AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

Leadership Institute

2013/2014 Program Pending Sponsorship. Please check back momentarily for updates. If you are interesting in sponsoring this event, please contact


  • Create a network of students from various disciplines to develop solutions for sustainable innovation and affordable access to health technologies and research
  • Provide core training on policy issues of sharing knowledge including research and educational resources, access to medicines and access to knowledge
  • Create working groups for strategizing over potential challenges and campaigns in these areas
  • Build a critical student mass that would mobilize around several follow-on targets of opportunity


Over the past couple decades, policymaker attention on the twin challenges of innovation and access to life-saving health technologies for those in need has grown. Several developments have triggered this focus: the crisis to treat HIV/AIDS patients in the developing world, the availability of digital journals and data sharing, the specter of antibiotic resistance, and the marked decline in pharmaceutical R&D productivity. It turns out the root problem traces too often to how knowledge is shared and harnessed to move these biomedical advances from bench to bedside. The 3Ps--prices, patents and profits--have prompted many to scrutinize more closely how our current system of pharmaceutical innovation and healthcare delivery might better meet the needs of patients. Taking a systems thinking approach, what policies might be piloted, advocated, and implemented to create new business models that do deliver on the promise of these interventions for public health? The debate over these issues is now unfolding on the global stage, from the UN Commission on HIV and the Law to the WHO’s Consultative Expert Working Group on R&D Financing and Coordination.

Students can play a pivotal role in the public debate over potential solution paths. After all, they populate the laboratories of academic scientists bringing forward tomorrow’s inventions, shape the norms of university institutions that form public-private partnerships with the companies that commercialize such inventions, and generate much of the basic knowledge that enters the journal literature. This workshop is meant to inspire and equip the next generation of global health leaders to shape an enabling environment for sharing knowledge for global health.

Three turnkey issues will help provide an initial, organizing focus for this workshop training: 1) open access/open educational resources; 2) innovation + access to medicines; and 3) antibiotic defense. Across these areas, the intersection of these issues play out between North and South, neglected diseases largely endemic to low- and middle-income countries vs. antibiotics needed globally, and upstream innovation and downstream access. Discussing these issues collectively will inform strategies in each of these areas, and the workshop agenda comprised of plenary expert-facilitated sessions and breakout working groups around these key issues will support this learning across issue areas. In addition, the workshop will provide skills-based training, from the use of traditional op-ed and social media to organizing tools.

The workshop will be open to undergraduate, graduate or professional students by application. Priority will be given to students with the potential to carry out follow-on activities in one of the three focus areas. However, prior experience in organizing such efforts in one of the three focus areas, while desirable, is not essential to participating. Participants will be responsible for travel, both ground transportation and airfare, to the conference. However, the Duke Program on Global Health and Technology Access will award scholarships to successful applicants in the form of support for both lodging (double room accommodations at the Thomas Executive Conference Center) and group meals during the conference. Participants must be able to commit to attend the entirety of the two-and-a-half day event, beginning at 8:30 am on Friday, November 16th through 2 pm on Sunday, November 18th. The American Medical Student Association is not only partnering in the workshop’s organization, but also will facilitate follow-on activities in the three focus areas among workshop participants. This may lead up to a report back and check in at AMSA’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC, in March 2013.

Applications include providing a CV, a few short-answer questions, and a disclosure of potential conflict of interest. All applications must be received by October 12, 2012. Those accepted will be notified by October 15, 2012. For those seeking external travel funds from their universities, AMSA can provide a letter confirming acceptance to the workshop and, if necessary, attendance. No participants may accept corporate funding to attend the workshop, and all participants will be asked to sign a disclosure of conflict of interest before attending.

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