Fifteen students from Wayne State University School of Medicine represented the university at the Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association and American Medical Association House of Delegates conferences, held June 9-12 in Chicago, where more than 450 students from across the country gathered to discuss and vote on 80 student-drafted policies.
This was the 50th year of the AMA Medical Student Section and the 175th year of the AMA House of Delegates meeting.
The AMA Medical Student Session adopted a policy presented at the meeting that aims to support the search for evidence-based pain management options for long-acting reversible contraceptive procedures and other gynecological procedures. Aarti Patel, a second-year medical student, is the lead author of “Pain Management for Long-Acting Reversible Contraception and Other Gynecological Procedures.”
“When I started medical school, many of my friends told me about the difficult and painful experiences they had with gynecological procedures, including intrauterine devices, and how they never ‘have ever received pain management information for these procedures. Many other friends have shared that they were hesitant to receive these procedures due to the anticipated pain,” she said. “After doing some research, I realized that there was a lack of pain management options and no standard pain management guidelines for many gynecological procedures. I felt compelled to write a resolution urging the American Medical Association to support more research into evidence-based pain management options and to encourage conversations between doctors and patients about pain control options. pain. This is truly the power of our AMA Chapter. Any student with a passion for an issue can write a policy and turn their ideas into action. As medical students, this ability to influence change is invaluable.
His co-authors at WSU School of Medicine included Sara Kazyak, Denise Bilbao, Chayton Fivecoat, Mirna Kaafarani, and Lucas Werner. The team collaborated with medical students across the country on the resolution, which also asks the AMA to recognize the disparity in pain management in gynecological procedures and encourage discussion of control options. of pain, risks and benefits within the framework of shared decision-making. decision-making process between doctor and patient.
“It was very important for us to be able to draft and pass this resolution given the recent news of Roe v. Wade being overturned,” Patel added. “Long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as IUDs and other forms of contraception, will experience rapid growth in demand and this resolution is intended to remove the existing barrier of anticipated pain associated with these procedures. Thus, we felt it was very important that the AMA support the search for pain management options and encourage doctor-patient discussions about pain management for these procedures.
The AMA chapter is dedicated to connecting politics with community service. Her next goal is to host a community service event related to women’s health similar to her AMA Riverwalkers and AMA Friendship Baptist Church tutoring and mentoring programs.
Patel, who is president of Wayne State’s AMA chapter, received the Outstanding New Policy Leader Award, given to a new member considered a rising star in the organization, and has demonstrated outstanding commitment.
“I came to med school and knew I wanted to make a real change,” she said. “One of the many reasons I chose Wayne State was for its mission to create physician leaders who engage with their community and use their voice to advocate for issues that matter to them. As a member of the AMA, I am able to create and catalyze change in issues that I am passionate about.”
The students also observed and testified at the AMA House of Delegates portion of the conference, which was attended by physicians from across the country. National delegates Alexandra Yorks and Riya Shah, and Wayne County Medical Society delegate Sara Kazyak gave powerful testimony about gun violence, Patel said. Kazyak is a second-year medical student and the Wayne County Medical Society delegate who attended both sections of the meeting.
“Being able to observe health care shortcomings in current events or patient interactions at the local level and elevate those concerns to the state or national level through drafting resolutions is invaluable,” Kazyak said. “At this year’s AMA Annual Conference, I was able to actively advocate for my patients by testifying on behalf of the proposed resolutions, while engaging other medical school students across the country to ensure that the future of health care is more equitable for all patients, regardless of identity, origin or location.
During the conference, students participated in several educational programs, including Establishing a Trauma-Informed Case as a Standard of Care and Protecting and Advancing Care for Transgender Patients.
“Wayne State’s AMA is known to be a powerhouse,” Patel said. “We always bring one of the largest groups of students to represent our school and we are proud to be engaged in the policy writing process, whether that means having resolution writing workshops and “Table Talk” brainstorming sessions, to submit several policies or to testify on various different topics on the regional, state and national scene.
The Wayne State-based group also holds several leadership positions within the organization. Mirna Kaafarani, a third-year student, is the medical student representative on the AMA Women’s Medical Section Board of Directors; Ashton Lewandowksi, a third-year student, is the Michigan State Medical Society’s alternate representative in the AMA House of Delegates and is a member of the AMA MSS Committee on Scientific Matters; and third-year student Trisha Gupte is a member of the AMA MSS Health Information Technology Committee.
“Being in a room full of other medical students talking passionately about the political issues that mattered to them was an experience that absolutely could not be replicated on Zoom. I had practically attended AMA-MSS conferences as a national delegate the year before, but it all paled in comparison. Our delegates this year have spoken with such passion and grace, and it is this collective passion that drives the Section of Medical Students forward and brings us together when it comes to fighting for policy we believe in,” Gupte said.
The group’s next conference will be in Hawaii in November.
“We have a number of fundraising efforts underway to send students to represent our school at this conference. We also have many exciting events planned, including a resolution writing workshop and other policy and advocacy briefings, guest speaker events with physicians involved in advocacy, policy writing and AMA, and our many community service events,” Patel said.
This is the first year that AMA student leaders have been involved in cultural competency training for incoming students during Class of 2026 orientation. The initiative was led by AMA student leaders , especially Community Service Co-Chairs Denise Bilbao and Chayton Fivecoat, Patel and Vice-Chair Pragathi Pathanjeli, as well as the collaboration of several faculty and administrative staff.
“As Co-Chair of Community Services, it was a truly unique experience for Denise and I to talk to other medical students to see how politics can impact our service initiatives in Wayne. The networking of resources had almost more impact than the policy conversations,” Fivecoat said.