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Message from the GSA National Chair

I am honored to serve as the National Chair of the Group on Student Affairs (GSA) and to have the opportunity to help cultivate the mission of the GSA, “to advance medical education and, specifically, to represent the interests of medical schools and medical students in the areas of admissions, student affairs, financial aid, diversity affairs, and student records”. There are many unique challenges facing the student affairs community that I hope we can see as opportunities. As a student affairs community comprised of so many dedicated and talented individuals I know that together we can make progress in addressing these challenges in support of our students.

The residency application process has become increasingly more complex, including the importance of effective and nimble career advising, the additional application requirements placed on our students, the challenges of students having parallel residency application plans, the role of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation, and the plight of unmatched students. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues in medical schools and with our partners in graduate medical education to find innovative and effective solutions that ultimately benefit students.

The student affairs community has paid deliberate attention to the wellbeing and appropriate treatment of students and developed learning environments that nurture and support students and foster their professional development. Despite our efforts more work is needed. Student debt, diversity and inclusion, financial aid regulations and best practices in medical school admissions also remain priorities for the GSA. I am excited to continue our work together to develop programs and services to better support students on their professional journey.

I hope that many of you who are not currently involved in the GSA will consider volunteering in some capacity at either a regional or national level. The colleagues that you will meet and the knowledge that you will gain will not only assist you in your daily work but will inspire you to create greater goals and reach new heights in your professional life.

With energy and enthusiasm, I embrace the opportunity to work with AAMC leadership and the talented GSA steering committee colleagues to help guide the GSA national agenda. I am committed to using effective partnerships and collaborations to develop, implement, and coordinate programs. Serving the GSA is an incredible honor and I look forward to working with you over the next year.

Donna Elliott, MD, EdD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Educational Scholar
Senior Associate Dean for Student and Educational Affairs
Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California