AMSA On Call
  • Pre-med Resources: Peer Mentors and Study Groups

    AMSA and national partner Kaplan have teamed up for a blog series featuring AMSA leadership from across the country. We are calling this series The Premed Experience, and each week AMSA's On Call and Kaplan's Med School Pulse will post new articles from AMSA leaders on their premedical experience and journey to medical school.

    Study group


    by Smridhi Mahajan –- AMSA Grassroots Organizing Committee Chair
    University of Texas at Austin

    Effectively Using Peer-Mentors and Study Groups

    If you’ve come across this blog post, you’re probably heavily considering a career in medicine. As a pre-medical student, I know that attempting to go through this path to medical school alone is quite a challenge. When you think about the number of things you have to do – getting good grades, acing the MCAT, balancing extracurricular activities, volunteering, shadowing, etc. – it can be overwhelming. I also know that most of you are used to being busy and are becoming increasingly skilled at dividing your time wisely. Because of this independence, it’s difficult for many of us to reach out for help when things become difficult. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to utilize your resources, such as peer-mentors and study groups, when ...

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  • Kaplan MCAT Students Bring Smiles to Guatemala: Alma's Story

    This blog article was originally posted to the Med School Pulse, Kaplan's pre-medical blog. Kaplan Test Prep is the world's leader in Test Prep and is a proud partner of AMSA.

    When people work together toward a common goal, big smiles emerge. Kaplan teamed up with Smile Train—the nonprofit international charity that brings free corrective surgery to children born with cleft lip and palate—and sent four pre-health students on an educational trip to Guatemala. These future nurses, doctors, dentists, and healthcare providers not only spent valuable time with the children and their families, but they learned about Smile Train’s sustainability model, which helps local doctors in developing countries provide the care needed within their own communities.


    Over the next few weeks, you can share in these four students’ stories of insight, compassion, growth, and—of course—smiles.


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    Meet Alma on her path to unlocking the good life by going to medical school, becoming a pediatrician, and pursuing a career helping children in underserved areas.



    Kaplan: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
    Alma: My name is Alma Habib. I am a Syrian-American who was born in Detroit but grew up in Kansas. I am a registered nurse and ...

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  • Practicing Mindfulness

    By Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA
    Wellness Coordinator
    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee

    This week, there will be a challenge by all of you to try the mindfulness practice 1-2 times per week. I will give you all a few exercises to try. The links will give you more information about the exercises. Remember, “mindfulness is not something you do, but something you are.”- Steve Flowers, MS, MFT (founder and director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic at the Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California)

    1. Mindfulness Nature Walking: First, choose a path to avoid extremes (of altitude, length, rockiness, etc). The path should be relatively straight, level, and smooth with a beginning and an end. This walk should be set and should not be just causal walking. The length of the walk is set by how long you want to walk. It should not be too long (no more than 30 minutes). The path should be in a quiet place to help you concentrate better. You should concentrate on every step of the path that you are taking and look straight ahead, so you don’t fall. The walk should be slow in order to ...

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  • The Importance of Shadowing as a Pre-med

    AMSA and national partner Kaplan have teamed up for a blog series featuring AMSA leadership from across the country. We are calling this series The Premed Experience, and each week AMSA's On Call and Kaplan's Med School Pulse will post new articles from AMSA leaders on their premedical experience and journey to medical school.

    Daniel Gomez - AMSA Premedical Regional Director
    Ohio State University

    Shadowing: Why and How

    An overlooked, but essential component of a pre-medical student’s curriculum vitae is shadowing (observing) a physician. After having the opportunity to shadow several physicians in different specialties, I can honestly say that it was an excellent way to gather additional information about the profession and definitely affirmed my decision on pursuing a career in medicine. Shadowing physicians can aid pre-medical students to understand the work that is performed by a physician in both a private practice and hospital setting in order to compare between the two. Shadowing is definitely an important aspect of a medical school application for the fact that it looks great, but only if it shows you have knowledge of the clinical or hospital setting as well as the line of work, if asked at during a medical school ...

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  • Introduction to Mindfulness

    By Tracy Lee, OMS II
    A.T. Still University-SOMA

    Wellness Coordinator

    AMSA Trainee Wellness and Professionalism Committee


    Mindfulness

    What is Mindfulness?

    According to the Institute for Mindful Leadership, “Mindfulness is often defined as non-judgmental, moment to moment awareness.” Essentially, it is being conscious and “in the moment” of everything you are doing, not thinking about what you need to do in an hour, what you want to do for the rest of your life, or about your past experiences. Being mindful is taking full advantage of the present moment.

    Mindfulness is derived from the Pali term "sati," which is an essential element of Buddhist practice. Mindfulness can be combined with mediation, eating, anything you can think of. It has been shown to change how our brains function in response to stress and thoughts about healthy eating. However, mindfulness is not only about reducing stress. It is about clearing your mind of all thoughts and not judging any of your thoughts, as you do during meditation or yoga.

    The practice of mindfulness is difficult and takes time to cultivate. One example that is talked about a lot is to focus on eating a raisin (the taste, the texture, the ...

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