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img_7580Greetings! Fourth-year medical student here, hailing from the University of Michigan. I am also proud to call myself half Washingtonian and half Floridian having spent equal parts of my life in both states. I am in Seattle as one of the 28 UMMS students attending this year’s AAMC Learn Serve Lead Conference.

Some of the brief highlights from my first 48 hours include: the Cultural Barriers to Learning seminar, Group on Student Affairs (GSA) poster session, and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s plenary speech. The Cultural Barriers seminar was a great way to share each program’s commitment to diversity as well as reflect on current challenges, such as effectively incorporating cultural competency longitudinally in medical education.

I found the GSA poster session particularly impressive because of the great breadth of student engagement in medical education. Notable topics included everything from interprofessional education and team-based learning to student leadership engagement and student run clinics.

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s speech could not have been more relevant and appropriate for this conference. As a future physician and leader, my biggest take-away from her great speech was how to better evaluate leadership. As a historian, she effortlessly conveyed the achievements and shortcomings of United States presidents. Her message offered both hope for the future and the significance of the narrative for assessing leadership. I am both inspired and excited to see what the rest of the conference has in store!