF. The AMA provided funding for the Halloween packages and they were delivered to more than 50 patients and their families with the message "Treats provided by the AMA-MSS at UF." This event increased AMA visibility among the hospital staff, patients and UF students and faculty, and the students spoke about their local patient advocacy efforts to all the health care professionals through this event.

The AMA SIG program was thrilled to receive five grants from schools that coordinated a sugar-free Halloween event for diabetic children. When selecting the monthly award, it was noted that UF went above and beyond in their planning and event follow up. They strengthened their relationship with the Diabetes Clinic at Shands hospital, submitted a press release to the school magazine and e-newsletter, and provided membership information to all non-member student volunteers. Lastly, they plan to make this an annual event and look forward to more involvement in the future.

Medical Specialty Speed Dating - Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is the latest winner for their Medical Specialty Speed Dating event held on December 6. Sixty students attended a reception on-campus and participated in five, 15-minute rounds of networking with local physicians from various specialties. While speaking with the physicians, students received a personal overview of their work life including families, work flexibility, realities of loan repayment, and more. The AMA provided funding for food, supplies and decorations for the event.

Through this event, students received exposure to a wide range of specialties and they had the opportunity to network and build relationships with local physicians. The event experienced a great physician turnout and the physicians were enthusiastic and personable during their conversations with the students. Marshall University’s student paper highlighted the event in their December 6 issue.

Holiday in the Park - University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

UT Southwestern is the latest winner for their Holiday in the Park event held on December 15. Holiday in the Park is an annual winter carnival and toy drive held by the local AMA and Texas Medical Association sections at UT Southwestern. This year, the local sections partnered with Center of Hope, a shelter for women and children. More than 200 shelter residents attended the carnival which consisted of several activities and games, including face painting, cookie decorating, crafts, beanbag toss, soccer and basketball. The toy drive collected more than 200 toys that were distributed to children at the shelter.

This has become a well-known event at the UT Southwestern campus, and every year the students enjoy giving back to the local community. The AMA provided funding for the activities and games, food and beverages at the event.

Skills Lab - Indiana University School of Medicine, Evansville

IU School of Medicine, Evansville campus is the latest winner for their Skills Lab event held on January 12. Their 2nd Annual Skills Lab provided first- and second-year medical students with the opportunity to learn the skills of suturing, intubation, drawing blood, starting an intravenous access line and using an ultrasound from local physician volunteers. Medical students spend the majority of their first two years studying and receive very little hands-on clinical experience, and this event helped to prepare students for their upcoming clinical rotations.

Student attendees really enjoyed the opportunity to receive personal training and meet physicians in the area, and IU looks forward to continuing this annual event. The AMA provided funding for food and supplies at the event.

Healthy Living Project at Madison Elementary - UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) is the latest winner for their Healthy Living Project at Madison Elementary event held from October through February. The medical students worked with second graders from a local elementary school and they hosted eight sessions on healthy living. The sessions included yoga, nutritional information, dental hygiene, and more. The medical students coordinated this event series to help the surrounding community where the low-income preschool obesity rate is growing.

The local medical student section at UMDNJ-NJMS received positive feedback from the principal and teachers at Madison Elementary, and they hope to expand their event to other elementary schools in the area. The AMA provided funding for food and supplies for the event series, and three students joined as a result of the event.

Post-Match Celebration - Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis

IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis is the latest winner for their Post-Match Celebration held on March 15. The celebration immediately followed the IUSM Match Day Ceremony and more than 300 graduating medical students and their family members attended. Every year, businesses and organizations are invited to join the event and this was the second year the AMA attended and hosted a table in conjunction with the Indiana State Medical Association (ISMA).

The graduating seniors were eager to speak with the AMA and ISMA to learn about resident membership and benefits. Many students expressed how membership helped them with the match process, including Jamie Johnson, who described how being an AMA member “played in integral role in making [her] a competitive candidate during the residency application and interview process because of leadership, volunteer, and advocacy experiences.” The AMA hopes to have a presence at additional medical schools’ Match Day celebrations in the future.

Wellness Week Boot Camp - University of South Florida College of Medicine

USF is the latest winner for their Wellness Week Boot Camp held in April. The local section coordinated weekly “boot camp” sessions for students to have the opportunity to complete a full-body workout on campus. These sessions were held in conjunction with the AMA’s fourth annual “Week of Wellness,” in which AMA medical student sections throughout the nation implemented projects and held events aimed at promoting four key health behaviors to improve health outcomes: maintaining a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, reducing risky alcohol consumption and quitting smoking.

Students from the MD and DPT programs participated in these sessions and were excited about exercising together as a group and promoting a healthy school/life balance. The AMA provided funding for the fitness equipment which included kettlebell weights, mats, elastic bands and dumbbells.

Healthy Hour - Rowan University-School of Osteopathic Medicine

Rowan University-School of Osteopathic Medicine is the latest winner for their “Healthy Hour” event held in May. The local medical student section presented health classes for middle school students on the topics of proper hand washing and healthy eating habits. Three classes were scheduled to reach 60 middle school students. The middle-schoolers participated in several fun activities and learned healthy snack options.

The teachers were very pleased with the outcome and the students of Rowan University really enjoyed working with the middle school students. The local section plans to expand this event to a monthly class and include topics on additional healthy living habits. The AMA provided funding for the healthy snacks distributed at the events.