Group of students at the Student National Medical Association Regional Conference

EVMS hosts Student National Medical Association Regional Conference

Several hundred medical students from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., made their way to EVMS in December for the annual Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Region VI Conference. SNMA is a national organization that aims to support underrepresented minority medical students.

This was the first year the conference was held at EVMS, and the theme was "Closing the Gap on Health Disparities." EVMS students were excited to see the organization choose their campus for the event.

"SNMA is committed to supporting underrepresented minorities like myself," says Courtney Strickland, MD Class of 2016 and SNMA member. "The organization has served as a platform for me to grow as a leader, and it was great to see other EVMS students get involved."

During the conference, students were able to gain new skills by way of clinical seminars, professional lectures, panels and discussions on various social issues. Cynthia Romero, MD (MD '93), Director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health and former Virginia State Health Commissioner, was the keynote speaker.

"SNMA conferences provide a great opportunity to discuss how personal identifiers affect a physician's treatment of a patient, and the patient's perception of the physician," Ms. Strickland says. "SNMA recognizes that a team of diverse individuals can accomplish more than a team of like-minded individuals, in hopes that one day medical doctors will be as diverse as the patients they serve."