Carver College of Medicine students recognized for advocacy efforts

Date: Monday, November 19, 2018

Sam Pritchard meets with medical studentsUniversity of Iowa Carver College of Medicine students recently were recognized for their efforts during the American Medical Association-Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS) National Advocacy Week, Oct. 22-26.

The UI Carver College of Medicine was one of 10 medical schools nationwide honored for its students’ efforts during National Advocacy Week. The schools were announced during the AMA-MSS national interim meeting, held Nov. 8-10 in Washington, D.C.

“It was great to be one of the medical schools recognized for our efforts during National Advocacy Week,” says Thomas Pak, a fourth-year student in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD-PhD program) and one of the UI Carver College of Medicine delegates who attended the meeting. “We feel strongly that advocacy and collaboration is an important part of being a medical professional, so we put a lot of work into our efforts.” Pak also serves as UI Graduate and Professional Student Government vice president

Carver College of Medicine students Sophia-William Perez, Gabriel Conley, Erik Anderson, and Melissa Chan joined Pak in serving as delegates to the AMA-MSS meeting.

Carver College of Medicine students Mahek Shahid and Madison Mix obtained funding support for National Advocacy Week through the AMA, Iowa Medical Society, and Carver College of Medicine Student Government.

Fredy Quevedo talks to medical studentsImmigrant health a key theme during National Advocacy Week

The students organized and hosted several activities on campus in late October:

  • A video chat session with Hyder Chowdhry, health policy director for U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, covered topics such as mental health care services for farmers and farm families, the physician shortage in Iowa, and the health and well-being of immigrants in the state and across the nation. Sam Pritchard, a Cedar Rapids-based representative of Sen. Ernst’s office, also met with the Carver College of Medicine students.
  • Informational sessions about the health implications of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and other immigration issues. The sessions were led by Claire McKinley, MD, a resident in the family medicine-psychiatry residency program at UI Hospitals & Clinics, and Nicole Novak, PhD, a postdoctoral research scholar in the UI College of Public Health.
  • Discussions with representatives from organizations such as Hawkeyes for DREAM, a student chapter to immigration advocacy group DREAM Iowa. Hawkeyes for DREAM representative Fredy Quevedo, who also serves as the LatinX constituency senator to UI Undergraduate Student Government, met with Carver College of Medicine students during a lunchtime session.

AMA, Iowa Medical Society leaders show support

During the week, Barbara McAneny, MD, the current president of the AMA and an 1977 alumnae of the UI Carver College of Medicine, sent a video message to the Iowa students in support of their efforts to improve the nation’s health care system . Iowa Medical Society President Michael Romano, MD, also sent a video message, encouraging the students to stay involved on legislative and policy issues that affect their patients.

The AMA-MSS National Advocacy Week has a dual purpose: to address barriers to accessing both quality and affordable health care, and to equip medical students nationwide with the skills and ability to advocate effectively for their patients. This year, the AMA-MSS encouraged its members to focus their efforts on three issues: the rising cost of prescription medications; treatment options for opioid overdoses, opioid use disorder, and chronic pain; and the public health benefits of securing DACA status.

information table on immigrant health issuesCarver College of Medicine one of 10 schools recognized

Along with the UI Carver College of Medicine, other medical schools recognized at the national meeting included:

  • New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine in North Carolina
  • Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University
  • Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago
  • University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
  • Cooper School of Medicine at Rowan University in New Jersey
  • Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • University of Cincinnati School of Medicine