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Becoming an OSR Rep

How are OSR reps selected by medical schools?

The AAMC does not dictate the selection process employed by schools, but offers the following recommendations as guidelines:

  • The selection process should facilitate representative input from the entire student body or the student government; individuals involved in the selection process should understand the structure and function of the OSR.
  • Three alternate OSR representatives should be selected, preferably from different classes or campuses, to assist the primary representative. This assures continuity in representation at the school level and provides alternates to carry out the responsibilities of the OSR Primary Representative, if necessary.
  • OSR reps should represent a diverse medical student population, keeping in mind all aspects of human differences such as: socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability, and age.


How do I become a certified OSR rep?

To become an OSR rep from your school, please complete the OSR certification form (PDF), have it signed by your student affairs dean, and scan and email it to the OSR office.

Can my school have more than four reps if we have more than one campus?

No. Each member medical school, regardless of the number of regional or satellite campuses, can designate one primary OSR representative and up to three OSR alternate representatives.

What's the difference between OSR Canadian Associates and OSR U.S. representatives?

The main difference between OSR Canadian associates and OSR institutional (U.S.) representatives is that associate members are not permitted to run for office or to vote in elections per AAMC bylaws.

How do I get started once I am a certified OSR rep?

  • You will receive a welcome and introductory e-mail which will also explain and provide access to password protected OSR resources.
  • An OSR handbook and materials will be sent to you to help get you started and explain the OSR.
  • You will automatically be subscribed to the OSR national listserv as well as your respective regional listserv. You may send a message to the listerv at any time.
  • Contact your Regional Chair or an OSR Ad Board member for information about issues and activities in your region.


What should I do at my school as an OSR rep?

Become familiar with the resources on the OSR website:

  • About the OSR: History, Mission Statement, Rules & Regulations, National Priorities
  • Local Representatives’ Roles
  • OSR Leadership & Committees: National Officers, Committee Projects & Resources, and newsletters
  • OSR Resources: listservs, PowerPoint presentation, handbook, and brochure


How many votes does my school get during OSR elections and business meetings?

Each AAMC member medical school is entitled to one vote; that vote is cast by the OSR Institutional Primary Representative, or, in the OSR Institutional Primary Representative's absence, by the OSR Institutional Alternate Representative. OSR Canadian Associate Representatives do not have voting privileges.

What is the OSR Administrative Board and what does it do?

Roles and responsibilities of the OSR Administrative Board.

Can an alternate rep serve on the OSR Administrative Board?

In order to serve in a national OSR Administrative Board position, you must be your school's primary representative.

Why doesn't the OSR vote on AAMC resolutions, proposals, initiatives, etc., pertaining to issues in academic medicine at business meetings?

  • The AAMC represents one voice for all institutional members.
  • The AAMC is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors, which includes a student member.
  • The 12-member OSR Administrative Board is elected to represent medical student opinion on issues to the AAMC via the OSR Chair.
  • OSR specific issues such as changes to the OSR Rules and Regulations, are approved by the OSR Administrative Board, the OSR at large, Council of Deans, and the AAMC Board of Directors. Issues not exclusive to the OSR are reviewed and approved by the AAMC Board of Directors.
  • The OSR does not operate independently outside of the AAMC. All initiatives, projects, etc. are subject to final approval by the Council of Deans.


How can I stay involved with the AAMC after I graduate?

The mission of the AAMC's Organization of Resident Representatives (ORR) is to improve resident physician education and training for the purpose of improving the quality of health care. The ORR will improve residency education through programming and professional development and support AAMC initiatives and goals by providing the resident voice in the AAMC. ORR members are appointed by the member societies of the AAMC Council of Academic Societies. Each society may appoint two residents to the ORR. The term of appointment is two years. Terms begin July 1 and end June 30.

Contacting OSR Reps

Where can I find contact information for OSR reps?

You can search for OSR reps by rep status, name, school, or state within the password-protected online membership directory.

OSR Projects and Questionnaires

I have an idea for an OSR project, what do I do?

Send an e-mail to a member of the OSR Ad Board or to OSR staff, describing what you have in mind so that we can point you in the right direction regarding resources, etc., to help get you started.

Once you have your idea for a project/issue, write a proposal (PDF) and submit it the OSR Administrative Board for review, feedback, and approval.

Things to Consider:

  • What problem are you attempting to address and why is this of particular concern?
  • What do you want to do about it?
  • What resources will be required to carry out your plan?
  • What are the end results/goals that you hope to achieve?
  • How will you evaluate the impact or effectiveness of the final product?


I need information and want to conduct a questionnaire, what do I do?

  • OSR Reps may submit inquiries or informal questionnaires on issues to the OSR national listserv at any time on any issue that is related to medical schools, academic medicine, the OSR, etc.
  • Please first review information that has already been collected.
  • If you send questions and or an informal questionnaire to the OSR listserv, please compile your responses and send them to OSR staff so that they can be placed on the OSR website.
  • If you need more substantial data, please contact an OSR Ad Board member or OSR staff for more information.
  • If you would like to create a survey for an OSR project, please first follow the steps above for a project proposal. Any official OSR survey for eventual project outcomes must first receive OSR Ad Board review and approval, staff review and approval, COD review and approval, and external IRB review and approval. This process takes several months.

The listserv is not an appropriate avenue for distributing surveys/personal research projects without Ad Board knowledge. If you have a question about if your project is appropriate for distribution on the listserv, please email OSR staff at osr@aamc.org.

OSR Survey Distribution Request Guidelines

The AAMC-Organization of Student Representatives and its Administrative Board will not review or distribute surveys from organizations or individuals external to the AAMC for content, structure, validity or ultimate use. Those wishing to distribute survey materials to the OSR are encouraged to contact the OSR primary representative at their home institutions.

OSR Liaison Positions

What is the timeline for applying to an OSR liaison position?

Liaison openings are announced each year during Learn, Serve, Lead: The AAMC Annual Meeting in the fall (early November). Applications for open positions are accepted from November through the end of January. A nominating committee from the OSR Administrative Board selects the liaisons in February and notifications are sent in March.

How long is the term for liaisons?

Liaison terms typically run from July of one year to June the following year; positions are renewable yearly until graduation.

Can a student who is not an OSR representative apply for a liaison position?

OSR liaisons must be enrolled medical students at an AAMC member institution and be certified as an OSR primary or alternate representative at the time of application. OSR liaisons must retain OSR primary or alternate representative status throughout tenure as an OSR liaison.

Can 4th year students run for liaison positions?

As most liaison appointments are not made until spring, near the time of graduation, a fourth-year student who applied in the fall would no longer be eligible to serve in a liaison position at the time of appointment. OSR liaisons must be enrolled medical students at an AAMC member institution and be certified as an OSR primary or alternate representative at the time of application. OSR liaisons must retain OSR primary or alternate representative status throughout tenure as an OSR liaison.

Is the LCME student position only available to OSR representatives?

This particular liaison position is open to any medical student going into their final year of medical school; however, students are nominated by their medical school dean, not self-nominated through the OSR. The OSR Ad Board Nominating Committee reviews the applications and makes recommendations to the AAMC and LCME regarding the student member from the AAMC.

Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

Can students submit a nomination for a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine?

Nominees for the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award may be a D.O. as long as they are a physician on the medical school faculty.

Does a faculty member who is teaching students but is not a physician meet the requirements (such as Ph.D.)?

The criteria for the award specifically states that the "nominee must be a physician (M.D. or D.O. degree) member of the school's clinical faculty either in a tenure or non-tenure track." Therefore, a person with a Ph.D. would not be eligible.

Meeting Registration Fees

Does the AAMC provide funding or subsidize fees for OSR representatives to attend meetings?

The AAMC does not provide funding or subsidize any of the costs associated with meeting attendance. Your medical school is responsible for providing funding to send you to the AAMC Annual meeting and the spring regional meetings. Read letters from the AAMC President and OSR Ad Board in reference to student funding to AAMC meetings.

How is the registration fee determined and what does it cover?

The registration fee for the AAMC Annual Meeting is determined by how much it will cost for the AAMC to cover expenses for each attendee. These costs include food, meeting materials, meeting program/agenda books, audio visual equipment, speaker's fees, etc. The student and resident registration fees are typically half of faculty/staff fees. The registration fees are determined so that the AAMC breaks even on the meetings regarding cost.

Why are the registration fees and lodging cheaper for the regional meetings?

The regional meetings, planned by the GSA and not the AAMC, are typically cheaper because there are fewer attendees (200-400 vs. 4,500), therefore, requiring less meeting space and fewer materials. The meetings are usually held in smaller cities than the AAMC Annual Meetings; therefore, the cost of the meeting is less expensive.

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