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SNMA Impact

The Student National Medical Association is the nation's oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Established in 1964 by medical students from Howard University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, the membership includes over 6000 medical students, pre-medical students, residents and physicians.

The SNMA is committed to increasing the pipeline of students of color that consider and prepare for medical and scientific careers. Its community mentoring programs provide science appreciation and education, mentoring, and academic enrichment to elementary, junior high school, high school and college students interested in pursuing health-related careers. Working through local chapters, SNMA is proud to organize and sponsor local Pipeline programs that directly serve minority students at several levels of education: the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS), the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP), and the Youth Science Enrichment Program (YSEP). Within medical school, SNMA chapters provide academic preparation and recruitment and retention programming in order to assure the pipeline to medicine is supported.

Community service is indeed at the heart and soul of the SNMA. SNMA is committed to reducing morbidity and mortality in under-served communities. Its programs are primarily focused on educating and empowering local communities to make healthy lifestyle choices. SNMA pilots and implements community service programs - national protocols - that directly serve minority communities through health education and screening programs. Chapters and regions educate both the young and the old through protocols entitled Sexual Health Awareness, Violence Prevention, Tissue and Organ Donation Education and Recruitment Program (TODER), Smoking Prevention/Cessation, and Mental Health: Treatment, Awareness and Prevention. SNMA also hosts Healthy People 2010 Health Fairs that are consistent with the former U.S. Surgeon General's call to action for the 21st century and are targeted to underserved communities and those with limited access to health care.

SNMA also organizes initiatives that educate members about healthcare issues abroad and provides them with opportunities to engage in health care experiences in other nations. Past SNMA medical mission trips have attended the needs of communities in Ghana, Cuba, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.

Finally, SNMA advocates for its members and its communities as it addresses legislative and policy issues that affect medical education, health care delivery, and the health status of underserved communities. Past focus areas include funding for pre-medical recruitment and preparation programs, violence prevention, obesity, universal health care, and affirmative action.