Success in medical school: Advocacy


Medical students have incredible potential to create change and help shape health care policy at the local, state and federal levels.

Gaining hands-on experience is critical to learning how to build grassroots power that drives progress 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 in America 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 next step and building block in organizing. Nearly every medical school in the country has affinity-based student groups that focus on issues important to them. Finding and participating in these groups can help give you a feel for advocacy work.

You may also wish to participate in nationally focused advocacy. The American Medical Association is a great ally in helping medical students find their voice in efforts addressing issues that affect America’s physicians today.

Advocacy is a central pillar of the AMA’s efforts to fight for physicians, and medical students can play a critical role while growing as leaders, influencers and community organizers.

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

The AMA offers a wide range of resources, 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 raise your for voice for change in public health policy.  
  • MSS Annual Meeting
    • Connect with peers at the Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD). This year’s event was held June 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.
  • MSS National Advocacy Week
    • Stand with medical student members of the AMA in this annual national grassroots effort to actively address the issues of student loan debt, prior authorization and telehealth.  
  • MSS Interim Meeting
    • Attend the annual Interim Meeting of the AMA HOD. This year’s event will take place in November at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland.

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

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