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Second-Year Medical Student Participates in Inaugural AAMC Leadership Conference

Part of a select group of medical students from across the nation, Kelsey O’Hagan, School of Medicine Class of 2022, fifth row, far left, represented the values of New York Medical College (NYMC) when she attended the inaugural Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) RISE leadership conference in Washington, D.C., on June 21 – 23.

August 05, 2019
Inaugural AAMC Leadership Conference Group Headshot
Inaugural AAMC Leadership Conference

Ms. O’Hagan was nominated to attend the conference by Susan Rachlin, M.D., F.A.C.R., associate dean of student affairs and associate professor of radiology, who wrote in her nomination, “Kelsey has already exemplified tremendous leadership skills and interest in academic medicine, serving as one of our student senators and helped organize NYMedTalks, a student-led academic day. She is also organizing and participating in our Transition to Medical School orientation program for incoming first-year students. Kelsey has already distinguished herself and participation in the conference would be very beneficial to her career.”

The nomination earned Ms. O’Hagan one of the 50 slots available for the conference. Ms. O’Hagan felt that the conference was an important step in her medical career; although unsure about what field of medicine she would like to practice, she plans to pursue medical teaching, and leadership has always been an integral part of her goals.

According to Ms. O’Hagan, it was eye-opening to see how different medical schools across the nation functioned, and she hopes to bring aspects of programs from other schools to NYMC, while continuing to foster relationships with the students she met.  “The representatives from New York are planning to get together sometime during the school year to catch up and connect,” Ms. O’Hagan says. “At the conference, I realized how valuable it was to share what works well at schools throughout the country.”

However, it was the new lessons in self-reflection that Ms. O’Hagan valued most at the conference. “I would like to be more consciously aware of my strengths and weaknesses to be able to work on them,” she says, “and I’m carving out time for reflection to ensure that what I’m working on is helping me progress.”

Enthusiastic that more students can benefit from what she learned at the conference, Ms. O’Hagan plans to bring what she learned to programs at NYMC.  “Everyone [at NYMC] is working toward a profession where you are expected to be a leader,” she says, “and it is important that everyone is aware of their strongest attributes, what they bring to a team and where they have the ability to grow.”