At first glance, it may not seem that increased access to identification cards for homeless individuals, front-of-packaging labels on food products, and accountability in reporting for Medicaid waiver projects have much in common. But all are topics of new policies passed at the November American Medical Association (AMA) Interim Meeting that came from student action! In fact, of the 13 items that the medical student section brought to the House, ALL were passed.
This year, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a Delegate to the AMA. Thinking back to my first AMA meeting, I’ve since learned a tremendous amount about how policy is crafted and implemented. Especially during this Thanksgiving week, I’m thankful to serve as a voice for what medical students find important, especially on policies designed to protect the most vulnerable among the patients we serve.
One of the things I’ve appreciated most about my time with the AMA is the new friendships with students and physicians from around the country. For this meeting, I had the opportunity to serve as the Delegate lead for reference committee review, and I really enjoyed mentoring students who were new to the process. Much of our work happens in advance of the meeting, including in-depth policy review, providing feedback to student authors of resolutions, and conference calls to determine the medical student section stance on all resolutions and reports. I love having the chance to get to know team members personally after collaborating with them virtually for weeks!
As a dual-degree student pursuing an MBA this year, I was also able to apply my new skills and knowledge when thinking through the economic implications of proposed policies. I’m glad to have this flexibility at Michigan to pursue these additional interests and learn more about our health care system through a broader lens.
I’m looking forward to the holiday season, time for reflection this Thanksgiving, and re-connecting with Medical School classmates through Friendsgiving and Tag Days.
Nonie Arora is a 4th year MD/MBA candidate at the University of Michigan. She is passionate about improving the delivery of healthcare and health policy. She can be followed on Twitter @nonie_arora.