Greetings from the Medical Student Council (MSGC)! It is my distinct honor to have been chosen to represent the EMRA medical student voice as chair of the MSGC in 2014-15. This is an incredible time for students to be involved with EMRA as we start this MSGC cycle with our largest membership on record — more than 2,200 medical student members! Our new council met for the first time in May, during the SAEM Conference in Dallas. There, we discussed what moves we can make to best serve EMRA student members. You have an outstanding group of representatives this year, and you are welcome to contact any one of us with your thoughts. I hope that you will reach out to your regional representatives and coordinators with any questions or ideas you may have. You can find your local representatives at emra.org.
I have been involved with EMRA for the past three years, but I know that for many students it is difficult to understand exactly what the organization offers you and what the MSGC does to represent you. At our meeting in Dallas, we discussed a number of important topics that affect every student pursuing a career in emergency medicine. This article gives a brief breakdown of how the 2014-2015 MSGC intends to help make your path toward matching into an emergency medicine residency program more successful.
Our council will be ready, willing, and able to listen to all of your ideas and concerns about what is important to you when it comes to getting involved in emergency medicine as a student. We will be communicating with each other in order to spread the word about new opportunities available to student members. We want to connect with you on a more personal and individual level, and we hope that you will let us know what is on your mind!
EMRA has a wealth of valuable resources available to medical student members. At emra.org you'll find an extensive collection of documents, presentations, and links on EM education, advising, and research. For those of you who are leaders on campus, there are resources on how to improve your Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG). These resources have been collected by past students and residents, and are maintained and updated as part of your membership — so use them!
This is one of our most valuable offerings, and one that is special to me and students in my situation. EMRA residents across the country have volunteered to act as mentors to student members as they go through medical school and prepare for the residency matching process. Many schools, including my own, don't have an EM program, so mentors can be difficult to find. As a medical student, I was matched with an EM resident who has been willing to meet with me and honestly answer questions that I have about residency training and the profession.
EMRA student membership gives you the chance to participate in so many different programs and experiences. We have internship and fellowship opportunities that are reserved for our student members, including the ALiEM Social Media Fellowship, and the Health Care Policy Elective opportunity, which is coming soon! We also offer a number of EMRA member-exclusive scholarships and grants, which can help you on your way to ACEP or other conferences. Some students forget that as an EMRA member, you are also an ACEP member, and there are so many opportunities for students through individual state ACEP chapters. Ask any MSGC member about these benefits, or do some digging on your own. There's something out there for everyone!
Believe it or not, medical students make outstanding advocates, not only for emergency medicine, but for all physicians. We are the ones who will deal with the changes our health care system is currently going through — both the positive and the negative. Your membership makes it possible for EMRA to influence these changes in a way that keeps the future of medicine and health care in the hands of physicians and patients. Every single year, issues that affect students and residents are debated in Washington, DC and at state capitols across the country. Graduate medical education funding, student loan interest rates, and tort reform are all issues that we see again and again. EMRA allows you the opportunity to become involved locally and nationally through advocacy for the needs of our patients — and our specialty.
Peace of mind
You won't find a tab for this on our website, or an announcement on our Facebook page. But if you do a little searching and find ways to interact with your fellow student and resident EMRA members, you will build relationships that could help to alleviate the intense stress with which so many of us struggle. Each year of medical school offers new challenges, and having someone to talk to who is going through — or has been through — the same thing can be very reassuring.
EMRA's student membership has continued to grow over the years because people like you have continued to recognize and utilize the value of our organization and its offerings. Our leadership in years past has been outstanding; and as MSGC chair, it is my promise that our new council will continue that trend. We are excited about the year ahead, and we can't wait to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.