The American Medical Women’s Association-Berkeley (AMWA) is a branch of the national organization that offers service events related to women’s health. AMWA-Berkeley is also a community that provides professional development and a support network for students interested in the field of medicine. From students interested in public health to those interested in pursuing dental or medical school, we definitely have a wide variety of members with different interests. Although we are a relatively new organization, just this past year we have hosted our first ever Women in Medicine Pre-health Conference, our USCF Mentorship Program, and several socials and volunteering events with organizations such as MISSEY (Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting & Serving Sexually Exploited Youth) and the Marathon Orthosurgery Medical Team.
I first learned about AMWA when I attended the UC Davis Prehealth Conference and heard Dr. Eliza Chin, Executive Director of AMWA, speak about her experience as a woman in medicine. She encouraged my friends and I to start a branch of AMWA at Berkeley. AMWA has given me a network of doctors, medical students, and friends who I can talk to about anything, not just related to medical school. Our officers and members regularly meet up with local AMWA physicians, who get tea with us and share their life stories in a casual environment. I was able to attend the National AMWA Conference in Chicago where I met Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. Mae Jemison, and Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood). AMWA-Berkeley hosts events ranging from socials to speaker panels, and our mentorship event with UCSF medical students has become one of our most popular events. Our three committees meet weekly, and work in the community to address issues relevant to sexual trafficking, mental health, and obesity in the local elementary schools. As we are an organization comprised of many upperclassmen and underclassmen, we also host office hours where underclassmen can come talk to any of the upperclassmen about classes, extracurricular activities, or anything that may be stressing them out. It is a great community for any student interested in health, medicine, or service to join, and the opportunities offered extend beyond our four years at Berkeley.
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