Tuesday, September 29, 2015

SNMA September 2015 NLI Recap

Fresh off the plane and ready for business!

I’m a couple of weeks late, but I just had to do a recap of my experience at the most recent Student National Medical Association (SNMA) National Leadership Institute / Board of Directors’ Meeting. This NLI was hosted by Duke University School of Medicine from September 11 – 13, 2015, and it was a really great experience! The theme of the NLI was “Mental Health, Social Media, and Leadership in 21st Century Medicine,” and every workshop and speech did a great job of incorporating the theme.

Meeting Flow

I had class that Friday morning, and then I had to make sure my daughter was squared away, so I ended up catching a late afternoon flight to Durham, NC. When I finally checked-in to my hotel, and made it to the welcome reception, I had missed most of the welcome speech. The last fifteen minutes that I was able to catch were really powerful though, so I hate that I missed most of it. Luckily, there was still a lot of food available and I was right on time for the National Committee meeting that was held much later that night.

"A Conversation about Race"

The next day during breakfast, there was a very powerful “Conversation About Race” presented by some of the medical students that really hit me hard. Of course, everyone is aware of what is and has been going on in the news, but to see all the new victim faces up on the screen and past faces (such as that of Emmett Till) really hit home for me. To discuss the entire presentation would take up an entire blog post of its own, but current medical student Samara Jinks (MS3) helped lead the discussion, which began with a YouTube clip of her that can be found HERE.

Dr. A. Eugene Washington with PMBM Kevin Anderson (left) and SNMA President Anthony Kulukulualani (right)

The rest of the day involved workshops that dealt with topics such as finances and establishing our own personal branding. During lunch we had a chance to have a Q&A session with Dr. A. Eugene Washington, President & CEO of Duke University Health System, and it was a great interactive experience. It really was interesting hearing about his journey through medicine which involved leaving medical school twice to pursue other passions, and ending up in OB/GYN when it was thought he was highly unlikely for the path. At the end of the lunch, he was presented with a SNMA t-shirt by our current National President and Pre-Medical Board Member as seen above.

Took a small break for photos!

The rest of the conference involved Board of Directors meetings where we discussed everything related to the organization and ways to improve it. I really do love my position as Osteopathic Schools Co-Chair, and it feels great being able to be a much larger influence within the Student National Medical Association. I also enjoy attending these meetings because it allows me to network with so many different and unique individuals who are where I want to be in life. I especially enjoyed the final dinner of the NLI where we had the chance to sit and eat with current residents at Duke. My table had an anesthesiologist resident, and while he thought I was absolutely crazy for wanting to pursue surgery, he gave a lot of great advice about the school and area in general.

Duke Selfie :-)

I think that pretty much sums up my experience. I flew back home that Sunday afternoon after our final meeting, and I had an OMM exam that Monday morning, so I didn’t get a chance to really experience the nightlife or the general area of Durham since I was in my hotel room studying during my free moments. I did receive a ton of great information from the school though, so maybe I’ll get the chance to come back during an away rotation and explore when I'm a fourth year medical student :-)


  1. I went to school in Chapel Hill so trust me, you didn't miss any "night life" in Durham, LOL!!! BTW, cute pics as usual! :)


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