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MSTP Student Advocacy and Activism: Part 2

Posted by on Friday, January 31, 2020 in Science Advocacy, Student Spotlight .

Here are some of the many ways our students are involved in activism and advocacy! Here are some of the many ways our students are involved in activism and advocacy! (Click here to read Part 1)

Lizzie Flook (G3)

Advocacy/Activism Role: MSTP Wellness Committee Co-Founder
Why this is important to me: The conversation about medical student mental health and wellbeing has been increasingly receiving much needed attention and medical schools are responding by increasing resources and programming for medical student wellness. However, with the unique training offered by dual degree MD/PhD programs comes a unique set of pressures, challenges, and obstacles, making the wellness needs of an MSTP fundamentally different than that of an MD or PhD student. As a complement to the robust MD wellness program, we created the MSTP wellness program to address issues that are specific to MSTP students. We hope that our programming enhances the MSTP experience and allows our students to thrive throughout the challenging but rewarding MSTP pathway. We are also working on creating literature so MSTP wellness can be added to the national conversation on the wellness in trainees. 

Picture: First National Conference for Medical Student Mental Health and Wellbeing


Bradley Reinfeld (G3)

Advocacy/Activism Role: Co-Author with five other medical students from five other medical schools advocating for NBME Step 1 to become a pass/fail test

Why this is important to me: NBME Step 1 was originally designed as a pass/fail mechanism to evaluate student’s preparedness for the clinical clerkships. In recent years, however, it has become one of the key metrics residency programs use to interview candidates. Unintentionally, this change has resulted in financial burden (>$1000) on students to prepare rigorously, perpetuated racial inequalities in residency/specialty selection, and negatively impacted student mental wellbeing while not providing residencies with applicants more likely to succeed clinically. In advocating for a pass/fail step one, we hope that residency programs and students to find matches that fit with their personal and career goals rather a system that relies on reaching certain score thresholds on a non-clinically oriented test. 


Dan Moore, M.D., Ph.D. (Goodpasture Advising College Faculty Leader, PI to Kelsey McNew, G3)

Activism Role: Director, Pediatric Physician-Scientist Training Program

Why this is important to me: Advocacy is a place where our scientific insights, clinical missions, and personal values merge into actions that impact health broadly. I advocate to help trainees balance their efforts to advance their professional goals and sustain their values while reminding mentors and programs that all our efforts ultimately end in advocacy.