American Medical Student Association (AMSA) – a resource to become better doctors beyond the books

Xinyi “Cathy” Luo - 4th year medical student

My name is Xinyi “Cathy” Luo, and I’m a fourth year medical student in The University of Queensland (UQ) Ochsner Doctor of Medicine program.

I graduated from the University of Florida and am passionate about a career in surgery.

Living in China, Canada, USA, and Australia have fuelled my interest in global and public health and led me to become the chapter president and a strong advocate for American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

AMSA is a national chapter with the mission to “reshape medicine as future physicians and see a world where health care is accessible, medicine is affordable, and systems support the diversity”.

The UQ Ochsner chapter acted on the national mission through student advocacy, education, and outreach events. Our chapter has grown to substantial height over the last couple of years.

This year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we organized school-wide blood drive to especially assist shortage and educated workers on antibody testing and plasma donation. We coordinated PPE registry between health care workers and independent donors. We built a platform for medical students to voice their opinions and gain support for COVID-related healthcare policies and researches. We started the Women Advocacy Committee and hosted panel discussion on domestic violence and sexual assault during the pandemic.

In addition to pandemic related events, we also formed the Health Equity and Diversity Committee that addresses racial and ethnic disparities in the healthcare system by providing educational resources, call to actions, and expert panels. We represented the UQ Ochsner Clinical School as a delegate at the national American Medical Student Association convention. We organized annual professional photography event and various research and residency-related workshops.

In the future, we will be organizing more current health care related policy debates as well as constantly connecting students to mentors, events, and resources offered by American Medical Student Association national headquarters.

This interest group is very special to me, and it has helped me connect with many students, doctors, and other health care professionals around the world. Through this group, I learned how to become a leader and an advocate for myself, patients, and colleagues.

I believe that all medical students should join AMSA because it offers students the resources to become better doctors beyond the books and it will create important connections for a lifetime.

Last updated:
8 July 2020