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January 8, 2013
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate to host American Medical Association’s regional medical student meeting Jan. 11, 12

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — More than 100 students from medical schools across the northeast will converge on the Upstate Medical University campus this Jan. 11 and 12 for the regional annual meeting of the American Medical Association’s medical student section.

The meeting marks the first time that Upstate has hosted this group.

The site selection committee was “very impressed with the commitment, enthusiasm and leadership Upstate students have shown on issues that affect medical students,” said Meenakshi Davuluri, MPH, a second-year medical student at Upstate who serves as president of Upstate’s AMA student section.

“We’re a very involved student body with a great deal of passion for the issues that we face as students and those that will affect our work with patients,” Davuluri said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to welcome our peers to Upstate.”

Davuluri is assisted in coordinating the weekend’s events by fellow medical students Christina Fox and Sam Mackenzie.

Discussing national issues that impact medical students, such as cuts in Medicare funding, are part of the meeting’s agenda.  Medicare helps pay for graduate medical education (GME) such as medical residencies. Less support from Medicare for GME could mean fewer opportunities for medical students to land the residencies needed to practice medicine.

Another key issue for medical students is loan forgiveness.  The average medical student debt nationally is $162,000; more for osteopathic students. The Affordable Care Act put in place some new provisions that cap monthly loan repayments and make other changes to repayment schedules.

Davuluri said the discussions that take place at Upstate’s regional meeting will help formulate policy positions to discuss with elected officials during the AMA’s National Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., Feb. 11.

The meeting will also address alternative careers in medicine with panel presentations from medical school deans from Upstate, the University of Rochester and Albany Medical College; and by Dr. Cynthia Morrow, health commissioner of Onondaga County, and Dr. Robert Corona, chair of Upstate’s Pathology Department, who served previously as chief medical officer at Welch Allyn, the medical device maker based in Skaneateles, N.Y.

Sessions are also set for students to participate in mock residency interviews and a intubation simulation clinic.

The meeting will open at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 with a community service project, where medical students will teach healthy eating habits to children at after-school programs at the Salvation Army, Southwest Community Center and the Christian Youth Organization.

Students participating in the meeting at Upstate represent twenty medical schools from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, which comprise the AMA’s Region 7.

CAPTION: Helping to organize the AMA student group meeting at Upstate, are, from left, Christine Fox,

Meenakshi Davuluri and Sam Mackenzie.

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