AMSA On Call
  • Building connections on the SeaCouver tour

    Diana Huang

    MD / MA in Urban Bioethics candidate
    Temple University School of Medicine 

    This summer, a group of medical and premedical students from the U.S. and Canada, led by coordinators Lina Brinker, M4 and Pooja Aysola, R2, embarked on a five day exploration of the U.S. and Canadian health care systems called SeaCouver. What’s with the name? Taking advantage of geography, half of the program took place in Seattle, WA, while the other half occurred just across the border in Vancouver, B.C.

    I was lucky enough to be part of this group. Here are the top 5 highlights of my experience:

    5) Learning about single payer from a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Dr. John Geyman. The program kicked off at the University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center with a lively discussion of the health system in the U.S. today and why it needs to change beyond the Affordable Care Act. Also joining us were the co-founders of the Western Washington chapter of PNHP, Dr. Hugh Foy and Dr. David McLanahan.

    4) Visiting Insite. Our first stop in Vancouver, Insite is an incredible organization that connects people with health care services. The first ...

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  • Medical Student Reaction to Ferguson

    Gabriel Edwards
    MS3, Oregon Health and Science University
    Member, AMSA Health Care For All Steering Committee

    Like many of you, I have followed the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Thanks to an almost unlimited amount of media outlets today, what has transpired in that St. Louis suburb has been placed into numerous narratives. There’s the narrative about our nation’s troubled history of race relations. The narrative about the effects of both the drug war and the war against terror on the militarization of police forces throughout the country. The narrative about the gentrification of our major cities, with the economically disadvantaged increasingly relocated to suburbs like Ferguson. There’s the narrative about the way the media itself has portrayed the events, and how the various factions have used the media to further their goals, rightly or wrongly. There are the attempts to draw parallels between Ferguson and Gaza. And, last but not least, there’s the narrative that puts Ferguson in the context of not only race relations but, more broadly, class relations. Approximately 50 million Americans were uninsured at the time the ACA was signed into law. Approximately 50 million Americans are poor today.

    I sit on the steering committee for the ...

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  • Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal

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

    Wellness Wednesday

    How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? BUT how many of us actually eat a good breakfast. I can confess that I don’t always eat breakfast because there just isn’t enough time in the day as a medical student. However, eating well plays a very important part in your overall wellness. Here are two recipes for making oatmeal, which is a very healthy, nutritious and filling breakfast. One recipe uses a refrigerator for cold oatmeal and the other uses a slow cooker for hot oatmeal. Enjoy!

    1) Cold Oatmeal

    Materials/ Ingredients
    Mason jar
    ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
    1/8 cup flax seed
    ¼ cup steel cut oats

    For Blueberry Lemonade flavor
    Blueberry yogurt
    ½ cup blueberries
    ½ tsp lemon extract

    For Apple Crisp flavor
    Vanilla yogurt
    1 cup applesauce
    Ground cinnamon
    Cloves
    Nutmeg

    For Peaches and Cream flavor
    Peach yogurt
    ½ can sliced peaches
    Splash of Vanilla

    For Tropical Mango flavor
    Mango Yogurt
    Splash of Vanilla
    Diced Mango
    Milk or Coconut milk

    For Fresh Raspberry flavor
    Raspberry yogurt
    Fresh raspberries
    Drizzle of Honey

    For A Pie ‘n’ ...

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  • Pre-Med Checklist from Kaplan MCAT Experts

    Medical school admissions are extremely competitive: more people are taking the MCAT and applying to medical school than ever before. How can you stand out in the crowd and gain a competitive edge over your competition?

    Looking ahead is the best first step on your path to MCAT and medical school victory. Our Kaplan MCAT experts have created a checklist to ensure you make the most of the 2014-2015 school year.

    __ Get involved in your local AMSA chapter!
    __ Meet with a pre-med advisor to obtain information to assist you in the application process
    __ Explore the differences between allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools
    __ Obtain information from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)
    __ Look through the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) and College Information Book (CIB) to get an overview of possible schools to apply to
    __ Evaluate the medical schools and develop your initial list of schools.
    __ Create a schedule of deadlines, including test registration dates, application deadlines (you’ll have primary and secondary application deadlines) and financial aid deadlines
    __ Take a free ...

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  • To save lives and money, choose single-payer health care

    By Morolake Amole

    The problem with health care in the United States is not that we suffer from inadequate medical resources. Quite the contrary.

    We have thousands of highly skilled and dedicated doctors and nurses. We have many top-notch hospitals possessing state-of-the-art equipment and medications. We have significant patient protection laws.

    So then how do we explain our country’s poor health outcomes, e.g. that we ranked 19th out of 19 wealthy nations in 2010 on preventing deaths that could have been avoided with medical care?

    Here’s a clue: If you compare the U.S. system with those of other industrialized nations, you’ll see that no other country relies so heavily on multiple private insurance plans and has such high financial barriers to care.

    Does the Affordable Care Act change this picture? The ACA will, within a few years, increase coverage for about 20 million people through a combination of subsidies for private insurance and an expansion of the Medicaid program (in those states that have agreed to accept it). This increased coverage will likely save many thousands of lives each year.

    Yet even when the ACA is fully implemented, 30 million Americans will remain uninsured. Some won’t be able afford a ...

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