Earlier this year, AuBree LaForce, a third-year Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine student, was appointed as a Student Delegate to American Medical Association-Medical Student Section to AMA interim and annual meetings. After traveling to San Diego for the 2019 AMA Interim Meeting, she wrote the following reflection.
I was humbled with the opportunity this past week to attend the AMA Interim Meeting in San Diego.
During the first part of the meeting, I represented all of the students who belong to the American Academy of Family Physicians during the Medical Student Section of the AMA meeting. In this capacity, I assisted students who were writing resolutions and policy by sharing the AAFP policy. I also spoke on issues of sex trafficking, protection of immigrant health, and other relevant policy topics that were voted on this year.
I then stayed for the AMA House of Delegates meeting and served as a voting member within the delegation of AAFP. I sat amongst our nation’s leaders in medicine and was able to vote on current AMA policy.
I participated in the reference committee on legislation, in which I spoke on three resolutions, including co-pay accumulators, board certification issues, and improvement of healthcare access in underserved areas. When I testified, I was speaking on behalf of the entire AAFP student delegation.
This experience was incredible. I saw firsthand how policy is made in medicine. I learned the importance of advocacy and the power of each voice.
I feel empowered to continue pursuing advocacy, not only for family medicine, but for all physicians on a state and national platform. Standing amongst 700 of our nation’s leading physicians, listening to our national anthem and making changes in our field of medicine, was an indescribable feeling. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and will always remember to: Be present. Be brave. And be passionate for what you believe in.
— AuBree LaForce, a third-year NEOMED College of Medicine student, submitted this reflection.