Regional Updates: Region IV Annual Medical Education Conference 2010

Jasmine E. Shell
Region IV Secretary, SNMA
Morehouse School of Medicine
MD Candidate 2013

“It’s not about how smart you are. It’s about how disciplined you are.” These are the words that started the 2010 Student National Medical Association Region IV Annual Medical Education Conference on Halloween weekend. The conference, hosted by Morehouse School of Medicine, took place October 29-31st at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia and was focused around the theme, “Serving Our Communities: Bridging the Cultural Gap in Healthcare.” Under the leadership of the newly elected regional director, Cherece Grier, Region IV has been working hard to perpetuate the SNMA spirit of student leadership and community involvement. These principles, along with Morehouse School of Medicine’s mission of “serving the underserved,” are what shaped the foundation for the theme of the 2010 Region IV Conference.

The conference began on Friday, October 29th with welcome messages from Dr. John E. Maupin, President of Morehouse School of Medicine; Cherece Grier, Region IV Director; and the Conference Committee chairs, Kimberly Robinson and Kerry-Ann Kelly. The welcome was followed by a mixer in the Courtyard Garden before the off-site social event at Shout Restaurant and Lounge. There was also an alcohol-free alternative to the off-site event, “Play Date,” which featured board games, card games, a DJ and dancing.

The following day featured eighteen workshops that provided valuable information focused on training the next generation of physicians to shape the future of healthcare in the communities we will serve. One highlight from the conference is that we had over 160 students attend, with a large proportion of students being from our MAPS chapters. The undergraduate students enjoyed informative workshops, coordinated by the Regional MAPS chairs Alysia Robertson and DeAnna McGarity. These workshops included a mock interview session with feedback from physicians, residents and fourth year medical students, secrets to a successful AMCAS application, MCAT High Yield with Kaplan and many more.  The medical students attended workshops such as “Business of Medicine,” “Relationships in Medicine,” “How to Choose a Residency,” and “Succeeding on the USMLE Step 1.” We were also honored to have our National President, Cameron Webb, conduct a workshop entitled, “Healthcare Reform,” in which he spoke about the purpose of the Health Reform bill proposed by President Barack Obama.

We also had the honor of hearing wise words from our speakers for both the luncheon and the closing banquet. Our luncheon speaker was Dr. Rodney C. Armstead, currently the President of the Northeast Region Plan Operations for UnitedHealth Group, which serves more than three million beneficiaries of government health care programs nationwide. Dr. Armstead was also the first Director, Office of Managed Care, HCFA, Department of Health and Human Services for the William J. Clinton Administration. Our banquet speaker was Mr. Kweisi Mfume, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the NAACP, former Vice-Chair and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and lifetime activist.

Keeping in line with the theme of our conference, we worked in conjunction with a local organization, Blankets of Love, whic is dedicated to providing food and clothing to the large homeless population of Atlanta every other Sunday. Thanks to the contributions from the chapters around Region IV, we were able to take four carloads of clothes and a monetary donation of $185.00 to the organization. A few representatives from the Atlanta chapters of SNMA, including Emory School of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia and Morehouse School of Medicine, helped hand out items at four different locations in downtown Atlanta on the last day of conference.

Though Region IV consists of many different schools and covers many different states, we had great representation and participation at the Region IV AMEC. We depend on the diversity of our region to provide us with ideas of how to better serve the many different communities for which we are responsible, even while in medical school. The conference was a great time of fellowship and community and we hope to not only bring the spirit of SNMA to our respective schools, but  use what we have learn at each institution to help SNMA grow as a force of positive social change.

Filed Under: Inside SNMA


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