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    Chair Update

    May 2021

    This year, our OSR Administrative Board inherited the challenge of adapting our organization's work on behalf of our colleagues across the country to a virtual environment. I am proud of our progress over the last six months. The highlight for our team was hosting our annual GSA-OSR Spring Meeting last month. It was a great opportunity to engage with our colleagues on hot-button issues relevant to medical students. The meeting included informative sessions for our representatives on applying to residency in a virtual environment and strategies for creating wellness and mental health programming at their respective medical schools. It was a fantastic event that we successfully adapted to a virtual format. Our thanks go out to everyone involved in organizing the sessions and our representatives who participated. 

    Our tenure as an OSR Administrative Board has also been marked by active participation in the major transitions occurring within academic medicine. During these unprecedented times, these transitions were expedited partly by the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread recognition of how ever-present racism and discrimination are in our country and our healthcare system. As an organization, a vital part of our mission has always been to raise medical student voices on a national level in academic medicine and actively participate in these major transitions to ensure that they positively impact our colleagues and diverse communities across the country. Following that mission, we have met with leaders at the highest levels of academic medicine to discuss these transitions and other important issues affecting medical students. Earlier this year, our Administrative Board met with Dr. Skorton and other AAMC leaders to discuss concerns regarding medical student wellness in the pandemic environment and the challenges that arose during the last residency application cycle. We also met with the UME-GME Review Committee leaders to provide student feedback on their proposed recommendations to the Coalition for Physician Accountability for improvements to the transition to residency process, which is one of our national priorities as an organization. Later this month, we will be meeting with the AAMC leaders responsible for directing the AAMC's Strategic Plan efforts that are directly relevant to medical students.

    Despite the entirely virtual medium for our work, we have continued to engage with our constituents across the country and build relationships with other interest groups within the AAMC. In February, members of our Administrative Board worked with members of the Organization of Resident Representatives to host an informative panel session on the transition from medical school to residency. You can access a recording of the event here.

    Over the last several months, our Community and Diversity student leaders at the regional and national levels worked with the GSA National Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA) to create a Climate Survey. The survey was developed to gauge the student perspective on the following areas:

    • Issues related to how schools are addressing student isolation in the COVID-19 environment
    • The extent of academic support services available to students
    • Student education on topics such as disability and systemic racism in medicine
    • Discrimination and misconduct towards students in the clinical and preclinical environment. 

    In addition to the other projects I've mentioned, our Communications and Engagement team worked hard to release OSR Connect. They are also working to create an easily accessible network of OSR alumni for our current and previous representatives to utilize.

    It is important to recognize that our work as the OSR Administrative Board is informed by your engagement with our national discussions and your participation in the leadership roles available throughout our organization. We are excited to announce our newly selected OSR Liaisons to AAMC committees very soon, and we look forward to your participation in the upcoming Regional Elections. To our newer representatives, I encourage you to visit our OSR pages on the AAMC website. There you will find additional information about the OSR, ways to get involved, leadership positions at the regional and national levels, and helpful resources you can share with your colleagues about applying to residency, managing the cost of your medical education, personal branding, and more. 

    Thank you for the opportunity you have given us to represent you at the national level, and we look forward to continuing to work with you on behalf of our colleagues across the country.

    Mohammad Rasool
    OSR National Chair
    Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University