Miller School Student Elected Student President-Elect of American Medical Women’s Association

Second-year student Marissa Orenstein is the new student president-elect on the national board of the American Medical Women’s Association. Elected to the post by her medical student peers at AMWA’s 97th Annual Meeting in Miami last month, she is slated to become student president of the organization dedicated to advancing women in medicine and improving women’s health at its 2013 annual meeting.

“This is a tremendous honor and an amazing accomplishment for Marissa,” said Hilit Mechaber, M.D., associate professor of medicine and associate dean for student services who serves as the Miller School’s AMWA faculty advisor. “But she is a remarkable student leader.”

A lifelong South Floridian who earned her undergraduate degree in neuroscience and Spanish from UM, Orenstein credits her involvement with the AMWA to Mechaber, who invited her to the organization’s national conference in Washington, D.C., during her first year of medical school.

Inspired by the “amazing” student and physician leaders she met there, Orenstein went on to serve AMWA as an assistant to the student conference planning committee and vice president of the local chapter. Now president of the local chapter, she is passionate about mentorship in every aspect of life and “proud to be part of AMWA as it provides such incredible opportunities for women to become leaders in medicine.”

“I honestly went to the conference my first year with little expectations, other than to learn a little about women in medicine,” Orenstein said. “I left there having met two women – one student and one physician – who I keep in touch with and contact for advice with school, life and leadership. I want other student physicians to have this experience, which is why I decided to take my involvement to the next level.”

As president-elect, she hopes to help AMWA expand opportunities for student members to network and become involved in the organization on both the local and national level, a goal she is already on her way to meeting. Twelve Miller School students attended this year’s annual meeting, held April 13-15 at the Hotel Sofitel, with supporting funds from the John K. Robinson Fund and the Miller School Medical Alumni Association.

“I am honored to have been elected to such an incredible national leadership role and hope to represent the ‘U’ well!” she said.

The national meeting occurred one month after the Miller School’s 4th Annual AMWA brunch, which brought women medical students from the Miami and regional campuses together with faculty and community physicians to network and share career experiences of women in medicine and science. Held March 11 at the Stanford Residential College Faculty Master apartment on the Coral Gables campus, the gathering gave students the opportunity to discuss topics of importance to their futures, and to network with faculty leaders and doctors in practice.

“The event demonstrated the strong desire of our students to meet with mentors and women role models in medicine,” Mechaber said. “It was great to have dedicated time to helping our women students strive to become great physicians and future leaders. We have a very talented and motivated group of students.”

The brunch is one in a series of activities sponsored by the Miller School’s AMWA Student Chapter and the Women in Academic Medicine and Leadership (WIAM) group. For more information about AMWA, contact Orenstein at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). To join the WIAM faculty listserv please email Nanette Vega at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), and to view WIAM activities visit the website.

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