Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Doctors Back to School Program

This past Saturday, the student AMA and SNMA chapters of SUNY Buffalo hosted its first Doctors Back to School Program (DBTS), which is an AMA initiative targeted to help increase the number of minority physicians in the US. As many of you know, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans comprise nearly 1/4 of the U.S. population. In 30 years, these groups are expected to make up 1/3 of the U.S. population. Surprisingly, only 7% of physicians and 6% of medical school faculty come from these groups. The goal of the DBTS is to help address this issue and encourage young minority students to pursue a career in medicine and make them realize that this is a profession that is attainable with much dedication, hard work and mentorship.

The event took place on a Saturday morning at UB's South Campus. 5 physicians consisting of a cardiologist, internist, family physician, pediatrician and obstetrician/gynecologist participated in the program's panel discussion. Of the 5 physicians, Dr. Kenneth Gayles was one of the first African American students to be accepted at SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine in the late 1960s. About 20 college students attended, and 5 medical students volunteered to assist in the event.

Overall, both the physicians and students enjoyed the event. The students thought that the program was helpful in meeting other physicians and medical students who have the same background as them. They also thought that the discussions and past experiences of the doctors and medical students helped encourage them to pursue their dream of becoming a physician.

Both the student AMA and SNMA chapters hope to host another similar event at the end of the spring semester next year targeted to minority high school students. If you are interested in helping out next semester, you can contact Vanessa Sarfoh, MS2 who is part of the AMA's Minority Issues Committee and also the lead organizer of the event, or Joanna Lim, MS2 one of the Co-Presidents of the AMA SUNY Buffalo Chapter.

For more photos from the event, please click HERE

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kids with Diabetes had fun in Halloween!

The AMA-MSS Buffalo chapter organized the annual Halloween Party for Children with Diabetes on October 28th, 2010 held at the University at Buffalo South Campus. Vice Presidents of Community Service Jessica Aliotta, Kiu Gladjar, and Brooke Meade, all second year medical students, took charge arranging the event. This is an important event for the children who might otherwise not enjoy Halloween given its focus on sugary candy.

Both the children and volunteer medical students were encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. On this night, 25 children and their families were greeted by a princess, broccoli, an angel, superheroes, a cowboy, jesters, a dinosaur, a spider, and the myriad of other fun costumes worn by the 33 medical student volunteers.

AMA-MSS Buffalo chapter’s first year medical student representatives put together a number of Halloween activities for the children, despite having an exam the next day. First and second year volunteers ran these activities, which included karaoke, apple bobbing, pumpkin knock out, ghost bowling, pumpkin painting, Halloween melty beads, make your own festive mug or door hanger, coloring stations, pumpkin mouth toss, and Halloween Twister. Students and children worked together to wrap each other in toilet paper for a mummy wrapping contest. Especially popular was the piƱata filled with sugar-free candy.

Prizes were given to the winners of contests, games, and a raffle. Every child that came to the party left with a raffle prize. These activities and prizes were made possible by donations amounting to $700.00 generously given by over twenty local stores as well as the Medical Society of Erie County. The spirit of the medical students and the support of the community helped make the Halloween Party for Children with Diabetes a haunting success.

For more photos, please click HERE.

Breast Cancer Walk a Success!

On October 3rd, the SUNY Buffalo AMA Chapter put together a team to walk and raise money for breast cancer research. Despite the rain, several first and second year students attended and walked the event. Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to raise $550 from the event. Many thanks to Chantal Bartels, Kiu Ghadjar and Jess Aliotta for organizing the event.