The SNMA Year in Review

Bryant Cameron Webb

SNMA Immediate Past National President 2011-2012

Wake Forest University

MD/JD Candidate

Have you ever wondered exactly what SNMA does as a national medical student organization to make a difference? In 2010-2011, the answer to that question was “a little bit of everything!” Led by chapter presidents, regional officers, 24 innovative national committee chairs, 10 dynamic regional directors, and your committed programmatic leaders—President-Elect Michael Knight, Vice President Ariana Martin, and myself—SNMA truly pushed the envelope over the last year. With the lofty goal of redefining the role of student organizations in the 21st century, SNMA set out to bring its members and our communities the best of what we can offer as the future healthcare providers of America. While no summary could truly do justice to this administration’s 385 days of tireless effort, I thought I would give it a try by highlighting the Elite Eight accomplishments of the SNMA 2010-2011 administration.

8.      Obstacles and Opportunities 2010

A follow-up to our groundbreaking study published in Academic Medicine in 2007, SNMA piloted this research endeavor to investigate the obstacles to—and opportunities for—minority medical student success. Joining forces with the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions, this iteration of the analysis aimed to focus our recommendations for minority medical student achievement on the barriers and facilitators associated with successful attainment of student preferred specialties in the match. The 2010 pilot study yielded over 200 responses from SNMA members of all years across the country, and we are in the process of obtaining IRB approval to develop an expanded analysis on this topic.

7.      National Advocacy Day 2010

In its second annual National Advocacy Day (NAD) SNMA took on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 21, 2010 to address childhood obesity in minority communities.  After a day of lectures and workshops to prepare the 15 attendees, SNMA medical and premedical members crisscrossed the Hill to engage the offices of over 50 U.S. Congressmen—providing essential information and positing solutions regarding the childhood obesity epidemic ravaging communities across the country.

6.      Academic Webinars

Led by Dr. Tao Le, author and editor of the popular First Aid series, SNMA offered its first ever series of academic webinars to its members in 2010-11. Topics reviewed by Dr. Le included Step 1, Step 2 CK, preparation for the wards, and tips for success in the match. For the First Aid for Step 1 webinar, over 350 SNMA members were able to hear tips from Dr. Le and have their questions answered before the big test!

5.      National Leadership Institute series

In 2010-11, over 200 SNMA national, regional and chapter leaders from across the country traveled to participate in the National Leadership Institute (NLI) series. The Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC kicked off the series in June 2010 with a focus on team building in SNMA. In September, the Wayne State University School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Detroit teamed up to host SNMA in a dynamic mentorship-based NLI. Finally, the UC Davis chapter pulled out the stops in Sacramento with a focus on success in leadership in January 2011. All three NLIs worked in concert to provide SNMA leaders with the tools to effectively do the work of our organization and prepare for leadership roles throughout their careers in medicine.

4.      JSNMA Online

In September 2010, SNMA completed its move to an online format for our journal. The new Journal of the Student National Medical Association (JSNMA) was unveiled in its online format at with a host of new content, features, and archived journals as well. This move marked the latest evolution of our student-run journal geared specifically to address the needs and concerns of current and future underrepresented minority medical students.

3.      Health Equity Advocacy Tour

Part of the SNMA Campaign for Health Equity, the Health Equity Advocacy Tour—or HEAT, for short—took our fight for justice in health care to cities across the country. Traveling to Chicago, New Orleans, Washington, DC, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston and Indianapolis, HEAT brought together national, regional, and chapter leaders to address key social determinants of health in underserved communities. Through coordinated community service and advocacy events, SNMA addressed key issues including food justice, environmental justice, housing, education, poverty, access to health care, homelessness and diversity in medicine all across the nation.

2.      SNMA Medical School Diversity Rankings

Continuing in our efforts to increase diversity in medical schools, SNMA pioneered the first-ever diversity rankings of the U.S. Medical Schools. Using a unique formula incorporating elements of the admissions process, diverse mentorship, and graduating diverse physicians, the Diversity Rankings were released at AMEC 2011 in a Town Hall meeting featuring Dr. Louis Sullivan—former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and champion for diversity in the health professions.

1.      Annual Medical Education Conference 2011 – Indianapolis

The 2011 AMEC amounted to the best of SNMA on full display in the Circle City. From amazing community service opportunities to an array of phenomenal workshops, attendees were faced with tough decisions on how to spend each hour of the three-day conference. Featuring a current and former member of U.S. Congress, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services, the current head of the U.S. Office of Minority Health, numerous leaders at the National Institutes of Health, community and health care activists, and world-renowned physicians, the quality of the speakers at AMEC 2011 was truly second-to-none. Additionally, the academic programming for medical and premedical students alike ensured that every participant left with more knowledgeable and poised for success than when they arrived. In total, over 1,000 individuals participated in our annual conference in Indianapolis, the capstone event of SNMA’s 47th year.

So our Elite Eight list ends right where the 2011-2012 administration begins. Heading into this new administrative year, President Knight and Co. will certainly take SNMA to even greater heights! Focusing on meaningful partnerships, the development of student leaders, and an unwavering commitment to the programmatic core of SNMA’s mission, the accomplishments of our organization’s newest leaders will certainly continue to raise the bar of SNMA excellence.

On behalf of the 2010-2011 administration, I offer my sincere gratitude for the integral role each of you has played in an outstanding 2010-2011 campaign. Moreover, I thank you in advance for your continued and unwavering support of the Student National Medical Association. Here’s to another year of excellence in Diversifying the Face of Medicine.

Filed Under: Global Health

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