APAMSA is a “living archive” of projects that can help your chapter become more involved. The following section is constantly changing as chapters like you develop new innovative projects. Please contact the membership vice-president to add to this list.

Community Service Events

Bone Marrow Registration Drives: This is a well-established APAMSA project. APA bone marrow registrants are severely underrepresented in the National Bone Marrow registry.  Join our national effort to save lives!!  Contact the APAMSA bone marrow chair at marrow@apamsa.org for more info.

Hepatitis B Immunizations: Hepatitis B Immunizations: Another signature APAMSA project.  Hepatitis B is a devastating illness that affects millions of APAs and is completely preventable with immunizations. Join us in our quest to eliminate this “silent killer.  Contact the APAMSA hepatitis chair at hepatitis@apamsa.org for more info.

APAMSA’s Fight to Break the Hep B Cycle: Hepatitis B is a devastating illness that affects millions of APAs.  Asians have the highest rate of hepatitis B infection of all ethnic groups.  One out of 4 people with chronic hepatitis B virus infection who became chronically infected during childhood will die of HBV-related liver cancer or cirrhosis.   That’s 100 million of the 400 million chronic HBV infected people in the world.  Hepatitis B is a completely preventable disease through vigorous education, screenings, and immunizations.  Join us in our quest to break the Hepatitis B Cycle by participating in APAMSA’s Fight in your community!  Contact the APAMSA Hepatitis B Chair for more information: hepatitis@apamsa.org.

Community Health Fair: APAMSA health fairs are the trademark event at most of our local chapters.  This is where you can utilize your cultural understanding and medical knowledge to offer free cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, vision, hearing, and lead screening of the APA community.  Some schools also have assisted recent immigrants from Asian countries as well as other uninsured members of the community to find primary care physicians.   In addition, health fairs serve as an important mechanism to disseminate health information regarding cancer, smoking, domestic violence, and many more topics through brochures and counseling services, which we are able to offer in multiple different languages.  Take an active role in health care access in your community. Location is key so do some research about where you might be able to reach the most people.

Fundraisers: Organize a fundraiser to help an important cause. APAMSA chapters have been instrumental in raising money for the Tsunami victims, the Hurricane disasters, the South Asian earthquake victims, orphanages in China, and much more.

Be a kid: Children in the hospital need company, and maybe their parents need a break. It doesn’t have to be fancy: play a board game, play some cards, read a book to them. This is a great idea for those who don’t have a lot of time to commit.

Big Sib/Little Sib: You know more than you think. If youÂ’re a second year medical student, help out a first year. If youÂ’re a first year, help a pre-med fill out their applications. If youÂ’re a pre-med, help a high school student understand what it takes to go to college and open their eyes to many facets of health care.

Mentorship: Faculty-student dinners:  These are a great way to encourage interaction between APA students and physicians.  Have a series of dinners with different APA faculty members and ask them to speak about their experiences being Asian in medicine.Â

Academic Events

Organize a mock anatomy/histology/pathology practical exam.
Be a resource to your classmates with old exam questions, review books, texts, etc.

Boards and Wards: Pivotal transitions occur at the end of 2nd year when students begin to think about the national boards and adjusting to life in the hospital. Upper-class students, especially fourth years who have gone through the process including matching are invaluable resources.  Invite the upper-class students to your meetings to share their experiences.

Asian American Health Care: There are innumerable topics that can be addressed including hepatitis B, mental health, domestic violence, etc. within the Asian American community. Speakers can be local resources or from neighboring cities. Often these events can be cosponsored with other groups to ease the cost of funding.

Organize an APAMSA Regional or National Conference:
This is an ambitious project that can supplement your medical school’s training of future physicians. APAMSA conferences are some of the most effective mechanisms to bring together medical students, physicians, and health care professionals to learn about issues APA health.  This is an opportunity to really enhance your schoolÂ’s curriculum and further APAMSAÂ’s mission statement. Contact mvp@apamsa.org if your chapter is interested in hosting an APAMSA conference.  It is important to bid early for hosting the national or regional conferences.

Social Events

Pot Luck Dinner and a Movie: A cheap, easy, and fun opportunity to show off your culinary talents and to allow upper and lower-class students to know each other.  It’s best to host this event at an officer’s house that can hold a lot of members.

Inter-School Mixer: This brings together APA students from the other graduate schools (law, arts, management). It can be held at a local bar or at someone’s place. Usually the groups at the respective schools contribute monetarily.

Eating-Out: This activity works well for small and secluded schools. The organization arranges for a discounted price at a local Asian restaurant and provides transportation. Students are responsible for their own bills. Those who hate to cook or who have no food in the fridge are sure to come.

Night on the Town: This is a more elaborate event sponsored by a number of different APA medical school groups. It works well in the big cities or where there are a lot of different medical schools in a close proximity.

Cultural Events

Ring in the New Year: Both Diwali (the Indian New Year) and Lunar New Year can be celebrated by your organization. It can either be a small-scale event or a large school wide party (usually supported by funding from your schools governing council).  Both celebrations are often celebrated with food, ethnic dress, and music. It allows the community to not only take pride but to share its culture with others.

Alternative Medicine: All Asian ethnic groups have some history of alternative healing practices whether it be acupuncture, aryuvedic, herbalistic, or spiritual. Increasing numbers of non-Asians are interested in this topic as well. A speaker not only can educate APA students about their heritage and history of healing, it can also clarify widely held misconceptions as well. Some schools have also created displays on alternative healing methods (herbs, instruments, healers) in conjunction with the talk.

Talent Show: Your classmates are guaranteed to surprise you with their hidden talents for poetry, singing, dancing, comedy, etc. ThereÂ’s more to med students than just studying.

Political Events

Voter Registration Drives: There are numerous ways to obtain registration forms: volunteer services in the hospital, undergraduate political parties and local elections office (in the phone book).

Immigration Forums: Not since 1965 have there been such dramatic legislative change in the arena of immigration. Ranging from restrictions on social services to immigrants to financial aid for non-citizen students, these bills will have a significant impact on the US. These forums can be informative only or can serve as the basis for a debate on the issues immigration reform raises, especially the role of the physician-to-be in serving as the “gate-keeper” to access to health care.

Medical School Admissions/Affirmative Action Forum:
Perhaps no other issue divides APA medical students as much as affirmative action. For many years, APA students in all forums of higher education have felt a quota or glass ceiling placed on their admissions, especially in medicine. Some schools have successfully gathered information on admissions or have engaged their deans/directors of admissions on this issue. This forum can be an opportunity to present some of the data to the community and to raise some important issues such as admissions stereotypes of the APA applicant. It can also serve as a springboard for a broader discussion of Affirmative Action. (This can be a particularly divisive issue) Discrimination in Academic Medicine: As more and more APA medical students become interested in academic medicine as a career, the overt and subtle barriers to tenure are apparent. A panel of faculty members at various stages of the tenure track progress and in different fields (clinical vs. basic science) can address this issue.

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