University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Medical Student Education


Student Organizations

American Medical Association & the AMA Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS)

The AMA is the largest and politically the most powerful medical organization in America. Its publications provide an educational forum for scientific, ethical and political issues in medicine.

The AMA-MSS is the medical student section of the AMA. It is a service-oriented organization geared toward improving the health of the immediate community. Projects range from food drives and blood pressure clinics to health education. Funding from the national organization is available to those who want to start a specific project. The AMA-MSS is the vehicle through which students can voice their opinions and views through representation at conferences at the local and national levels. As members of the AMA-MSS, students are automatically granted membership to the Vermont Medical Society (VMS) and may attend the VMS meetings, which will be advertised to members. VMS is a vehicle by which students may voice their opinions and concerns to physicians in the state of Vermont.

American Medical Student Association (AMSA)

AMSA is committed to improving health care and healthcare delivery to all people; promoting active improvement in medical education; involving its members in the social, moral and ethical obligations of the profession of medicine; assisting in the improvement and understanding of world health problems; contributing to the welfare of medical students, interns, residents and post-MD/DO trainees; and advancing the profession of medicine; assisting in the improvement and understanding of world health problems; contributing to the welfare of medical students, interns, residents and post-MD/DO trainees; and advancing the profession of medicine.

AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950 to provide medical students a chance to participate in organized medicine, AMSA began under the auspices of the American Medical Association. Starting in 1960, the association refocused its energies on the problems of the medically underserved, inequities in our health-care system and related issues in medical education. Since 1968, AMSA has been a fully independent student organization. Today, AMSA is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training.

American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)

Content"The UVM chapter of AMWA is an organization of medical students, faculty, and practicing physicians committed to the advancement of women in medicine. The national AMWA mission states, "AMWA is an organization that functions at the local, national, and international levels to advance women in medicine and improve women's health. We advocate this mission by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and strategic alliances." As medical students here at UVM, we achieve this mission by offering an environment that nurtures the growth and development of future female physicians. This translates into educating us and our colleagues about women's health and the role of women in medicine, and by actively promoting gender equity by monitoring our medical curriculum and training for inclusion of women and women's health issues. AMWA members may also engage in political and social advocacy on a state and national level.

UVM's AMWA Chapter holds many events throughout the year. The two largest are Girls Science Discovery Day, and the presentation of the Gender Equity Award. Girls Science Discovery Day is an open house for seventh- and eighth-grade girls, with the purpose of exposing them to and encouraging their interest in the health sciences and other scientific disciplines. The Gender Equity Award, established nationally in 1994 and at UVM in 1997, is sponsored by Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc., and honors those faculty members, men or women, who promote a gender-fair environment for the education and training of physicians. In addition to these two events, AMWA sponsors a number of "Brown-Bag Lectures" by community health care professionals. Past topics include motherhood and medicine, nurse-midwifery, abortion, and domestic violence. All students are welcome. There are abundant leadership opportunities, and ideas for new programs and events are encouraged!

AAMC Organization of Student Representatives (OSR)

The OSR was created by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 1971. Each medical school may have two OSR representatives, one official rep and one alternate. The OSR reps' responsibilities are multiple. We act as liaisons between UVM medical students and the AAMC; we participate in the exchange of ideas between OSR reps at medical schools across the country; and we facilitate UVM students' actions on health care issues. The OSR reps will periodically coordinate "Brown-Bag Lunches" on topics of interest to students and maintain a bulletin board in the student lounge with current information about national changes that affect us as medical students (i.e., financial aid, loan repayment, health care reform, minority students, women in medicine). Back issues of informative newsletters can be found on reserve at the Dana Library in the OSR folder.

Christian Medical & Dental Society (CMDS)

CMDS is a national organization composed of Christian professionals and students in medicine, dentistry and allied health fields. The purpose of CMDS is to motivate and equip clinicians to practice faith in Jesus Christ in their personal and professional lives. Nationally, CMDS also promotes short-term mission trips that serve more than 120,000 patients annually. These include "eye projects" that fit glasses to 85,000 people each year. As a local chapter we hope to continue assisting this effort by collecting used glasses through the "Recycling Joy" program. UVM has an active CMDS chapter of practicing physicians, residents, and students. We meet to encourage each other to continually seek truth, wisdom, inner peace and joy in our personal lives. CMDS activities are open to anyone and include:

  • Weekly bible study/fellowship meetings;
  • Monthly potluck dinners with speakers addressing such issues as overseas medical care, opportunities for ministry, ethical bases for decisions in medicine, death and dying and enhancing relationships;
  • Development of service projects to help meet the needs of people in the local community;
  • Regional and national conferences.


Last modified August 24 2012 03:55 PM