These last few months have been difficult. This global pandemic continues to smolder throughout the country, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities, immigrant communities, and those of low socioeconomic status, with concomitant nationwide protests against police brutality, structural racism, and inequality. These, together with uncertainty in medical education, have weighed heavily on students. As the next generation of physicians, we have good reason to be apprehensive. Yet as student leaders, it is incumbent on us to take action and view this as an opportunity to enact meaningful change. I am proud of the creativity, resourcefulness, and energy students have demonstrated in anti-racism efforts and COVID-19 support.
As you are aware, the coming residency cycle will be predominantly virtual. In response, AAMC has created a centralized page for specialty-specific changes that is regularly updated. We are working with our colleagues in student affairs to develop effective practices for this alternate interview style, including assessment of a program’s culture. The GSA Steering Committee has also met regularly to discuss supporting students through USMLE changes, return to clinical service, transition to residency, and protests. We hope to share with you concrete guidelines as the situation unfolds.
The OSR Administrative Board met with Dr. Skorton and senior AAMC leadership to discuss how academic medicine can promote anti-racism and best support students of color. Additionally, we spoke about the uncertainty and changes relating to licensure examinations. We felt these conversations were very productive and are encouraged by the AAMC’s active role on these fronts. We will keep you abreast of the end results of these ongoing discussions.
Thank you to all OSRs who submitted nominations for regional elections. We are humbled by the commitment and drive demonstrated by all applicants. Stay tuned for updates on voting and digital election procedures. I wish everyone the best of luck and look forward to working with you!
The National Delegates have worked very hard these last few months with their respective committees and have been stalwart advocates for students throughout the pandemic. I am grateful to have such a uniquely talented and dedicated team. Please continue reaching out to us if you have further questions.
Take care of yourselves and each other.
AAMC OSR National Chair-Elect
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth