students on stage at SNMA conference

Several hundred medical students from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., made their way to EVMS for the annual Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Region VI Leadership Institute on Sept. 21. SNMA is a national organization that aims to support underrepresented minority medical students. 

The conference was open to all medical students, residents and fellows but was tailored for those underrepresented in academic medicine, in particular women, LGBTQ, and racial and ethnic minorities. The theme for this year’s event was “For Us, By Us: Building Conscious Leaders in Medicine.”

During the conference, students were able to gain new skills by way of clinical seminars, professional lectures, panels and discussions on various social issues.

“We learned about leadership and how we can become competent leaders in the medical field,” says Stafford Brown, MD Class of 2022 and EVMS SNMA chapter president. “Often times, minorities face additional struggles to obtain positions of leadership, and it’s been great to get advice that is specific to us.”

“The Regional Leadership Institute’s purpose is to build leadership among students in the health and pre-health professions,” says Mekbib Gemeda, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. “SNMA recognizes that diversity of healthcare professionals advances excellence in healthcare and improves health outcomes.”

Events like these have been have been very beneficial for Mr. Brown. “The organization has served as a platform for me to grow as a leader, and I’m happy to see other EVMS students have the opportunity to get involved.”