Chapter Timeline

The following timeline of events will help guide you through the year.  Feel free to adapt it so it meets the needs of your chapter.

Late Spring/Summer Timeline

After being elected, make sure you speak to the old officers and get their old files and advice about how to be a good officer.

  1. Submit your Chapter Profile with the new officer contacts. Get the supplies, financial reports, and other contacts from previous officers.
  2. Register your new officers with your Student Activities office, if you can.
  3. Include a welcome letter from APAMSA in the new students packet mailer, if your school permits.
  4. Subscribe yourself to the chapter officers list serv.
  5. During the summer, prepare your recruitment supplies such as fliers and posters so you can post them when new students arrive.

Early Fall Semester

Everyone’s now back at school and things are moving fast.

  1. Plan on recruitment activities
  2. Hold your first general meeting.
  3. Prepare ahead to attend the national conference.
  4. Elect first year officers—UPDATE New officer information by submitting a chapter profile.
  5. Subscribe yourself to the list serv.
  6. Register with your group with Student Activities office if you haven’t already.
  7. Represent your chapter at your Student Activities Fair

Late Fall Semester

National Conference is usually in the Fall

  1. Announce if your chapter is going to National Conference this year, and solicit attendees.
  2. Get the Treasurer to file for Travel Funds with your school.
  3. Look for sample Fundraising Letters and Fundraising ideas.
  4. Book your flights, accommodations, and make sure your attendees have registered for the National Conference ahead of time.
  5. Submit proposed amendments to the Constitution, Letters of Intent, CV if you want to run for National Positions or change the Constitution.
  6. Turn in First Bi-Annual Chapter report to the MVP.

At National Conference:

  1. Attend the workshops and keynote talks, bond with your chapter, see the sights!
  2. Run for National or Regional Office, talk about APIA health, and have FUN!

Late Fall/ Winter

  1. Get in contact with your newly elected Regional Directors. Contact for their contact inf.
  2. Try and hold an observance for Diwali
  3. Start planning to participate in the National Hepatitis B campaign and Bone Marrow Drive.

Spring Semester

  1. Participate in the National Hepatitis B campaign and Bone marrow drive.
  2. Stay tuned for info from your regional directors to participate in regional conferences.
  3. Try and observe the Asian Lunar New Year, which is usually around January/February.
  4. REQUIRED Chapter Reports will be due early (February or March) this semester.

Late Spring

  1. Hold elections for new chapter officers and do your best to give them as much information as possible, so that your APAMSA chapter can remain active.

Tips for Chapter Officers

Tips on being a great Chapter Officer

  1. Frequent communication is key to the success of any organization. Even when it feels like no one is reading your e-mail updates, keep sending them!! Importantly, STAY IN CONTACT WITH NATIONAL APAMSA.  Keep your regional directors and the national officers posted about your events.  Please send in your chapter profile EACH time your chapter has elections. This will ensure you do not lose contact with National APAMSA.Â
  2. Recruit First years!  First years are essential for the longevity and success of the APAMSA chapter at your school.  Some suggestions for increasing first year involvement:
    • Send an intro to APAMSA letter to all accepted students before they arrive in the Fall. Many schools send out packets of information to their students and often will ask student groups if they’d like to include recruitment materials.
    • Get involved with recruiting. When students come to visit for interviews or for revisits have APAMSA members get involved with some of the recruiting events, such as dinners, parties, or other social activities so people can get a feel for what APAMSA is before they arrive for medical school.
    • Have elections/appoint one or more APAMSA 1st year reps onto your executive board.  Also, appoint first years to coordinate some of your projects—such as health fairs, Diwali, lunar new years, etc….
  3. Do not limit your recruitment efforts to just East or South Asians. “Take concerted steps to promote recruitment from the South Asian community.  In this regard, it may help to publicize that APAMSA is the only NATIONAL organization which provides representation for ALL Asian-American medical students. Also, we suggest your APAMSA chapter work with existing South Asian organizations in the area, whether in terms of jointly planning events, cross-publicizing each others’ functions, or both. Locally, these steps will help you to build a stronger APAMSA chapter, and nationally, they will also serve the deeper purpose of helping to unite the Asian community — a step that will be vital in drawing this country’s attention to Asian-American health issues!”
  4. Publicize your events! The success of any event requires that you advertise what you are going to do to the community you’re targeting.  Contact your local school newspaper or local Asian community newspapers about your events, ie health fairs, regional conferences, bone marrow drives, Hep B projects.  Getting your chapter recognized by the press is not only good for APAMSA as a whole, but the rewards for your local chapter are tremendous. The deans of your medical school will be thrilled to know that your chapter is representing your school so well. When it comes time to ask them for funding, they will take your recognized efforts into account.
  5. Be energetic and passionate about your position! Serving as an APAMSA chapter officer is an incredible honor. You are in a position to educate and serve your community. Remember that members of APAMSA are in a unique position to do something about eliminating health disparities in the APA community, so please participate in our National Service Projects to eliminate Hepatitis B and increase the Bone Marrow Donor Registrants. As an organization who understands and associates ourselves with Asian cultures, we have a responsibility to use our cultural understanding and our medical knowledge to improve the health and well-being of our communities.

President’s message

It is my great honor to serve as your 15th National APAMSA President. The Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA) was founded in 1995 by Dr. Bi Li as the first national organization representing Asian Pacific American (APA) medical students. APAMSA initially served and today continues to serve as a forum for communication with fellow medical students, physicians, and community members; and provides a collective voice to promote awareness in health issues that affect the APA community.

During the past 14 years, APAMSA has grown rapidly in number and in strength with over 15,000 members and over 90 chapters. We have also hosted fifteen national conferences, many regional conferences, and three national Hepatitis B conferences. Currently, we organize national service projects, such as the Hepatitis B Project and the Bone Marrow Drive. Our mission is to promote the health and well-being of the APA community locally and nationally, and our members helped carry out this mission in 2008 by registering a thousand new bone marrow donors, organizing thousands of community health fairs, screening and immunizing hundreds of patients against Hepatitis B, and coordinating discussions with fellow healthcare members about diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancers in the APA community.

This year promises to be a turning point in our nationÂ’s history with renewed energy, excitement, and a promise from the government to focus on issues that affect APAs. As APAMSA members, we must take the responsibility as future healthcare professionals to bring issues that affect our communities and ourselves to the limelight.

The “2009 APAMSA Forefront Issues” include:

  1. Health Advocacy: APAMSA will launch a Health Policy Initiative to advocate for legislation and government policies that will benefit the health and well-being of APAs.
  2. International Medicine: To concentrate on the growing interest in international medicine, APAMSA will coordinate opportunities to volunteer abroad with medical and surgical missions.
  3. Medical Education: To address the cultural factors influencing APA medical student performance during clinical years and to tackle the increasing financial burden of medical school education, APAMSA will establish creative learning tools and resources to help with clinical rotations and seek scholarship opportunities to reduce the financial debt.
  4. Cancer in APAs: Finally, APAs are the only ethnic population to experience cancer as the leading cause of death. However, to a certain extent, the cancer burden for APAs can be minimized if cultural and financial barriers are overcome. Because of the low utilization of screening tests, APAMSA will reach out to our APA communities to emphasize the importance of preventive screenings with our National Cancer Initiative.

The 2009 National APAMSA Board has already begun to create change. We offered the first annual USMLE Rx Step 1 and 2 Q-bank Scholarships for APAMSA members in financial and academic need, we organized a web-cast session with Tao Le, author of First AID for advice on USMLE Step 1 and clinical rotations, and we participated in the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service with the Gift of Hope Campaign, the first coordinated national APAMSA service day with the help of celebrities, such as Yul Kwan from Survivor and former Governor Gary Locke to recruit bone marrow donors. And believe it or not, but this is just the beginning! There is still much more work needed to strengthen the APAMSA and APA communities. I call for each member and each chapter to become advocates and leaders for our communities and to help expand and transform APAMSA.

I commend and thank each APAMSA individual and chapter for your past work and dedication to this organization. I invite all of you to attend APAMSA’s largest event, the national conference which will be hosted by UCLA on October 9-11, 2009. This year’s theme will be Transforming Medicine: A Challenge for Future Leaders, which will allow us to discuss the best approach to develop new ideas and reach critical decisions of our time.

As always, please feel free to contact me with comments, questions, or suggestions at any time. I look forward to meeting with you at one of our many local chapter or regional events and at the APAMSA National Conference in Los Angeles.


Shelly S. Choo
APAMSA National President

APAMSA Hepatitis B Month: March 2007

LSU-New Orleans student participates in a rice eating contest to raise money for Hepatitis BAs part of the national campaign, APAMSA Fights to Break the Hepatitis B Cycle! Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) launched the first ever Hepatitis B awareness month, March 2007. During APAMSAÂ’s National Hepatitis B Month, over 100 local APAMSA chapters educated medical students and local community members about the burden of hepatitis B in the Asian Pacific American (APA) community.

The greatest health disparity between Asian Pacific Americans and Caucasian Americans is liver cancer, 80% of which is caused by chronic hepatitis B virus infection. One out of 4 people with chronic hepatitis B virus (HPV) 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. APAMSA students are dedicated to eliminating this health disparity.

From a rice eating competition fundraiser at LSU-New Orleans to a cultural show fundraiser at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical school to numerous community-wide screenings and awareness events, APAMSA’s innovative effort to eliminate Hepatitis B spanned the country.  APAMSA chapters in Boston, Chicago, Florida, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisiana, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Texas, Virginia and Washington were involved in providing screenings, awareness, and outreach campaigns for Hepatitis B. Jade ribbons were worn as a sign of APAMSA’s dedication to breaking the cycle of Hepatitis B.  Though Hep B Month was only a month long, APAMSA continues to be active in educating, immunizing, and screening hundreds of local communities throughout the nation about Hepatitis B.

APAMSA is the only national medical student organization, representing nearly 15,000 medical students nationwide, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the Asian Pacific American community.


Hepatitis B National Meeting 2006

APAMSA Fights to Break the Hepatitis B Cycle | October 28, 2006

Boston, MA–While 5,000 of the worldÂ’s leading hepatologists were discussing the recent research developments in liver diseases across the street in the Hynes Convention Center at the annual AASLD Liver Meeting in Boston, 85 medical students from more than 50 different medical schools were gathered at the Hilton Back Bay for the first ever, Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, Hepatitis B Outreach Training.

The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) is a national organization representing more than 15,000 medical students nation-wide with more than 100 medical school chapters across the country. APAMSA is dedicated to improving the health and well being of the Asian Pacific American Community. Their national service project, “APAMSA Fights to Break the Hepatitis B Cycle!” is dedicated to educating, screening, and immunizing the APA community for Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a devastating liver disease which is extremely prevalent in the Asian Pacific American community. It is often called a “silent killer” because it can lead to liver cancer and nearly sudden death at very early ages.

To address this issue, APAMSA held their first ever Hepatitis B training session in Boston coinciding with the annual Liver Meeting. The programming consisted of lectures by world renowned hepatologist Dr. Anna Lok, and national APA health advocate, Dr. Karen Kim. In addition, during their afternoon session, leading hepatologists from around the country led the students in break out sessions to discuss and brainstorm Hepatitis B outreach projects in their local areas. These physicians included, Ramsey Cheung, Steven Han, Harpreet Pall, K.Rajender Reddy, Thomas Tsang, Tse-Ling Fong, Eddie C. Cheung, Daryl T.-Y. Lau, Lawton Shick, Naoky Tsai, Chia Wang, and Tram T. Tran.

Dr. Anna Lok led the students in the basics of Hepatitis B epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment. Dr. Karen Kim shared with the students her most compelling personal story of her motherÂ’s death from Hepatitis B and pleaded with the students to take action now.

One of the most unique highlights of the program, was the world premiere of the first ever Hepatitis B spoken word piece, created by APAMSA members and Washington University Medical Students, Jason Hill, and Leon Scott. Spoken word is an exciting new art form combining elements of hip-hop, poetry, and rap. Their performance captivated and astounded the audience, and through spoken word, they conveyed the messages of the need for Hepatitis B awareness, health policy changes, education and availability of the Hepatitis B vaccine, and the need to fight now to break this Hepatitis B cycle.

By the close of the meeting, a national cross section of future and current physicians had been united for a common cause of eliminating Hepatitis B. It was a groundbreaking and pivotal event in sparking a national movement to address Hepatitis B.