The University of Iowa chapter of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) won national recognition as chapter of the year at the Student National Medical Association’s (SNMA) Annual Medical Education Conference in Philadelphia in April.
The SNMA is dedicated to increasing the number of African-American, Latino, and other students from underrepresented backgrounds entering and completing medical school. They support underrepresented minority medical students, and their programs are designed to serve the health needs of underserved communities.
“Data shows that a diverse workforce makes it more likely to help other underrepresented backgrounds improve heath disparities,” says Denise Martinez, MD, associate dean of UI Carver College of Medicine and clinical associate professor of Family Medicine, and faculty advisor of the UI chapter of MAPS.
This year, UI MAPS—a student-run organization made up of current undergraduate pre-health students—was recognized for growing its membership by 400 students, from 200 to 600. The UI chapter was one of 13 chapters nationwide competing for chapter of the year.
Throughout the academic year, UI MAPS also planned and hosted a number of activities including:
- Do’s and don’ts of medical school applications
- Case study and vitals teaching session
- Speed mentoring, which paired undergraduate students with graduate students
- Black Girls Do Science
- Pheasant Ridge Center tutoring
- Findley Elementary School visit to the Carver College of Medicine
“There is a real need for underrepresented students in medical school or other health professional schools, so I am proud of the amazing students in MAPS for helping prepare fellow undergraduates for their future as physicians and health professionals,” Martinez says.
For more information, visit snma.org.