Texas Student Doctor: Fall 2012

News from the TMA Medical Student Section

 

Learn How to Talk to Legislators 

Testifying before a legislative committee or talking to a lawmaker face-to-face gives you the opportunity to get your story across and lobby for passage of laws that enhance your medical education and benefit the patients you see during your training. But you'll just waste your time if you do it the wrong way. 

That's why Pam Udall, director of the Texas Medical Association Media and Public Relations Department, will discuss the right way to lobby legislators at the Medical Student Section (MSS) Business Meeting during TMA's 2012 Fall Conference, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin. Ms. Udall will give you tips on effective communications with legislators. They include remaining positive and, most importantly, having a good story to tell. 

The meeting begins at 12:30 pm Saturday in Room 105 of the conference center. 

There are two other MSS meetings during the conference:

  • MSS Executive Council, 7:30 pm Friday, AT&T Room 107
  • MSS chapter presidents, 3:30 pm Saturday, AT&T Room 108

During the conference's general session, health care economist Thomas Miller will discuss the impact of Supreme Court's ruling on the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act on physicians and patients. Mr. Miller is a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and has been at the forefront of health care policy on the national level.

 The conference will feature a flu shot clinic in the Grand Ballroom Foyer of the AT&T Center from 7:30 to 8:45 am on Oct. 20. The shots are $25. The nasal-spray vaccine is $40. Register for the conference and a flu vaccine though the TMA registration page.  

For more information, contact the TMA Knowledge Center at (800) 880-7955 or email knowledge@texmed.org.

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 Aloha 

The American Medical Association Medical Student Section (MSS) Interim Meeting will be Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 8-10 in Honolulu.  

Texas students attending the meeting must attend these sessions besides the MSS Assembly:

  • Texas MSS Caucus at 6:30 am Friday and Saturday, and
  • Region 3 Business Meeting at 3:30 pm Friday.

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 Save the Date 

Plan on coming to Austin on Tuesday, April 2, for First Tuesdays at the Capitol. It's your chance to personally lobby state legislators on issues that are important to patients and physicians. The day's events will be tailored especially for students and residents. 

The Winter issue of the Texas Student Doctor will have more information on the activities planned for the day.

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 Barekman Scholarship Available  

Dec. 31 is the deadline to apply for the Louise Barekman Memorial Scholarship. One scholarship of $866 will go to the student who:

  • Is a member of a Protestant church and has record of regular church attendance;
  • Exhibits genuine financial need;
  • Is in the first, second, or third year of school and is in good standing, and
  • Is a Texas resident.

Complete the application and mail it to:
Texas Medical Association
Educational Loans Department
401 West 15th Street
Austin, TX 78701-1680 

Visit the Scholarship and Loans page of the TMA website for more information on financial assistance available to you.

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 Texan Wins AMA Foundation Scholarship  

Sean Paschall, a student at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, is one of 18 fourth-year medical students in the country to receive an American Medical Association Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Awards.  

Recipients were nominated by their medical schools and chosen based upon academics, financial need, and community involvement. 

The AMA Foundation has awarded more than $61 million in scholarships to deserving medical students since 1950.  

"We are recognizing the exceptional qualities of these students at this stage in their careers," said AMA Foundation President Clarence Chou, MD. "We want to acknowledge their significant accomplishments in academics and community service and hope to follow them as they progress in serving their patients and their communities."

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 A&M Earns AMA Involvement Award 

The Texas A&M University College of Medicine received the American Medical Association's Section Involvement Grant (SIG) for July. 

A&M won for its "AMA First Years Recruitment" event during orientation before classes started. It gave first-year students an opportunity to mingle with their new classmates and upperclassmen and led to 50 students joining the AMA. 

The SIG program selects one AMA medical student section every month for an "Event of the Month" award. At the end of the school year, all monthly awards will be showcased at the AMA annual meeting and students will select the "Event of the Year" winner.

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 Dr. Dickey Resigns  

Nancy W. Dickey, MD, resigned as president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System on Oct. 9 after 11 years in that post. Her resignation was effective immediately. 

During her tenure, Dr. Dickey's leadership as president transformed TAMHSC "into a major academic health center, catapulting it from $10 million per year in research to $80 million per year, growing from four to six colleges, adding three new campuses, and more than doubling the school's enrollment from 880 to 2,100 students," A&M said in a statement.

"For the last 11 years, the administration of the health-related programs of the Texas A&M System has essentially been my life," said Dr. Dickey, a former president of the American Medical Association. She said the "impending merger of the TAMHSC into the university seems an appropriate time for new leadership to take the helm. This is an opportunity for me to return to my passion regarding health policy, health care delivery solutions, medical ethics, and professionalism – and the importance of these topics in the education of health professionals. These are exciting times for the A&M System and Texas A&M University; the move of the health-related programs into the core of the university can only enhance the climb to greater accomplishment and recognition."

E.J. "Jere" Pederson, former executive vice president and chief operating officer of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, will be acting head of TAMHSC and will become interim head at the November Board of Regents meeting. He is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, and has been actively involved in health care administration for more than 30 years.

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AAMC Study Shows Student Debt Down  

An Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) analysis of student debt shows medical students' debt when they leave medical school has dropped since 2011, stabilizing at about $161,300. Debt had reached $164,000 in 2009 and had seen continuous growth in recent years.   

The study's authors said their review of recent literature offers no proof that debt affects medical students' and residents' career choices. 

The AAMC study theorizes that interest rates may be a key factor. "The recent slowdown in education debt levels for medical students is not completely understood, though interest rates may play a role. In July 2006, the interest rate on graduate student (including medical students) Stafford loans was fixed at 6.8 percent; previously it had been a variable rate that, at times, was below three percent. The graduating class of 2009 was the first medical school class to face at least three years of a fixed 6.8 percent interest rate—the same time that the growth of debt levels began to slow."  

They called for more study "to identify other factors beyond cost and interest rates that might influence the debt levels of graduating medical students, including the role of premedical debt. Calculating comparable trends for other higher education attendance costs, such as those at four-year undergraduate degree-granting institutions, is another avenue for future research."

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 Resources for You and Your Chapter   

Looking for help planning chapter events? Want clarification on parliamentary procedure? Not sure who the contact is for your council or committee?   

Visit the MSS Leadership Manual for resources on a range of topics from resolution writing to funding to leadership opportunities and more.

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