Posts Tagged student

How Can You Help Students and Young Physicians in Debt?

How Can You Help Students and Young Physicians in Debt?

For most medical students, residents and even young physicians, debt continues to be a significant burden. According to a recent Analysis in Brief, 76% of students graduate with debt. While that percentage has decreased in the last few years, those who borrow for medical school face enormous loans: the median debt was $200,000 in 2018. At private schools, 21% of students have debt of $300,000 or more. The average four-year cost for public school students is $243,902 and $322,767 for private school students.

YOU CAN HELP! A bill was recently introduced in Congress that directly affects medical students and residents, and we need YOUR HELP to garner more support to secure its passage.

Introduced by Dr. Brian Babin (R-TX), HR 1554 (Resident Education Deferred Interest Act, or REDI Act) would allow physicians and dentists to obtain interest-free student loan deferment while training in residency. The bill is picking up steam and now has 32 co-sponsors split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Simply put, this bill would be an across the board win for residents.

We encourage you to take action by asking your representatives for their support of HR 1554. A sample message is already composed for your convenience and you can reach your representatives by simply entering your contact information in the space provided.

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AMASA Scholarships Help Students Achieve a Dream

AMASA Scholarships Help Students Achieve a Dream

Pictured from left in the photo are Michael Brisson, Masheika James, Stephanie Arana and James Coley.

The winners of the 2018 AMASA Medical Student Scholarships have been announced. The AMASA Medical Student Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 by the Alliance to the Medical Association of the State of Alabama in partnership with the Medical Foundation of Alabama to assist rising senior medical students with the financial responsibilities that inevitably accompany their senior year of medical school. Through fundraising events and memorial contributions, AMASA is able to present multiple awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 at the annual meeting of the Medical Foundation of Alabama in April of each year.

It is with great pride that we awarded the following four candidates the 2018 AMASA Medical Student Scholarships, and we wish them all the best with the hope this monetary award helps them accomplish their goals:

Stephanie Arana, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

Stephanie, a native of Madison, is a child of first-generation immigrants. At a young age, her mother instilled in her the value of education, hard work, and striving for excellence, which led her on her path to the medical field. After completing her first year of medical school, Stephanie realized she was lacking in essential areas needed for the field of medicine: understanding others, empathetic nature, and passion. She used this realization to motivate her to serve the underserved population of Chicago to regain the concepts she was lacking. Participating in this opportunity helped Stephanie to learn how to balance her world of endless knowledge and her world of sacrifice, dedication and humility.

Stephanie is currently a student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine where she has served in many capacities, including ACOM Ambassador, National Medical Scholarships Peer Mentor, and ACOM Student D.O. of the Year. She plans to use the scholarship assistance to obtain audition rotations throughout the State of Alabama in hopes of solidifying a residency opportunity in state.

Michael Brisson, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michael, a native of Enterprise, sees the unique relationship that primary care medicine has with the United States military and the osteopathic field. He has had the opportunity to work closely with primary care physicians during his career as an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer in the Alabama Army National Guard. The level of expertise and compassion these physicians bring to the National Guard and the rural communities they serve inspired Michael to pursue a career in primary care medicine.

Michael is currently at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Auburn, and he resides in Enterprise with his wife and two children. Michael believes his medical school is preparing him to fill the critical need for physicians practicing in rural areas, and he plans to use his experiences as an active duty and National Guard medical officer, combat MEDEVAC pilot, and seasoned critical care paramedic to commit himself to the field of primary care in rural Alabama.

James Coley, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

James, a native of Montgomery, realized his dream of pursuing medicine in high school. His dream became a reality after observing, shadowing and learning from Oncologists and other team members at the Montgomery Cancer Center. During his time pursuing his undergraduate degree at the University of South Alabama, James participated in several leadership positions and programs focused on health and the medical field. Not only did his time at USA reinforce his desire to pursue a medical career, it also allowed him the opportunity to meet his wife.

James is currently a student at VCOM in Auburn. J. Danielle McCullough, Assistant Professor at VCOM, said of him, “While keenly invested in his own career development, James also continues to concentrate his efforts and prioritize the needs of others, especially those less fortunate that he…his altruistic efforts demonstrate his commitment to the VCOM mission of preparing community-focused physicians to meet the needs of underserved populations.”

Masheika James, University of South Alabama College of Medicine

Masheika, a native of Birmingham, defied the odds of her childhood by pursuing a second doctorate degree after graduating from a poverty-stricken high school in Birmingham with limited role models. After becoming a parent at the age of 18 and raising her daughter as a single mother, Masheika became even more motivated to prepare a better future for her daughter and become a professor in pediatrics.

A colleague from the University of Alabama at Birmingham said of Masheika, “She is very resilient and has overcome many challenges and adverse circumstances in her personal life and early educational background that would have crumbled the resolve of many other individuals.”

Masheika is currently at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile. Throughout her college experiences, Masheika encountered very few minority professors, let alone women, in the sciences. This revelation urged her to pursue a career in higher education to serve as a role model for future minority high school students as well as minority college undergraduates.

Donations to the Scholarship Program can be sent to AMASA Treasurer Mary Beth Lloyd, 5949 Crestwood Circle, Birmingham, AL 35212. Donations may now be made directly to the AMASA Scholarship Fund from retirement accounts.

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Legislative Update: What Happened This Week in Washington…

Legislative Update: What Happened This Week in Washington…

From President Trump’s new tax plan to renewed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program to former President Obama’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, health care has been at the center of a lot of discussions this week on Capitol Hill.

Vote Expected Today for CHIP — The House is expected to vote today to pass legislation to refund Children’s Health Insurance Program and send federal funds to community health centers. However, questions remain about how to pay for the funding efforts. The original funding legislation for CHIP expired a month ago leaving state programs scrambling to extending their budgets to cover millions of covered children. It’s expected that the bill will face party opposition in the Senate. While both parties have agreed to renew CHIP, how to pay for the program remains the sticking point.

New Tax Plan Proposed — The proposal repeals the student loan interest deduction — a policy that helped more than 12 million students with education loans save up to $2,500 on their tax bills in 2015. Taxpayers aren’t required to itemize their deductions to claim it, but it’s available to anyone paying interest on either private or public student loans and makes less than $80,000 in a year. Many of those student loan holders are recent medical school graduates, who make a median $54,600 in their first year of residency, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

No More IPAB? — The House voted Thursday to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a federal panel that was intended to find ways to curb Medicare spending with little Congressional oversight. It was a creation of the ACA, yet the IPAB’s presidentially-appointed members were never named. The bill now moves to the Senate where Republicans may have difficulty finding the necessary votes to pass it as a stand-alone bill before the end of the year.

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