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Medical Student Section (MSS) Community Service Opportunities

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Get involved in community service activities at the local, state and national levels.

Find community service project ideas, learn how to apply for a Section Involvement Grant or participate in the Medical Student Section National Service Project.

Apply for a Section Involvement Grant

Section Involvement Grants (SIGs) are available to local AMA medical student sections interested in organizing projects and events designed to strengthen their local section and further AMA policy. SIGs provide an opportunity for local AMA medical student sections to:

  • Educate students about the AMA and offer opportunities for students to get more involved.
  • Help put AMA policy into action (PDF) by providing a service to medical school campuses or communities.
  • Engage in activities that focus on AMA’s strategic focus and top priorities.

Local sections are eligible to receive up to $1,000 per academic year, with a maximum of $500 to support recruitment and $500 to support education, community service and National Service Project events. Grant awards generally range from $150 to $500 per event, so we encourage you to organize several projects throughout the year. 

How to Apply for a Section Involvement Grant

  1. Complete the online Section Involvement Grants application at least 30 days before the scheduled event. You must have an active AMA medical student membership to apply. Join or renew your membership.
  2. Please be sure that preparation of this application is coordinated with your officers and recruiter. All local sections receiving SIG funding must complete a SIG recap form within 30 days of the event. Be sure to review the conditions before completing an application. If you have any questions, please contact Adam Currier, MSS Program Administrator, at [email protected].

Funding is not guaranteed and each event will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Submit a Section Involvement Grant Application.

Section Involvement Grant Recap

As a requirement to receive Section Involvement Grants, a local section must submit a recap form within 30 days of the event. Additional grant applications will not be approved without a recap form submitted for the previous grant.

The information you provide below is solely for the AMA's internal use and will not be reused or sold for any commercial purposes without your permission.

SIG now provides the opportunity for recap forms to be submitted for events that did not request or require SIG funding.

Submit a Section Involvement Grant Recap Form

Types of Section Involvement Grants

SIGs are categorized into 4 main event types:

  • Recruitment Events
    Educate your peers about the importance of AMA membership and opportunities for medical students within the Medical Student Section. Recruitment events are most beneficial at the start of the school year. At these events, AMA information is presented and AMA members from your local section share how the AMA contributes to their medical school experiences and professional growth. Event examples include socials, BBQs, study sessions, upperclassmen panels and member bring a non-member activities.
  • Education/Local Section Development Events
    Focus on events that help develop local sections and their members through education sessions, workshops, retreats and lunchtime seminars.
  • Community Service Events
    Create a project that addresses topics relevant to public health, medical education, medical practice, patient safety, community outreach and more. Local sections are strongly encouraged to use the grants as "seed money" to support a project that has start-up costs, but can then be maintained for little or no money. Examples of projects in this area include: starting a music library at a local hospital that is periodically staffed by members; organizing a workshop to train students on vision screenings so that they can do screenings in the community throughout the year, day care centers; or purchasing blood pressure cuffs for use in hypertension screenings.
  • National Service Project Events
    These grants focus on the MSS National Service Project theme of Improving Health Outcomes Together. Projects can include health fairs or healthy cooking demonstrations. 

Get Your Faculty and State or County Medical Society Involved

Your school and your state/county medical society can be great sources of ideas and support for medical student projects. Students are strongly encouraged to share SIG event information with medical school staff and faculty, as well as with state/county medical society staff who work with medical students. If you are unsure of who to contact at your medical school or state/county medical society, please email the MSS at [email protected].

Conditions for Receiving a Section Involvement Grant

All local section projects, while funded by the Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association, shall be administered and controlled by the local section. The local section shall retain ownership of the project, and its name must be on all publicity and promotional materials (e.g., The AMA Medical Student Section at the University of _____).

No program  materials or participants shall suggest or imply that the project is administered or endorsed by the American Medical Association (“AMA”), including the Medical Student Section, or that the local section or participants are acting as agents of the AMA, including the Medical Student Section. Any other and/or additional use of the AMA name or logo by the local section must be reviewed and approved in advance and in writing by the AMA.

Section Involvement Grant-funded events must be consistent with AMA policies, including policies that prohibit discrimination of any sort. AMA will not provide funding for certain types of activities or costs such as, but not limited to: travel costs (including reimbursement for gasoline, hotels, airline, rental cars), alcoholic beverages, events at bars, door prizes/raffles, guest speakers, T-shirts, community projects that require blood draws or shots, etc.

National Service Project

The Medical Student Section selects a National Service Project theme every 2 years to focus its community service activities. The MSS Community Service Project Book (PDF) has some ideas to get you started.

2014–2016 Theme: Improving Health Outcomes Together

Improving Health Outcomes is one of the 3 major focus areas of the AMA. The AMA is committing resources, expertise and reach to prevent heart disease and type II diabetes and to improve outcomes for those suffering from these diseases.

In addition, the MSS continues to focus on four key health behaviors (poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and excessive or risky use of alcohol) and how they play a part in premature death and billions of dollars in health care costs due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

Get Involved in the National Service Project

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!

Organize an event with your medical student section that focuses on:

  • Increasing awareness of diabetes prevention and cardiovascular health
  • Promoting health activities
  • Encouraging patients to discuss healthy life styles with their physicians

Each local section is encouraged to organize at least one National Service Project event each academic year. Medical Student Section Regions should coordinate themed community service projects at their annual region meeting.

Contact Adam Currier at [email protected] for questions on how to get involved.

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