Guest Blog: You’re Invited to the American Medical Student Association National Convention

By Danielle Salovich, AMSA National President

The American Medical Student Association’s National Convention is rapidly approaching and I am delighted that this year we have put together a dynamic slate of programming sessions, secured amazing keynotes and organized nightly social outings. I am particular excited that the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services will be keynoting on Friday afternoon!

I have been an AMSA member since my sophomore year at Arizona State University. As a premedical student AMSA was my window into the medical field, and I was able to learn about health care reform, medical school curriculum re-design, and international health all alongside medical students and residents. Somehow this experience made me feel closer to my goal of becoming a physician, as I wasn’t stuck in a library discussing organic chemistry structures but instead was engaged in debate on how we could change the future of medicine in this country. Even though this will be my tenth AMSA National Convention, I still continue to find every year I walk away inspired and honored to be a physician-in-training, so I wanted to provide some guidance so you can make sure you get the most out of convention this year.

First, you will notice this year that there is no longer a premedical programming track. I’ll admit that this was my idea, but hopefully you will understand my reasoning: when I was a premedical student at convention I felt compelled to only attend these sessions, as they were clearly intended for me; however when I started branching out and attending sessions in other tracks I realized how much I had been missing out on. My hope is that by incorporating premedical sessions into the career development track it will encourage all premedical members to start exploring other tracks as well, including international health and professionalism, wellness and society.

You’ll quickly discover that convention will be over in a blink of an eye, and as such it is important to be as prepared as possible before it even starts. Take time to review the sessions and research which you want to attend, and browse through the social programming options for the evenings and make sure you pack accordingly. You’ll want to take advantage of all of these opportunities to network, gain knowledge and push yourself ahead. Also, make sure you spend some time talking with medical students – often they have a wealth of information and they are not that far removed to remember what it was like to be in your situation; who knows, one of them may even become your mentor!

AMSA is proud of our partnership with Kaplan and the ability to work with them to provide programming aimed at ensuring you are competitive candidate. This is going to be a packed weekend and while I can guarantee this will be a wise investment of your time, I cannot guarantee that you will get sleep – so pack those five-hour energy drinks and I will see you all in Houston! 

Editors note: Kaplan is a proud partner of the American Medical Student Association and will presenting several workshops at the 2012 National Convention. For more information on AMSA or to register for the Convention, please visit For more information on AMSA member benefits with Kaplan, visit

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