The Region III Mid-Atlantic APAMSA Conference was held on January 31st, 2015 at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Check-in and breakfast was from 8 – 9am. This was a great opportunity for students to meet each other and network before the conference events began.
At 9 am, Dr. Stephen Yang, the conference’s keynote speaker, opened with a talk about cancer screening in AAPI populations. Following Dr. Yang, Ms. Pavitri Dwivedi, the second keynote speaker and a representative from Hep B United, spoke with the students about the prevalence of hepatitis in AAPIs, and the important for screening and proper follow-up with these populations. Their inspiring talks were the perfect transition into a day filled with discussions directly relating to AAPI health issues and community activism.
After the keynote speeches, the students had the option of attending 1 of 2 talks happening during the 10 am – 11 am time slot. One of the talks was given by Dr. Clarence Lam, who spoke about public health issues facing the AAPI community. The other was a workshop on the Whitehouse Initiative on AAPIs, run by Ms. Bessie Chan and Ms. Christine Harley. Dr. Lam, Ms. Chan, and Ms. Harley are all very active in local and national governments, and proudly represent the voice of AAPIs. Their presentations were vital to encouraging conference attendees (who are all future healthcare providers) to have a voice in government and advocate for a population that many times is overlooked by policy makers. It’s important for students to know that they can make a difference and have a voice in policy-making and public health measures.
From 11 am to 12 pm, there was again the option of attending 1 of 2 talks. Dr. Linda Lee, head of the program for Integrative Medicine gave a presentation about her field, and how preventative medicine can be a very appealing option to AAPIs. Dr. ??? gave a brief talk about nephrology, with included basic physiology and interesting case studies. His talk ended with encouraging words about being unafraid to advocate for one’s patients, since Asian American students and professionals tend to be on the more soft-spoken side. There were highly positive review from students on both presentations.
The conference ended with a catered lunch from Panera, where the students got to further socialize. Any premed students attending the conference were able to attend a short premed panel, comprised of current medical students also attending the conference. There were closing remarks from the National APAMSA President, as well as the 2 regional directors. Overall, it was a great conference – both fun and informative – and everyone enjoyed themselves greatly.