This year I had the privilege of serving as a student delegate and named a STAT Scholar for the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) House of Delegates Convention. I want to share with you my story of starting from the bottom and getting here.
It all started out with my interest (which I didn’t know at the time) in advocacy and policy. I made a few trips to the Mississippi Capitol lobbying for these policies our state medical association supported. My efforts were recognized by many physicians and student leaders, and I was given the opportunity to attend AMA Advocacy Day and Conference held in March in Washington D.C. where the conference combined advocacy with activities usually found at AMA national meetings. While in DC, I attended Region meetings, educational sessions on effective lobbying and policy about public service loan forgiveness and graduate medical education, and took a Congressional visit to the Capitol. That trip was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had.
Of course, I didn’t stop there. I wanted to continue to be involved with advocacy and policy on both a state and national level. MSMA offered students at UMMC a chance to serve as a student delegate. As a student delegate, I voted on resolutions and candidates to serve for the 2016-2017 year, networked with physicians from all over the state, sat in on a panel discussion with the medical board of licensure, and even attended the President’s Inaugural Gala as the new MSMA President, Dr. Voulters, was sworn in.
I was also recognized at the MSMA awards ceremony as a STAT Scholar (Student Advocacy Training) which highlights the achievements of medical students who are involved in advocacy-related activities supporting organized medicine through the association.
All of this to say that if you’re passionate about something or even remotely interested, then go out and do something about it! You never know what great things can come out of small acts of passion.