Boston University School of Medicine Student Elected National Delegate to the Association of American Medical College Student Organization

in News Releases, Student News
November 7th, 2008

Contact: Michelle Roberts, 617-639-8491 | michelle.roberts@bmc.org

(Boston) – Boston University School of Medicine student (BUSM) Katie Spina’10, an MD/PhD student, was one of only five medical students recently chosen from across the country to serve on the board of the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) Organization of Student Representatives (OSR). The AAMC is the only national organization that represents all U.S. accredited medical schools, many teaching hospitals, health systems, faculty, students and residents.

The OSR is charged with representing the national medical student body to the academic medicine community. Committed to improving medical education and helping to express concerns of her fellow medical students, Spina, a national delegate, is chairing the Medical Education Committee.

“I like being part of the process of changing things and creating new ones,” said Spina. “I also love teaching and want to be a part of academic medicine.”

Spina serves as chair of the Student Committee on Medical School Affairs, the BUSM student government organization, and is scheduled to evaluate in 2010. She tutors medical and graduate students in physiology, mentors aspiring laboratory technicians in a campus biotechnology program and continues her work on the pre-clinical Curriculum Subcommittee helping craft changes to the School’s curriculum.

In addition to the MD/PhD she is working on at BUSM, Spina has two other degrees from Boston University (BU)–a bachelor of arts with distinction in chemistry and a master of medical science with honors from the Graduate Medical Sciences program. Already a published researcher with an interest in scientific application, she works in the laboratory in the Department of Endocrinology studying the effect of selected vitamin D analogues on colon cancer, as well as training other graduate students and assisting with their thesis work.

“I have always wanted to be a doctor,” said Spina. “Where writers see the world in stories, bankers see money and numbers, I experience the world as the interaction between a network of scientific processes and human behavior.”

While a junior at BU, Spina volunteered on a pediatric ward at the National Hospital of Niger, Africa, assisting the hospital physicians with evaluations and the dispensing of medications. She also traveled to India after completing her undergraduate degree with the Himalayan Health Exchange, trekking the Kashmiri Himalayan Mountain range with a health care team that provided medical services to villages that were normally inaccessible.

“Those experiences taught me to approach medicine with all of my senses,” said Spina. “Like research, good medical practice requires the systematic approach of asking well-designed questions, testing, observing and interpreting data to gain insight.”

Spina’s goal while on the OSR is to initiate a site where students can easily access curricular profiles of each medical school containing the kind of data that gives a complete picture of the individual school.

Boston University School of Medicine is a major research institution, providing an exceptional environment for students interested in basic science, clinical investigation, or public health and health services oriented research. BUSM has 660 medical students, and a similar number of graduate students in the medical school actively engaged in the study of medicine and the biomedical sciences. Located in the historic South End of Boston, BUSM shares a campus with Boston Medical Center, the School of Public Health, and the Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

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