UM SNMA Chapter Tackles Health Disparities and Community Health at Annual Conference

Under the theme “Melting Pot of Modern Medicine: Exploring Cultural and Sociopolitical Barriers Within the Practice of Medicine,” the University of Miami chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) hosted its Region IV Regional Medical Education Conference in November, bringing together more than 150 medical and pre-medical students from across the United States and the Caribbean.

The SNMA is the nation’s oldest and largest organization for medical students of color and those dedicated to tackling health disparities while serving the underserved.

At the conference, students had the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops and panels that focused on health disparities and enhancing the academic, clinical and leadership skills of minority pre-medical and medical students. Lectures topics included “Cultural Competency,” “The Politics of Medicine,” “Entrepreneurship in Medicine,” and “Love and Medicine.”

During the afternoon, students engaged in interactive workshops on suturing and Harvey, the cardiac patient simulator, a residency panel featuring Miller School and Jackson Memorial Hospital residents from nine specialties, and a campus tour.

Another highlight of the conference was the Medical School and Residency Exhibitors Fair with 22 vendors and representatives from the Miller School, Jackson Health System, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Alabama and Brown University.

Keynote speakers included Linda Chen, M.D., assistant professor of surgery and Surgical Director of the Live Kidney Donor Program, and St. Anthony Amofah, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Medical Officer at Community Health of South Florida. Other speakers included Jeffrey Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and Chair of the Pediatric Bioethics Committee at Jackson Memorial Hospital; Richard S. Weisman, Pharm.D., Associate Dean for Admissions; and Cheryl Holder, M.D., President of the James Wilson Bridges Medical Society, the local chapter of the National Medical Association, and associate professor at FIU’s Wertheim College of Medicine.

Assistant Deans for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Stephen Symes, M.D., associate professor of medicine, and Stephanie Brown, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, were key supporters of the event, which was co-chaired by medical students Tajh Ferguson, Jennifer McLeod, Tynsia Harvey, and Jametria Howard-Jones, Director of the Region IV SNMA.

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