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Student National Medical Association

I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way.” –Carl Sandburg

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the oldest and largest medical student organization dedicated to people of color and underserved communities. Community service is the heart and soul of the SNMA and eliminating disparities in health care delivery, disease morbidity, and disease mortality are among our highest priorities. Local chapters based at allopathic and osteopathic medical schools throughout the nation implement community service programs. Locally in Iowa City, SNMA is involved in the Ronald McDonald House Halloween Party and Easter Dinner; tutoring for underserved children at Pheasant Ridge; and hosting our annual Celebration of Diversity in Medicine. SNMA invites all students to participate in its programming which is designed to promote healthy living and stress the preventative nature of health care delivery. Committed to increasing the number of culturally capable and sensitive physicians, the SNMA is also dedicated to the academic and clinical success of medical students and pre-medical students.

SNMA working to eliminate health disparities.

Community Service

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Mead

Pheasant Ridge Tutoring Program

The tutoring program involves reading, assisting in homework and school project, or whatever else you can come up with. The children that we work with are between the age of 5 and 10. Their families are mostly highly-educated immigrants from Sudan. Our goal is to spend time and give attention to the children whose parents are otherwise busy. Since medical school can be quite busy, we have invented the buddy system where two students team up, and alternate every other week, so that each student end up tutoring on the average twice a month. Of course, you can always device a schedule with your buddy that will suit both of you.

Quote from volunteer: “Personally, I have been working with the program for two years, and love every minute of it. The thought that my presence and time with the children makes a difference is just great.”

Ronald McDonald House Halloween Party and Easter Dinner

On Halloween and Easter SNMA prepares a meal and activities for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMH houses families with a child in the hospital. The families enjoy a home- cooked meal after spending all day at the hospital. In the past we have prepared meals and activities for 32 families. Our activities include face painting and games for Halloween and on Easter, egg decorating and egg hunts

Bone Marrow Drive

SNMA co-sponsors a bone marrow drive with AMA.

Mentoring Program

Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. 
Just walk beside me and be my friend.

-Albert Camus

The SNMA Chapter of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is devoted to increasing the level of minority student recruitment, admissions, and retention at the Carver College of Medicine. In order to achieve this goal we, as a conglomerate, are also devoted to encouraging the promotion and development of minority residents, fellows and faculty members in order to increase the presence of minority mentors at the Carver College of Medicine. We are committed to developing and/or sponsoring programs for minority youth to encourage their entrance into the health professions. With continued commitment to decimate healthcare disparities in this country, we pride ourselves with efforts towards distributing information regarding minority health to all Carver medical students. Many of these objectives are obtained through our mentoring program that is targeted to both undergraduate students interested in healthcare and current minority medical students.

Information for Undergraduates

The mentoring program for undergraduates will focus on three components:

  • Success in college
  • Careers in healthcare
  • Success in life

Undergraduate students will be paired up with a minority medical student and a PhD student when possible. The pairing process will respect similar backgrounds and interests. The primary objective of the program is to provide students with the network of support needed to succeed in the university and beyond. Casual one on one interaction will be available, as well as opportunities for involvement in extracurricular activities.

Information for current SNMA members

The mentoring program for minority medical students includes the development, facilitation, support and nourishment of mentoring relationships between students and minority residents, fellows, faculty, and administration. The pairing process will take specialty areas into account. This program will also consist of casual one on one interactions with mentors to provide career planning advice and occasional group events involving all mentor-mentee pairs. Mentors will work with the mentees to improve the overall retention of minority medical students and to provide guidance on how to maintain a successful balance of personal and professional demands as a physician.


Websites of Interest

“When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the World Wide Web…Now even my cat has its own page.” –Bill Clinton