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  • Easy, Exciting Engagement

    By Ben Goold
    AMSA Vice President of Programming Development

    Every year, a crowd of new premedical and medical students head to school, unsure of what they'll find when they get there. Everyone is in a new environment. Incoming freshmen in college and incoming first years in medical school are trying to figure out where they fit.

    AMSA is a place where diversity matters, where people who care about social justice and medicine come together. We find meaning in our shared struggle as students. We all want to see a better world than the one we live in now. And we refuse to wait until we have an MD/DO behind our names to start working towards that better world.

    If you want to empower the students around you to make a better world, then you're in luck. AMSA's national leaders have done something extraordinary this year--they have put together all their passions into one place. Every chapter officer searching for a program, every student looking for a way to get involved in making a better world can find a current, ready-to-use program online, at AMSA's E3 page.

    E3 stands for Easy, Exciting, Engagement Programming. Each program listed there is designed to help students gain a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. Each one is designed for students, by students.

    I invite every chapter officer or new student who wants to make a difference, empower their fellow students, and do it on their schedule, to check it out. More programs will be added soon, so check back often.

    Welcome to another wonderful year of making things better!

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  • Two medical students join post-earthquake relief efforts

    Two AMSA national leaders are joining the post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti in May. Iyah Romm (Region 1 Director and Health Care for All Co-Chair 2009-2010) and Sylvia Thompson (Health Policy Chair 2009-2010) will be volunteering in the Fond Parisien Disaster Recovery Center organized by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI). Fond Parisien is providing a temporary home for over 1,000 injured Haitian survivors and their families, and providing a high level of medical and rehabilitative support.



    The Fond Parisien Disaster Recovery Center was established by two emergency medicine docs from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Hilarie Cranmer and Stephanie Rosborough shortly after the earthquake on January 12. Sylvia and Iyah have been working with HHI and with Drs. Rosborough and Cranmer on topics of child protection and humanitarian crisis response training and are very excited to be able to assist the people of Haiti and to hone their skills in the field. Be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming post with the URL for Iyah and Sylvia's blog.


    Iyah and Sylvia are self-funding for this trip and seeking assistance! HHI is an independent organization - it is not financially supported by Harvard University - and thus Fond Parisien is completely funded by donations. Iyah and Sylvia will have to pay for flights, transportation to and from the airport (more than six hours across Dominican and Haitian mountains!!!), and a $20 donation per person, per day to the Recovery Center that will pay for food, lodging, and the food for many of the volunteer Haitian support staff. The total cost will be about $1,200 each, or less than 50 AMSA friends at $50 each to fund the both of them.



    The great thing about giving money to HHI and Fond Parisien is that there is practically no overhead. Nearly 100% of donations will go to putting food in our mouths or the mouths of hard working volunteers (many of whom have lost their homes, family members, and livelihoods).



    Please keep track of the work of these two intrepid AMSA leaders, and if you have a few extra dollars to share, helping them out will go a long way! If you're willing to donate, you can either send them a check (27 Symphony Road, Apartment 4, Boston, MA 02115) or you can donate through their PayPal Account. Go to, select "Send Money" and select the email address as the recipient.

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