As a medical student, there are many ways to get involved with student organizations on campus that will enhance your medical training.

Medical Student Association (MSA)

The MSA is the student council of the medical school. Each class is represented by three senators and the class president. The president, vice president and treasurer of the MSA are MSIIs.


The primary purpose of the president is to act as the class representative. This role involves many required responsibilities, but also allows for opportunities to pursue projects of interest.

Set responsibilities include:

  • Attending weekly meetings with the dean of student affairs
  • Attending all Medical Student Association (MSA) meetings as needed, but minimally once per month
  • Organizing and taking class votes on issues as necessary
  • During the second year, working closely with the dean of student affairs to match students in third and fourth year clinical sites

Vice President

The vice president provides support for the president, acts as second in command and performs the duties of the president in the event of their absence.

Set responsibilities include:

  • Allocating funds
  • Planning the Christmas banquet
  • Planning the faculty appreciation luncheon
  • Meetings held as necessary at least once per month

American Medical Student Association (AMSA)

(Two positions)
AMSA is a national organization run by medical students for medical students.

Set responsibilities include:

  • Collect AMSA registrations and money and send to national office
  • Attend regional and national conferences
  • Planning MSI AMSA orientation and meetings throughout the school year, at least once per month
  • Time commitment of five to 10 hours per month

American Medical Association (AMA)

(Two positions)
AMA works to develop and promote standards in medical practice, research and education; advocate on behalf of patients and physicians; and commit to providing timely information on matters important to the health of America. The AMA serves as the voice of the American medical profession.

The medical student section of the AMA provides an opportunity to become involved in organized medicine at the forefront of your career and lend your voice to the nation’s largest organized medical association.

American Medical Association Representative

  • Involvement in political issues related to medicine at the school, state and national levels, including attending local, state and national meetings.
  • Serving as SSOM voting delegate at state and national meetings
  • Organizing petition drives

American Medical Association Chapter Officer

  • Involvement in political issues related to medicine at the school and state levels, including attending local and state meetings
  • Increasing local chapter activities and visibility
  • Collaborating with on- and off-campus organizations

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

AAMC is an organization concerned with all aspects of medical education. There are several different governing bodies of the AAMC, one of which is the Organization of Student Representatives (OSR).

As an OSR representative, duties include:

  • Attending the national meeting and regional convention
  • Informal meetings with the registrar officer about funds, travel procedures, etc.
  • MSIIs will be a voting delegate to the AAMC body of delegates

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Family Medicine Interest Group Representative

(One position)
The Family Medicine Interest Group promotes family medicine as a specialty and exposes interested students to opportunities in that field. We recruit one student from each class to be a representative on the group’s planning committee.

Approximately twice during the academic year, the group hosts procedure nights exposing students to a variety of procedures with hands-on practice and instruction along with the opportunity to meet practicing family physicians and residents.

Clinical Foundations Representative

(One position)
The Clinical Foundations representative term is a two-year term. The primary responsibility is to serve as a liaison between the class and the course director. The representative seeks objective feedback from classmates and speaks on their behalf as a member of the Clinical Foundations Interprofessional Advisory Committee, which meets monthly. Likewise, the representative speaks on behalf of the course director and the committee to communicate actions taken by the committee to the class.

  • Attend Clinical Foundations Committee meetings held over the noon hour on the fourth Thursday of the month
  • Participate in curriculum-planning in the spring

Women in Medicine (WIM)/American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)

The focus of this group is to improve the understanding of women’s health issues, and to address issues faced by female physicians. The goals of this local group encompass those of both WIM, which is a group affiliated with the AAMC and the AMWA. Both female and male medical students in their first and second years are encouraged to participate. Officers for the local organization are to be elected from within the group of members. Only female students may be officers for positions involving the AMWA portion of this group, while men may hold other positions.

Past events sponsored by the group include:

  • Breast cancer awareness luncheons and pink ribbon sales
  • Panel of women physicians discussing their personal experiences in medicine
  • Outreach education at a local high school
  • Series of lectures on contraception
  • Luncheon with physicians to discuss the various types of medical practices

If you are interested in advocating for women’s health, making contacts with female physicians or organizing events, this is a great group to join.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School

(Two positions)
The IHI Open School is an interdisciplinary organization that focuses on educating students in the areas of patient safety, quality improvement, teamwork, patient-centeredness and communication. The primary responsibility of the class representative from the first-year class will be to serve on the IHI leadership team and represent your medical school class. This is a four-year term.


  • Assist in planning events
  • Work with leaders from MSII, occupational therapy, physical therapy and physician assistant classes in coordinating events

Possible Events:

  • Full-group meetings (one per semester)
  • Small group case studies
  • Simulations and hands-on activities, such as recognizing harmful situations for patients and mock patient handoffs
  • Assist with IHI Open School online courses
  • Webinars

As members of the leadership team, you will be able to get more involved with planning events, taking on higher leadership positions, getting involved in projects and interacting closely with our colleagues in other health disciplines.

Honor Board Representative

In the case of an honor code violation or possible violation, the Honor Board representative is the student representative to the Honor Board, which makes rulings on student status based on charges brought before the board. No duties unless an infraction occurs.

Medical Education Committee

The Medical Education Committee oversees USD medical education and curriculum decision-making. The representative will voice the opinions of the class at monthly meetings when decisions are made about the curriculum for the upcoming year. This is an MSII position.

Financial Aid Representative

Each class selects a representative who will address student questions about financial aid and will serve on the Financial Aid Committee. The committee meets two or three times a year, typically in April. Each class representative is asked to be present at these meetings so that the needs of the students are represented during budget, loan and scholarship decisions. Representatives must be trusted to keep information in the strictest of confidence.

Diversity Health Affairs Representative

(One position - student will serve a two-year term)
The student will serve as a representative from the School of Medicine to the Diversity Health Affairs Committee. They will assist the committee in enhancing recruitment of diverse students to SSOM and the School of Health Sciences, assist with diversity-directed initiatives of the SSOM and School of Health Sciences and assist with enhancing cultural competency of faculty, staff and students. Meetings are held for one hour once a month.

Medical Student Ambassadors

Approximately six first-year medical students will serve as members of this group and be available to host prospective students or interviewing applicants. Students give tours of the medical school, answer questions and escort potential students to Vermillion interview locations.

Informatics Council

(One position - student will serve a one-year term)
The Health Affairs Medical Informatics Advisory Committee (HAMIC) promotes the effective use of technology to achieve the mission of health affairs. The committee meetings will be held at 4 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month.