College of

MSU medical students work with legislative policy-makers

May 2012

By Nicolas Fletcher
MD Candidate 2015
MSU College of Human Medicine

Fifteen College of Human Medicine students participated in the annual Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) House of Delegates meeting as part of the Medical Student Section, April 28.  

The MSMS House of Delegates is a principal policy making body, and at its annual meeting, the House acts on numerous reports and resolutions and establishes policy to guide the society and its members. In addition, the House approves the budget and elects officers, directors and delegates to the American Medical Association.

As members of the Medical Student Section, students from five medical schools in Michigan are offered opportunities to network, share ideas, meet with legislators, write resolutions and be a part of the policy-making body at both the state and national level.

“I firmly believe everything we are able to do as physicians comes out of the policies put forth by organizations like the MSMS and the only way to affect change in our future profession is to get involved now," said MSU College of Human Medicine’s Nicolas Fletcher, newly-elected alternate delegate to the AMA for the MSMS Medical Student Section.

The meeting represented an opportunity for the students to lend their voices to the ongoing conversations and debates concerning these issues, as well as many that impact the network of care.  

Student participated in a very full 36 hours of committee hearings to listen and present testimony - for or against - nearly 60 resolutions, which ranged in topic from adoption of a single payer system to medical marijuana usage in Michigan. Four of those resolutions came directly from Medical Student Section members and raised important issues pertaining to human trafficking, GME funding, fluoride research, and electronic resources in medical school. 

In addition to attending the House of Delegates, the MSMS annual meeting is an opportunity for students to participate in educational sessions, community service events and visit with fellow students at social events.

This year was one of precedence: a combined effort of medical students and alumni from their respective schools raised a record-breaking $2,401.59 from which MSU gave $908 (the most of any institution), for the Detroit-based Earthworks Urban Farm, which seeks to build a just, beautiful food system through education, inspiration, and community development.     

According to MSU College of Human Medicine's Michael Johnson, Vice-Chair of MSMS Medical Student Section, “Organizations like the MSMS and the American Medical Association give students the essential opportunities they need to step up to the table and lead in shaping the future of our health care.”