Medical students don’t have to go through the graduation stage to make an impact. Long before becoming physicians, students make their presence and compassion felt in the lives of patients. This is clear among participants in the 2021 AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Health Systems Science Student, Resident and Fellow Impact Challenge.

These medical students stood out for their work that demonstrated skills in health systems science that made a difference in the lives of patients, physicians, and their communities during an unprecedented time for health care. To learn more, read Medical Students, Residents, and Fellows Making an Impact: Submissions to the 2021 AMA Student, Resident, and Scholars Health Systems Challenge Accelerating Change in Medical Education. (PDF)

Led by AMA member and medical student Monica Hana, Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) Street Health is a student-run clinic that provides free care to homeless, uninsured, and low-income people in Norfolk , Virginia. The project won first prize in the Impact Challenge 2021.

The pandemic has exacerbated the dire conditions for homeless people in Norfolk. Street Health established a telehealth clinic involving medical students, residents, physicians and church volunteers to provide immediate medical services and coordinate future medical care for homeless people. Meals and medical services were largely provided by a local church, allowing volunteers and healthcare providers to meet patients closer to their geographic area.

“It has been a great learning experience for us students and a fantastic resource for our patients, filling important gaps in their care, the EVMS team wrote in describing the impact. “It has been an honor and a privilege to care for our patients and tackle these issues as a community, while strengthening our resolve to pursue medicine: helping people and communities live healthy lives.

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University of Connecticut health officials worked to create a model to screen and address the social determinants of patient health for free while providing valuable training to pre-health students. Led by AMA member Henry Siccardi, a medical student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, the group won second prize.

The group is entirely student-run, with six college students and three medical students overseeing a team of 80 volunteers who come largely from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. These volunteers screen patients for social determinants of health using a digital screening tool with validated questions.

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When it came to spreading the right information during a global pandemic, the COVID Educational Support Team became a go-to source at the University of Chicago. The project received an honorable mention from the 2021 Impact Challenge judges.

The student-run project, led by AMA member Naomi Tesema, a medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, was made up of teams of librarians, attending physicians, residents, fellows and medical students. These teams created infographics that reached a wide audience online. And student team members taught first-year medical students how to critically appraise scientific evidence and dig deep into patient perspectives to create infographics that dispel misinformation.

The AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative works across the continuum with visionary partners to create bold innovations. Learn about their undergraduate and graduate medical education efforts, transformative resources for learners and educators, and national events that are spreading innovations to better train physicians to meet the needs of today’s patients. today and tomorrow.