Medical School Life

How to find advocacy opportunities in medical school

Turn your passion into action


Medical students have incredible potential to create change at the local, state and federal levels. Gaining hands-on experience is critical to learning how to build grassroots efforts on issues affecting physicians. For many medical students, however, the question is often how to put this passion into action.

AMA Medical Student Advocacy Conference

Advocate in person with Congress, network with peers, elevate your voice and enact changes in public health policy.

Medical students may have prior advocacy experience from their undergraduate years or they may be brand new to these efforts, but no matter your experience level, your passion and dedication is the fuel you’ll need to start.

Identifying the issue or issues that you feel most strongly about is a great first step. You likely already have opinions on challenges facing medical students and physicians today. It may be something locally or state focused or with a national scope.

Connecting with others who feel passionately about the same issues is an important building block in organizing. Nearly every medical school has affinity-based student groups that focus on issues important to them. Participating in these school groups can help give you a feel for advocacy work, and once comfortable you could potentially expand to engage with area-, state- or nationwide groups. 

The American Medical Association is a great ally in helping medical students find their voice on issues that affect America’s physicians today.

When you become an AMA member, you’ll join more than 55,000 student members, representing every medical school in the country, and get the chance to collaborate with like-minded individuals, working together toward common goals to protect and strengthen the profession.

The AMA offers a wide range of events, training and more for medical students interested in advocacy. With an AMA membership, medical students can take advantage of these opportunities:

  • Medical Student Section (MSS)
    • Join the MSS, which strives to be medical students' voice within the AMA for improving medical education and advocating for the future of medicine.
  • Physicians of the Future Summit
    • Attend this virtual summit to learn essential skills, including distinguishing yourself through your CV, preparing for residency interviews and promoting equity through leadership.
  • Medical Student Advocacy Conference
    • Participate in this annual conference in Washington, D.C. and get advocacy training, access to legislators, opportunities to network with peers and a platform to use your for voice for change.  
  • MSS Annual Meeting
    • Connect with peers at the Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD).
  • MSS National Advocacy Week
    • Stand with medical student members of the AMA in this annual national grassroots effort to address the issues of student loan debt, prior authorization and telehealth.  

Become a member to take advantage of AMA student resources, as well as a wide range of benefits and discounts.

Half the dues, all the AMA benefits!

  • Exclusive education programs & key study guides to help you thrive.
  • Access to JAMA Network™, ClassPass gym discounts & more!

Supporting you today as a medical student. Protecting your future as a physician.