AACOM congratulates Joseph Johnson and Kelly Thibert for their recent accomplishments in being elected to their American Medical Student Association (AMSA) 2016-17 National Leadership positions.
AMSA is a vital force of future physicians, both MD and DO, who partner to take action and create change. Political activism is one of the many ways by which they accomplish this. AMSA members include medical and premedical students, residents, and practicing physicians. Moving forward, AMSA will continue to advance its mission with its new osteopathic medical student leadership. See the full list of AMSA 2016-17 National Leaders.
Joseph Johnson, OMS-III, LMU-DCOM
Joseph Johnson was recently elected AMSA 2016-17 National President-Elect. Johnson has a strong dedication to the osteopathic philosophy, and has been resilient in reaching his dream of becoming a DO.
Johnson became involved with AMSA initially through his passion for writing. Johnson became AMSA Student Editor in 2015, shortly after he began writing for The New Physician Magazine. He is the first medical student to go from student editor to president-elect at AMSA. Johnson’s unconventional pathway to presidency highlights the unique outlook he offers not only to AMSA, but also to medical education and the osteopathic profession.
“AMSA has always been a great advocate organization,” says Johnson. “In these unprecedented times we are approaching, I will make new strides in advocacy regarding social justice issues. Specifically, I want to focus on the four issues of institutional discrimination, health care access, rural health, and mental health.”
Historically, AMSA has consisted largely of MD members; however, Johnson and Thibert have both expressed a sense of duty as DO student leaders to promote osteopathic medicine as well. Johnson wants to ensure DO students are taking full advantage of the current momentum. He aims to work in harmony with his MD peers, while also maintaining the aspects of osteopathic medicine that make DOs unique.
“With all that’s going on in medical education today—the transition to a single accreditation system , among other imminent changes—it’s an exciting time to be in leadership. We are laying the foundation upon which the newly forged profession will build upon going forward. These are pivotal times,” says Johnson.
Johnson will serve as 2016-17 AMSA President-Elect in preparation for his future term as 2017-18 AMSA President.
Kelly Thibert OMS-IV, NSU-COM
National President, AMSA
Kelly Thibert was also recently elected 2016-17 National President of AMSA. In her eight years as a member of AMSA, Thibert notes the valuable experiences she has gained from lobbying on Capitol Hill to running institutes about primary care and interprofessionalism.
“I am thrilled to have been elected to serve as President for this wonderful organization,” says Thibert. “AMSA is a place where I have been able to learn many competencies that are not taught in medical school. AMSA is an organization that has often reminded me of the importance of humanism in medicine, and in turn has positively affected the way in which I have learned and grown as a physician in training.”
Thibert will be the second osteopathic student to become president of the Association, and her newly-elected osteopathic student counterpart, Joseph Johnson, will be the third. In fact, three of the last four president-elects have been osteopathic students.
“AMSA is where I learned what osteopathic medicine is and it has helped guide me towards becoming an osteopathic physician, which I will forever be grateful for,” says Thibert.
Thibert’s essay on running for AMSA President is featured in AACOM’s new publication, Inner Strength: Osteopathic Medical Students Reflect on Resiliency. Read her story along with other DO student essays about resilience along the path to becoming osteopathic physicians, by purchasing a copy of this unique book at AACOM’s online bookstore.