Earlier this evening, I returned to Ann Arbor from the 2013 Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association, Medical Student Section. The AMA represents medical professionals all the way from medical school to retirement, and it was a privilege to initiate my first experience with this fantastic organization. I spent a few days in National Harbor, MD, about 10 miles south of Washington D.C. and just across the bridge from Alexandria, VA, with eight of my classmates (6 M1’s, 2 M2’s). While I missed out on last year’s Interim Meeting in Hawaii, AMA still picked a beautiful place to hold a gathering of hundreds of medical students representing nearly every allopathic & osteopathic school in the US. Hawaii is on the radar for 2017 nonetheless.
The primary goals of the Interim Meeting were three-fold: 1) Discuss, rewrite, and approve/deny “resolutions” (see below), 2) Elect new leadership for each region of the AMA (Michigan is in Region V), and 3) meet and learn from accomplished upperclass medical students, residents, and attending physicians.
On the left is a picture of our group at the Region V meeting yesterday afternoon, at which we connected with delegates and other representatives from MSU, Wayne State, OSU, and several other nearby schools. As for the resolutions, AMA members from any school can submit proposals for new policy or current policy revisions, concerning health care at large or opportunities within medical schools and the AMA-MSS itself. For broader-impact changes, delegates from each school gather to vote, and those resolutions that are approved by MSS are reviewed and voted on at the main AMA meeting, which starts shortly after the medical student part of the conference. As an M1 new to the AMA, I couldn’t directly vote at this meeting (the M1s voiced political views through our chapter’s president, a current M2), but through continued involvement and my growing fascination with politics, I’m excited for the Annual Meeting in Chicago and next year’s Interim Meeting in Dallas.
A few of my big takeaways from the conference and from this morning’s keynote speaker, Georgia’s US Representative Tom Price, M.D. (also a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School — Go Blue!), were that advocacy and politics are essential (and inescapable) parts of medicine, and also to stay active with your county, state, and regional medical societies. For our team, that would be the Washtenaw County Medical Society, the MSMS, and Region V of the AMA!
During the trip we did explore a bit of the surrounding area, including the U.S. Capitol!
Upon returning to Ann Arbor, I had just enough time to make it to Hill Auditorium for a performance of Mahler’s 9th Symphony by the San Francisco Symphony, the finale for their 2013 tour and led by the esteemed conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. I previously enjoyed performances of Mahler’s 2nd and 5th Symphonies by the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra during my freshman and senior years of undergrad, and tonight’s performance puts me closer to “collecting” all nine breathtaking experiences of Mahler’s masterpieces, live. Going to concerts and thinking about music as my main focus rather than it playing in the background while studying was in a way artistically nostalgic and an excellent break from the hustle of medical school. This was my first time in Hill since the White Coat Ceremony, and I was pleasantly reminded of the value of and opportunities to pursue the arts here in Ann Arbor.
Also, I finally made it to a one-of-a-kind Michigan football game last week! Despite the loss to Nebraska and the end of Brady Hoke’s home winning streak, the Wolverines redeemed themselves against Northwestern in a 3OT thriller earlier today. Here’s my obligatory Big House photo from last week:
Back to studying for MSK! I have the option to defer my quiz for this week until Mon/Tues because of the conference, but I’ll hopefully finish studying and quiz soon!
PS- To those who traveled with me to AMA, thank you for making it an awesome trip! Bonding with my classmates is so much fun.