Membership Involvement in AMSA
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), with over a half-century history of medical student activism, is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950 to provide medical students a chance to participate in organized medicine, AMSA began under the auspices of the American Medical Association. Starting in 1960, the association refocused its energies on the problems of the medically underserved, inequities in our health-care system and related issues in medical education. Since 1968, AMSA has been a fully independent student organization.
Today, AMSA is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. With a membership including medical and premedical students, residents and practicing physicians from across the country, AMSA continues its commitment to improving medical training and the nation's health.
When you join AMSA, you become part of a vital force of future physicians who believe that health professionals and patients are partners in the management and maintenance of health, and that access to high-quality health care is a right and not a privilege. At AMSA, activism is a way of life. Student idealism is transformed into meaningful public service, innovation and institutional change.
AMSA provides the opportunity for active involvement at the local level. AMSA is a grass-roots organization with local chapters at almost every medical school in the country and premedical chapters at more than 350 universities. AMSA chapters engage in projects and activities that put philosophy into action, initiating and providing alternative learning opportunities, community outreach programs, medical education reform efforts and local membership services, such as educational films, book and instrument co-ops.
AMSA ensures that policy-makers at both federal and state levels hear medical student concerns. Hundreds of medical and premedical students participate in the legislative Lobby Day held every other year when the national convention takes place in Washington, D.C. Each chartered AMSA medical school chapter has at least one vote in AMSA's House of Delegates, the organization's policy-making body. Through this democratic process, AMSA establishes the principles that guide its efforts at the national level.
AMSA also gives premeds a voice in the organization. The AMSA Premedical Student Caucus, made up of representatives from each premedical chapter, ensures that the special interests of the Association's premedical members are represented at all levels of the organization. A Premedical Trustee sits on the Board of Trustees as an ex-officio member.
AMSA provides meaningful public health experiences beyond the classroom. Students work with their schools and communities and serve as health-care advocates. AMSA outreach projects include:
National Primary Care Week
NPCW is a community service and public health oriented event focused on the need for primary care in our nation's underserved communities. Student coordinators from all health professions campuses are encouraged to plan events and activities that will expose their peers to the variety of rewarding opportunities in the field of primary care. Additionally, by collaborating with Area Health Educations Centers (AHECs), students have the opportunity to plan and participate in service events such as blood pressure and glucose screenings, and smoking cessation workshops at health clinics or other community centers, all aimed at improving the quality of life in their immediate communities.