Medical Student Steps into National Role to Equip Future Physicians to Meet Profession's Standards

Three years before she even entered medical school, Alicia Bell realized the influence of the American Medical Student Association. At the time, she was serving as the project manager for PharmedOut, a Georgetown University Medical Center project that educates health care professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices. It was 2007, and AMSA was releasing its first PharmFree Scorecard for every academic medical center in the country, grading the institutions' conflict-of-interest policies on a scale of A to F.

"It was a huge thing," says Bell, a member of the Class of 2014. "Schools that received low grades were scrambling to develop new policies. It was so powerful: a student-run association did something that had a huge impact on the way that medical schools looked at themselves and their policies."

This spring, Bell was elected to a national leadership position with AMSA, an entirely student-governed organization committed to representing the concerns of all physicians-in-training. As the 2011-2012 medical professionalism education coordinator, she will be responsible for helping to develop and distribute educational content to AMSA's members throughout the year. The national leadership positions within AMSA are extremely competitive, with students from around the nation campaigning for a select number of opportunities.

"This was outstanding news for one of our talented second-year medical students," says Christopher Woleben, M.D., associate dean of student affairs and assistant professor in the departments of emergency medicine and pediatrics. "Alicia truly understands the importance of teaching standards of professionalism in the medical education setting, and hopefully through this role she will be able to spread the wealth of educational resources we have available for our own medical students with other students across the country."

Bell is a Student Government Association representative for the second-year class and on the Board of Directors for the National Women's Health Network. She also is involved with the Student Family Medical Association, the Student National Medical Association and the VCU chapter of the Medical-Legal Partnership at the Children's Hospital of Richmond, which serves low-income children and their families.

Alicia Bell
Alicia Bell