Press ReleaseDate: 06-20-12
Name: Patti Verbanas Phone: 9739727273
New Jersey Medical School Student LeAnne Roberts Begins Term as Chair of the Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association
Boasting a membership of nearly 50,000 medical students, the AMA-MSS is dedicated to representing medical students, improving medical education, developing leadership and promoting activism for the health of America. �My main goal is to focus on the political advocacy work we�ve been doing,� says Roberts, an aspiring OB-GYN. �We�re entering a new phase of healthcare reform. It would be helpful for students to have real input at the table.�
Growing up in Sacramento, Calif., Roberts was always interested in science and math. �When I was 10, I went to the Discovery Museum Science & Space Center and saw a female physician � a heart surgeon � for the first time. I thought that medicine was very cool, a great combination of science and critical thinking, both of which I loved,� she says. �When I was in high school, I found Sex Ed to be interesting and I would go home and read about the specific hormones and the scientific basis behind the reproductive system. It was intriguing how a woman could go from being a child to carrying children � and all the changes women go through in life. I decided to be an OB-GYN to advocate sexual health and safe sex practices.�
Roberts is the first black woman to serve as chair of the AMA�s Medical Student Section, a distinction that she says does not define her, but one of which she is proud. �My father is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force; he was a navigator and was the first African-American leader of his squadron,� she says. �My mother grew up in Alabama and never went to an integrated school. The values they instilled in me included standing up for what I believe in, standing up for the things we should all have access to and never letting anything stand in my way. I was taught to never use an excuse � like I�m a woman, I�m from a working-class family, I�m African-American � for not accomplishing something because such an achievement is something my parents fought hard for.�
Roberts has already built an impressive r�sum�, serving as, among other things, vice chair of the AMA-MSS Region 6; student trustee of the Medical Society of New Jersey; member of the Legislative Affairs Committee on the UMDNJ Student Senate and co-director of NJMS� New Moms Mentoring Program, which pairs teen moms with NJMS students.
�LeAnne is a wonderful example of the high quality of students and graduates of the New Jersey Medical School and a natural leader who is now assuming the very important position of chair of the Medical Student Section,� says Peter W. Carmel, MD, D. Med. Sci., an internationally recognized pediatric neurosurgeon who serves as professor and founding chair of the Neurological Surgery Department at New Jersey Medical School and who is completing his one-year term as AMA president this month.
Founded in 1954 as the Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, UMDNJ�New Jersey Medical School was the state's first medical school. Today, it is part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. NJMS has four mission areas: education, research, clinical care, and community outreach. It has 22 academic departments and more than 60 centers and institutes. In addition to offering the MD degree to its students, NJMS also offers, MD/PhD, MD/MPH, and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey's only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.