Page 10 - Volume 69 Number 1
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WCMS Medical Students
at the AMA-MSS Interim Meeting
By Shubhangi (Nonie) Arora, 2016 UMMS AMA President
In November, nine medical students from Washtenaw County attended the AMA Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS) Interim Meeting in Orlando, FL. This conference is an opportunity for students to get a taste of organized medicine as early as their first semester of medical school, as well as for experienced students to advance important policy ideas. I had the privilege,
as a member of the AMA-MSS Committee on Legislation and Advocacy, of helping organize our post-election advocacy session. Todd Askew, Director of AMA Con- gressional Affairs Division, was our speaker, and gave attendees practical insights into the outcome of the election on vis-a vis health policy. I personally enjoyed the opportunity to present my pediatric quality improvement project in the Research Symposium
and learn about other research being performed by medical students around the country.
Below, you will find the reflections from many of WCMS student attendees regarding their experiences at the Interim Meeting. We are grateful for the support of WCMS that allows us to experience policy in action!
Apoorv Dhir speaks to the value of this conference in our new political landscape:
Attending a healthcare policy conference less than 48 hours after one of the most historic and contentious presidential elections in American history was interesting to say the least. The new political landscape, one that many of us had not been expecting, created a backdrop for healthcare reform that was largely against the beliefs of the vast majority of medical student attendees. Although discourse ranged from grim to hopeful, there was a constant buzz of thoughts turning to action. Members of the Committee on Legislation and Advocacy, for example, pushed forward a policy supporting advocacy by the Medical Student Section of the AMA for key pillars of President Obama’s healthcare reform. There was also a session focused on what impact the first 100 days of President-elect Trump’s presidency could have on healthcare policy. Although many were discouraged by the outcome of the election, it was inspiring to see that students were already in motion to create and fight for a landscape of healthcare policy that they believed in.
Kyle McLain speaks to her increased confidence in shaping policy locally:
The Interim Conference was a great experience because it gave me first-hand exposure to policy
making. Although I believed
that policy change is a
major way physicians could
advocate for patients, I had
little insight into what that
looked like in practice.
Having attended, I feel
more confident in my
ability to shape policy locally, and more aware of regional disparities in opinion.
Hannah Cheriyan addresses her experience as the University of Michigan Delegate:
I had the privilege of being our school’s Delegate to the 2016 AMA-MSS Interim meeting. Having become familiar with the parliamentary process over the past year, I was excited to be the one responsible for representing our school in voting, making on-the- spot decisions about what amendments we would support when authors changed their resolutions on the floor. As Delegate, I also had a teaching role, training underclassmen about parliamentary process as I had been mentored. It was great to come full circle, and heartening to see new students develop- ing a passion for healthcare policy. I also enjoyed the 2016 Interim meeting because it excellently outlined what we know and what potential next steps we might take during this time of political transition. It was a much-needed reminder that progress takes hard work but is, in the end, possible.
Alex Kelsall finds meaning in attending talks on the opioid epidemic and presenting research:
As has been the case with all of the national AMA meetings I have attended, Interim this year offered an incredible opportunity to become better acquainted with the healthcare policy landscape that we are entering as soon-to-be physicians. Highlights of the trip for me included an informative talk on the opioid epidemic from a member of the AMA’s task force on reducing opioid abuse and misuse; a session with one of the AMA’s top lobbying experts on the effect of the recent election on the direction of healthcare policy; and presentation of my research on financial incentives in Medicare’s bundled payment program in orthopedic surgery to physicians and students. These conferences, perhaps even more important than offering concrete policy knowledge, always inspire in me a powerful motivation to continue working on resolutions,
10 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN JANUARY / FEBRUARY / MARCH 2017

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