UCCOM AMA Members Move Medicine at Interim 2018

This November, seven medical student members of the American Medical Association chapter at the University of Cincinnati attended the 2018 AMA Interim Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland. Second-year students Haidn Foster, Adam Darwiche, Tom Plagge, Farzaan Kassam, and Alyssa Kelder, as well as first years Glen McClain and Chris Chang served on national committees, passed resolutions, were elected to leadership, presented research, and had a blast getting more engaged with organized medicine!

AMA Interim 2018 attendees from UC College of Medicine (from left): Chris Chang, Adam Darwiche, Glen McClain, Tom Plagge, and Haidn Foster

Several resolutions authored by UCCOM AMA members were adopted at this year’s Interim meeting, including new AMA policy establishing the organization’s position that an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity are not always aligned or indicative of the other; that gender may differ from one’s sex assigned at birth; and that the AMA opposes any effort to deny an individual’s right to determine their stated sex marker or gender identity. UCCOM student-authored resolutions that passed the Medical Student Section (MSS) and will be considered by the House of Delegates in the summer include policy proposals that would encourage investigators to collect sexual and gender minority status in all medical research and that would oppose mandated reporting of minors questioning their gender identity.

UCCOM AMA Co-President, Adam Darwiche, third from left, with the Committee on Legislation and Advocacy

In addition to authoring resolutions, many UCCOM AMA members played an active role in national leadership at this year’s Interim conference. Adam Darwiche, the chapter’s Co-President, served on the MSS Committee on Legislation and Advocacy (COLA). “As part of COLA,” Adam noted, “I help review and edit select resolutions as well as work on special projects, including writing summaries of Medical Student Section resolutions adopted at each conference.”

Physicians and students can positively impact the health of patients through policy and advocacy.

Chris Chang, M1

Tom Plagge, UCCOM AMA Policy Chair, was a member of the MSS House Coordination Committee, in which he and his colleagues reviewed AMA-MSS resolutions to ensure they weren’t covered by existing policty as well as suggested improvements to those resolutions before the conference. “At the meeting we sat with the Medical Student Section to finalize MSS positions on more contentious policies and participated in the AMA Reference Committees to establish the best informed stance on AMA policies,” Tom shared. “I personally participated in Refcom J: Medical Service, Practice, and Insurance. I gave testimony to the committee on a report regarding Air Ambulance Regulations and Payments, and took notes on the committee’s discussion to better inform the MSS going into the House of Delegates meeting.”

First-year medical student Glen McClain serving on the Credentialing Committee

Glen McClain, UCCOM AMA Public and Media Relations Chair, participated as a member of the Interim 2018 MSS Credentialing Committee, in which he helped oversee the credentialing process of MSS delegates throughout the meeting. Glen shared, “My role with Credentialing was a great way to meet MSS delegates from all over the country as well as become more literate in the parliamentary process used by the MSS.”

I absolutely loved being surrounded by students from all over the country and seeing the amazing things they’re doing. Just goes to show what hard work and passion can do.

Farzaan Kassam, M2

For Chris Chang, UCCOM AMA member, Interim 2019 was a chance to engage with a different side of medicine. “There’s so much in medicine that occurs outside of the hospital or clinic, and I think that one of areas that physicians and students can positively impact the health of patients is through policy and advocacy,” said Chris.

UCCOM AMA Co-President Haidn Foster, left, with the Committee on LGBTQ+ Issues

Finally, chapter Co-President Haidn Foster, in consultation with AMA staff, evaluated all resolutions that came before the MSS as a member of the MSS Reference Committee. He also reviewed and supported LGBTQ-related resolutions as a member of the MSS Committee on LGBTQ Issues.

Adding to UCCOM’s achievements at Interim, Haidn Foster was also elected at the meeting to serve as Alternate Delegate to the AMA House of Delegates. In this position, he will represent thousands of medical students from across the country as a voting member of the nation’s largest and most influential medical organization. “I am so honored by the trust placed in me to represent my colleagues in the AMA and help shape the future of health care,” Haidn said.

Second-year UCCOM medical students Alyssa Kelder and Farzaan Kassam presenting their research at the annual AMA Research Symposium

Rounding out the meeting, Farzaan Kassam and Alyssa Kelder presented research posters at the AMA Research Symposium held during Interim. Farzaan presented his work on predictive factors for blocking screw placement during tibial intramedullary nailing, while Alyssa’s poster covered quality of life outcomes in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. “I absolutely loved being surrounded by students from all over the country and seeing the amazing things they’re doing,” said Farzaan. “Just goes to show what hard work and passion can do.”

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