On Friday, a group of 50 physician and medical student volunteers from the AMA Minority Affairs Section (AMA-MAS) and the Medical Student Section conducted concurrent programming at two local elementary schools in Georgia.
Combining efforts from the MAS Doctors Back to School™ program and the AMA’s Improving Health Outcomes initiative, the volunteers engaged 900 students at Conley Hills Elementary School and Hamilton E. Holmes Elementary School, which are primarily composed of Latino and African American youth.
During the two-hour visits, physicians rotated between classrooms to encourage children to consider careers in medicine, while medical students engaged the children at themed, interactive stations such as healthy eating, asthma and yoga.
At the AMA-MAS business meeting and reception, keynote speaker, Kim A. Williams, MD, FACC, shared the latest statistics regarding cardiovascular disease in the U.S. as well as treatment and prevention recommendations. Dr. Williams is the first African American president of the American College of Cardiology. He is affiliated with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago where he is the James B. Herrick professor and division chief of cardiology.
Members reviewed reports and resolutions under consideration by the House of Delegates, which impact minority physicians and patients. They also paid tribute to two pioneer physicians of color: Dr. James McCune Smith, the first African American to earn a medical degree who died 150 years ago; and Dr. Beny Primm, international expert on HIV and substance abuse, and father of physician executive and medical educator, Annelle Primm, MD, MPH, who died in October.
On Monday, the AMA-MAS hosted an education program, “The new science of unconscious bias: Implications for physicians and patients.” Presented by diversity and cultural competency expert David Hunt, JD, this evocative session explored how personal and systemic bias impacts clinicians’ objective evaluation and treatment of others based upon factors such as race, gender, religion, culture and language.
Presentation slides of both AMA-MAS presenters, as well as the full meeting agenda book, can be found on the AMA-MAS meeting web-page.