Check out the May 2011 edition of AMWA Student NewsFlash!
Student NewsFlash
May 2011
Inside this issue...


New look to the AMWA Student website coming soon - we're very excited to be redesigning our webpage as we speak!

Calling all branch presidents - we hope that you'll forward these AMWA Student NewsFlash newsletters to your local branch members monthly. Thanks for your help with spreading the AMWA love far and wide!

Becoming a member of National AMWA is easy and comes with tons of benefits. Also, our Residency Division Chairs wish current MS4s the best of luck as they enter their internship year and hope that you will continue your membership and involvement in AMWA.  More details to come on joining AMWA as a resident.

Happy National Women's Health Week!  May 8-14, 2011 was officially dedicated to women's health!

Letter from the Editor

Lauren Wolchok, National Secretary

It is my pleasure to serve as your 2011-2012 national secretary and editor of our monthly AMWA Student NewsFlash newsletters!  Born and raised in Nashville, TN, I am now a rising MS3 at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  Having taught outdoor and environmental education in Southern California before pursuing medicine, I care deeply about the world’s ecological health and just as profoundly about the health and sense of sisterhood of the world’s women.  At our national conference, I was moved and motivated by the dedication, encouragement, and strength of my peers and mentors at AMWA.  Truly, the women of AMWA are an extraordinary bunch of scholars, researchers, humanists, advocates, and leaders.

My goal as secretary is to make this national organization of more than 1000 student members accessible, approachable, and relevant to students and local branches across the country.  So I urge you to contact me frequently!  I hope that you will use the AMWA Student NewsFlash to share your successes, feature your branch’s programming, make important announcements, and reach out for help and support of other AMWA members.
I’d also like to share some new features of our
AMWA Student NewsFlash.  First, I hope you’ll find our new HTML-format emails user-friendly.  Second, we’re planning several regular monthly columns, including 1) a monthly spotlight featuring some AMWA-zing branch programming, 2) monthly announcements and accolades to recognize the achievements of our members and branches, and 3) a bimonthly or quarterly financial planning corner column introduced in this issue.  These columns will depend on your participation, so I hope very much to hear from you when you have accomplishments, announcements, and questions to share!  You can always reach me by e-mail at  And third, we’re building a presence on Facebook and hope you’ll “like” and follow our page there – you can link to our page at the bottom of every newsletter, and you’re welcome to post, comment, and message away!

2011 AMWA National Student Conference a Success
 Conference chairs Siatta Dunbar and Britton Blough did an incredible job planning and executing a successful and productive conference! Over 100 students from medical schools around the country gathered in Washington, DC on April 2-3, 2011 for a weekend of engaging speakers and unique demonstrations.  Moreover, several students shared their research as well as their experiences from classroom and clinic.  Check out more photos on Facebook.


Conference highlights included:
  • Sarah Laschever speaking on the power of negotiation in closing the gender divide
  • Dr. Mandy Krauthamer delivering keynote speech on the role of women physicians in influencing health care reform
  • Orthopedic clinical skills workshop with 17 hands-on stations, including suturing, arthroscopy, and bone sawing
  • Stephen Dunbar presenting on debt management and financial planning clinical skills workshop.  We are thrilled that Stephen has offered to help advise AMWA members on financial questions in a "Dear Stephen" monthly column in the AMWA Student NewsFlash!
  • Thomas B. Stason presenting on osteopathic manipulative medicine.
  • Student poster session. See the Accolades section below for the poster winners.
  • AMWA leadership elections. See the New 2011-2012 National and Regional Boards section for new leaders.
  • AMWA Awards Gala

Spotlight On... Brody School of Medicine

 Heather Wetherell, Region 4 Director
 On February 21, 2011 the AMWA Chapter at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University hosted the Regional 4 “Unmasking Health Disparities” project through a Self-Defense Workshop in order to raise awareness on Domestic Violence. On February 15, Sergeant Jermaine Cherry came and spoke with us on the importance of self-defense and being smart in certain situations you might find yourself in.

By the end of the talk and physically active workshop, Sgt. Cherry empowered us all to be confident and gave us a couple of ways to defend ourselves if the situation does arise. Included during the workshop, which included practicing different techniques, were facts on domestic violence and how domestic violence has affected our community.

This activity not only was powerful for the participants, but sent a powerful message to the community on the incidence of domestic violence and what type of resources our community has for those being abused.

AMWA Accolades
 We recognize and congratulate the amazing accomplishments of these AMWA members and branches across the country, and we'd love to share yours!  Email AMWA Secretary Lauren Wolchok at to be included.

  • Adrienne ClarkDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, class of 2012, national student president of AMWA, wins the Anne C. Carter Leadership Award.
  • Sophia TerminiJefferson Medical College, class of 2013, wins first place for her poster entitled "National transplantation pregnancy registry (NTPR): in vitro fertilization in female transplant recipients" presented at the 2011 AMWA National Student Conference.
  • Mercedes Szpunar, MD/PhD candidate at the Rochester School of Medicine, wins second place for her poster entitled "Evidence of sympathetic nervous system and norepinephrine regulation of breast cancer pathogenesis" presented at the 2011 AMWA National Student Conference.
  • Jordan Rogers wins third place for her poster with Dr. Morhaf Alackhar entitled "Pantoea sepsis with associated sickle cell crisis in a pregnant woman with a history of pica" presented at the 2011 AMWA National Student Conference.
  • Mary BeckerUniversity of Iowa, class of 2013, featured in Motivational Stories of medical students on AAMC website.
  • David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA's AMWA branch wins UCLA's first-ever National Organization Award.

Awards, Debt Management, and Financial Planning Corner:
Introduction to Mr. Stephen Dunbar (
Financial Consultant)

Kam Lam, Awards Chair
 Hello!  My name is Kam Lam and I am honored to serve as the new AMWA Awards Chair.  I am a MS-3 at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. 

In this new column, we aim to provide a direct line to you as you navigate the daunting process of financial planning and provide you with innovative and helpful information about scholarships, loan payback programs, income-based repayment, salary negotiation and any research we come across.  Imagine reducing your monthly payment and still living well in residency!

At the recent AMWA conference, we heard a great talk given by Stephen B. Dunbar, III, JD about how to manage over $200,000 in medical school debt and how to be financially savvy.  Mr. Dunbar enlightened us just how much we could accumulate if instead of buying a $4 cup of Starbucks coffee five days a week, we wisely invested the money over 20 years!1  He also showed how much we could accumulate if instead of consuming 10 bottles of Poland Spring water each week for 20 years, we invested the money.2  In the fall newsletter, please look for his words of wisdom in our first article entitled “Dear Stephen.”  In the meantime, he is kindly offering his services should you have any questions regarding investment, insurance, or income-based repayment options. 

Here, I would like to introduce him: Mr. Dunbar holds a JD degree from Stanford Law School and a BS in finance from Rutgers University.  He is a member of the bars of Virginia and New York, a financial consultant with AXA Advisors, has worked on Wall Street and co-founded a private equity firm that ultimately grew to having approximately $2 billion of assets under management.  He focuses on providing financial planning services to individual and companies to assist them with managing expenses (including debt expenses), minimizing taxes, improving investment returns, and improving how to spend insurance dollars.  He currently lives in NJ with his wife, Jamie, and their three children. 

Mr. Dunbar welcomes your questions at
Please feel free to email me at awards@amwa-student.orgwith questions or suggestions on topics you would like to see here.  Please keep in mind the individual, chapter, and regional awards and scholarships available to you with fall deadlines.  I look forward to hearing from you and working with you this year!   

  1. Answer: $42,111
  2. Answer: $27,153

New 2011-2012 National and Regional Boards
 A total of 28 women from 18 different medical schools applied for national and regional AMWA leadership positions for the 2011-2012 year. Thank you to everyone who ran, and please welcome our new national and regional board members!  Contact any of our new leaders at the Regions and Leadership page on our AMWA Student website.

Executive Committee
President: Adrienne Clark
President Elect: Linda Wang
Treasurer: Lauren Clough
Secretary: Lauren Wolchok
National Leaders
Advocacy Chair: Brittany Jackson
Awards Chair: Kam Lam
Conference Chairs: Lori Brandt & Regina Toto
External Relations Chair: Diane West
Global Health Chair: Mary Becker & Vanessa Coleman
Programs Chair: Anisha Kshetrapal
Recruitment Chair: Kathryn Winn
Residency Divison Development Chair: Joana Ochoa & Tara Renna
Regional Directors
Region 1: Erin Brooks
Region 2: Preethi Raghu
Region 3: Sophia Termini
Region 4: Heather Wetherell
Region 5: Jennifer Saenz
Region 6: Christa Nordstrand
Region 7: Julie Stuppy
Region 8: Kara Melmed
Regions 9 & 10: Andrea Jergesen

Message from National Student President, Adrienne Clark

Dear AMWA members,
As your new National Student President, it is my pleasure to welcome you to a new year of AMWA leadership.  Being a medical student truly encompasses many areas: learning, patient care, and additional pursuits such as research, leadership, and service. Trying to do a great job in most or all of these areas and maintain a self for your personal life is not only exhausting, but difficult without mentorship and strong support from a network of peers. 
AMWA exists to provide that support. 
Women in medical school face additional challenges relative to our male peers. Nationally, a relatively small proportion of our full professors are women (18%), and the increase in women at higher academic ranks has not kept pace with the number of women graduating from medical schools.  Several studies have shown that women in medicine are paid less than their male colleagues, and that this disparity has only grown over time. Finally, certain residencies within medicine continue to be predominantly male, and overall attrition is greater for women medical students and physicians than for men.
A key part of AMWA’s mission is to create and foster attitudes, programs, and environments that allow women to succeed fully in their educations and careers, to thus making the most of our contributions to medicine and improving medical education and the workplace for all students and physicians.  But succeeding in medicine, like almost any field, in part depends on access – not just “being allowed in,” but having a mentor who will actively support you.  A mentor can provide guidance, recognize your efforts, coach you through your weaknesses, and put you in the way of opportunities.  AMWA members can expect to be both mentored and mentors to others. 
AMWA’s brand new Carter Global Health Fellowship, which integrates mentorship, leadership development, and meaningful service, is just one example of how AMWA meets your needs.  The Bed and Breakfast program, where students and physicians host AMWA members interviewing for residency, is another key AMWA initiative that combines mentorship and “inside access” to an academic community with reducing the cost of residency interviews.  Regional Conferences and events like this Annual Meeting provide further opportunities for you to network, meet role models, and grow as a physician in training.  And local AMWA branches generate thousands of opportunities each year for leadership, mentoring, and fellowship through formal mentoring programs, speaker events, and opportunities for meaningful service.  
Female medical students and physicians are wonderful, strong, smart, talented individuals who can truly make a difference in medicine. It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to communicate with you, and I personally invite you to contact me if you would like to get more involved with AMWA.  After all, AMWA exists to support you, and to give us all opportunities to make a difference in medicine! 
Adrienne Clark
2011-2012 National Student President

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