Monday, July 23, 2007

AMSA is super awesome!

I know I’ve been flying to DC a lot the last few months. It’s really been every few weeks, and I’m glad that the craziness of monthly meetings is drawing to a close. It really hit home yesterday when the flight attendant on my plane from DC recognized me and commented that I might fly more than he did. While that’s probably not true, it was a sobering moment in which I contemplated how much of my life has been lost to delayed flights…

Travel time aside, going to DC so much this summer has been, as Tanya, our Global Health Action Committee chair and fellow UM Medical student, would say, SUPER AWESOME! I have been able to keep my mind off of the fact that Alicia is working in Denver for the summer (or at least do a better job of trying), and have not had to hang out by myself as much as if I were just at home. My DC trips have included the April LGBT Leadership Summit, May exec meeting, the gigantic June meeting, and I’ve now just returned from the Chapter Officers Conference. We hosted all of the AMSA chapter officers from across the country and helped them to develop the skills they need to run successful and active chapters back home. In addition to the serious stuff, we may have choreographed a dance to a rewritten version of “Sexy Back” that described the work of all the action committees (many of whose acronyms conveniently end in -AC). I got to wear a rainbow flag as a cape as well as a tiara. Other amazing costumes (also found in the basement of the AMSA office) included a cow, Ben Franklin, a vinyl nurse outfit, a Statue of Liberty hat, and various and sundry wigs. Silly time aside, it was really inspiring to talk with folks who are veteran activists as well as those just getting their feet wet - I can’t wait to get our LGBT Health Action Committee programming off the ground and into the local chapters!

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to stay involved with medical school as I enter the PhD phase of my training, and I think AMSA is a great way to stay connected. It lets me work with other medical students on issues that are important both in a medical student and a public health student context. I know that it will be hard to balance AMSA work with other work once the school year starts (let’s not kid ourselves, it’s already difficult to balance getting the rest of my stuff done with fun and exciting AMSA work), but I think that I’ll be able to keep it under control better than last year. I’ve made a sincere commitment to myself that there will be no other student organization commitments this coming year so that I can be totally devoted to this incredible organization.

If you’re curious about what we’re doing, check out and look around. You will notice my smiling face on the right! And the smiling faces of my coordinators all around mine! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

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