APAMSA stands for Asian-Pacific American Medical Student Association. We host a variety of events throughout the year that are open to students of all ethnicities.
1. Mentoring and socializing with older students
As an incoming first year, I found it incredibly helpful to have an upper year's perspective on exploring Nashville and going into big exams. They always gave the biggest support. APAMSA was a fun way to meet others from similar backgrounds and to help navigate being in a new city. Between all my classmates, my big, APAMSA mentors, and faculty and administration mentors, I felt very supported throughout my first year. They weren't going to let me slip through the cracks.
2. National Conferences + Leadership Opportunities
Last year Vanderbilt had the opportunity to send seven students to Chicago to attend APAMSA's 2016 National Conference. There, we learned about promoting mental health and wellness in the community. As you will soon learn, wellness is a HUGE theme at Vandy, and APAMSA quickly jumped onto that bandwagon with their wellness conference theme this year. Each year, their conferences provide a forum and learning opportunity for issues that are pertinent to the news. We currently have four members serving on the National Board, with one being the National President!
3. Collaboration with other diversity groups (SNMA, LMSA)
Diversity is important to APAMSA. Our events are intended to promote awareness of the cultures and issues found in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. However, we also like to collaborate with other diversity groups on campus to bring larger issues to light. Of note, we have collaborated with SNMA to organize Health Disparities Week to discuss topics such as limited resources in the homeless population, mental health, LGBT health, etc.
4. Volunteering in the community with VSVS
APAMSA does not exclusively serve the AAPI communities. With Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS), we visit elementary and middle schools to get them excited about science. Lessons range from blood typing to ice cream with dry ice. APAMSA emphasizes the importance of volunteering and staying connected with the community we serve.
Being from Southern California, I was one of the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed first years that found herself transplanted to a brand new city halfway across the country, with no idea of what was to come. Soon enough, I found the APAMSA community at Vanderbilt to be a small reminder of that home away from home.
We hope to see you at events throughout the year!