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Student Candidate Statements

Vote Now for the Student Elections

Ashley Iannantone

Candidate for President
Nominated by Lauren Lamparter, AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council President
Medical School: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

Nomination Statement: I would like to nominate Ashley Iannatone to take my place as the President of the Medical Student Council. I have known Ashley for the past three years, and she has been an active leader in emergency medicine at Stritch School of Medicine. She has continually sought opportunities to advocate for medical students in emergency medicine through her role as EMIG treasurer, ultrasound interest group student mentor, and being the EMIG representative to ICEP. She has also been directly engaged with her peers through mentorship and tutoring. She has been involved in running the AAEM/RSA Midwest Medical Student Symposium for the past two years, and she will be a great resource for all of the medical student symposia lead by the MSC. She is ready to take on this leadership role, and she will use her past experiences to direct her goals as president. She is dedicated to the field of emergency medicine and will serve as an excellent, enthusiastic leader to continue broadening the reach of the AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council.

Candidate Statement: I was first exposed to emergency medicine (EM) by working as a scribe in the emergency department at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago for my gap year prior to medical school. I was inspired by the seemingly infinite amount of knowledge the physicians there utilized in order to care for a unique patient population with a variety of medical conditions, but even more so I felt incredibly connected to the community and fell in love with the social justice that is so intimately tied to EM.

I explored a variety of specialties in my first year of medical school, but always found myself going back to the ED. My growing passion for the specialty led to my serving as the treasurer of Loyola Stritch School of Medicine’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group from 2019-2020. In this role, I was an advocate for EM amongst my peers and helped connect them to opportunities in the department such as shadowing, research, skills workshops, and journal clubs. I have also worked closely with Lauren Lamparter, the current AAEM/RSA Student Council President, and Dan Walsh, the current Midwest Regional Representative, to put on the AAEM/RSA Midwest Medical Student Symposium the past two years. I have especially enjoyed how participating in planning and then attending this conference has allowed me to broaden my connections within the field.

As President for the AAEM/RSA student council, I hope to continue to be an advocate for the specialty of Emergency Medicine and do so on a much greater scale by collaborating with students at other medical schools and physicians from different institutions. I would like to build upon resources already in place such as the conferences and podcast series while expanding our reach to even more medical students nationwide. Thank you for your consideration.

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Andrew Merelman

Candidate for President
Self-nomination
Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Candidate Statement: My entire adult life has been dedicated to prehospital and emergency medicine. I have been working as a paramedic for the last ten years both in the field and in the emergency department. My experiences in that role drove my desire to do more which led me to medical school. My focus has always been caring for the sickest patients. I am passionate about resuscitation and ensuring that I am providing the highest quality care for the patients who need it most. It is my belief that the primary role, among many, of the emergency physician is to be an expert in the care of critically ill and injured patients. Along with continuously educating myself, I have found great satisfaction in teaching through a variety of modalities to help others grow their knowledge base and maximize their abilities. I was able to continue this as President of our ACOEP chapter and would work to incorporate it into my role as President of AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council.

In addition to my interests in critical care, I am passionate about ensuring health equity in the emergency department. One of my favorite concepts is that we care for anyone, anytime, regardless of ability to pay. As President, I would center the issue of healthcare equity and advocate for the best emergency medical care for all, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status.

If elected President of the AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council I will be an active leader and work closely with the leadership team to advocate for our members and emergency medicine as a whole. I have always felt that AAEM is the organization that best represents my values and it would be an honor and a privilege to contribute.

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Kersti Bellardi

Candidate for Vice President
Nominated by Gabe Stahl, MD MPH, AAEM/RSA At-Large Board Member
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Nominations Statement: Kersti has played an integral role in the RSA Advocacy Committee and would be a strong voice and member of the MSC. Kersti takes initiative in her projects, produces excellent content, and is very familiar with the EM landscape and critical issues facing EM bound students. I highly recommend Kersti for a position on the MSC and am confident that she will be a great addition.

Candidate Statement: I am excited and grateful to be nominated for Medical Student Council Vice President. Ever since I attended the 2018 AAEM Scientific Assembly in San Diego as a first-year medical student, I have been drawn to the mission and people of this organization. Two months later I felt compelled to travel to Washington D.C. for the AAEM & AAEM/RSA Health Policy Symposium & Advocacy Day in order to explore how my interests in emergency medicine and health policy may overlap, and I quickly realized that this was the right organization for me.

Since then, I have enjoyed serving as a member and later as the Vice Chair of the AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee. In these roles, I have worked on co-authoring statements and hosting podcasts on topics such as surprise billing, gun violence, and lay corporations running residency programs. My AAEM/RSA opportunities have been amazing learning experiences. Thus, I am motivated to learn more about the organization that has helped shape my future in medicine while supporting other medical students by working on the council. I have become increasingly drawn to emergency medicine after a career in education allowed me to live abroad in Berlin, Germany for 7 years. When I returned to California, I began working as an EMT while studying pre-medical sciences for medical school and later I volunteered as an ED Liaison in Los Angeles. These early experiences made me realized how well I fit into a team environment where the variety of cases and triage fascinated me every day. My nontraditional path to medicine led me to a global health master’s program at UCSF, where I researched a context-specific trauma care course in Uganda. In medical school, I have been involved in workshops and lectures as an active EMIG member as well as volunteered as a crisis counselor alongside my AAEM roles.

As a member of the Medical Student Council, I aim to represent and work on sustaining the AAEM/RSA organization that provides students many opportunities to explore their interests. In the advocacy committee, I have evolved as a leader through collaborating with students, residents, staff, and physicians. In this role, I have gained skills and insights into communications, project planning, and the work required to get ideas off the ground. I would be honored to bring my hard working, open-minded nature to this new role where I can support student initiatives for the future of this organization.

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Vincent LongTristen Burt

Candidate for Vice President
Self-nomination
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Candidate Statement: With the advent of COVID-19, expanding practice scopes under AB890 in the California Legislature, and the ongoing efforts in transitioning to value and coordinated care within EM, there is a strong need for student leadership and proactivity within our EM training community. My goal in running for RSA student leadership is to facilitate conversations, foster EM-community training opportunities in ever expanding areas of technology such as point of care ultrasound, and reinforce RSA chapter relations. Ultimately, I believe the greatest asset to achieving these goals is to act as a voice between local EMIG groups, individual constituents, and the RSA board of directors in communicating needs as we inherit the future of our specialty. As a participating RSA student chapter member, I have been privileged to attend in person meeting, zoom meetings, and even help facilitate local EM community gatherings through local Emergency Medicine Interest Symposiums, hosting schools from all over the West Coast and having various student EMIG groups, program directors, an AAEM representatives in attendance. With a background in NYLF summer medicine teaching programs, EMIG leadership, pre-hospital care education, and pipeline health science education fairs at the local community level, I have a rich desire in cultivating and coordinating education about emergency medicine and the field of healthcare at large. With an already robust assortment of opportunities hosted by AAEM/RSA, I am hopeful in continuing the momentum and expanding the programs offered to RSA members, both at the student and resident level, and am excited at the prospect of engaging our local West Coast EMIG groups more at an in-person level. If elected, I would be honored to continuing the advocacy, collegiality, and promise that the field of EM holds for those of tomorrow.

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Bryan Redmond

Candidate for Vice President
Nominated by Lauren Lamparter, AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council President
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Nomination Statement: I would like to nominate Bryan Redmond for Vice President as I believe he will continue to be a strong leader. During the past year on the MSC, Bryan has been an active member, contributing strong ideas and being willing to step into leadership roles when asked. He advocated for his region’s medical students and facilitated a panel of program directors from the area. I know he will be an asset to the next AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council by serving a second term, being able to speak to things that worked well and propose new ideas for the Council's work to thrive.

Candidate Statement: Humbly, I submit this declaration for consideration as the 2021 – 2022 American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) Medical Student Council (MSC) Vice President.

Reflecting upon our previous year’s work, I am most proud of the Medical Student Council’s unwavering momentum through the current COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Lauren Lamparter and Leah Colucci, the Council effectively leveraged the global shift to virtual programming. And, when tapped, I was honored to facilitate knowledge sharing on the powerhouse platform that is the AAEM. With the announcement of a vaccine and hopes to return to pre-coronavirus normalcy, our responsiveness to the needs of medical students must not change.

I hope to continue elevating the AAEM/RSA, especially continuing efforts to address systemic issues of institutionalized racism/inequity, medical student and residency wellbeing, and the treatment of mental disorders.

I would be honored to serve as the 2021-2022 AAEM/RSA MSC Vice President.

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Jessie Cable

Candidate for Midwest Regional Representative
Nominated by Christian Casteel, AAEM/RSA Member
Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Nomination Statement: I would like to nominate Jessie Cable for the position of Regional Representative for the AAEM/RSA. Jessie is a dedicated and passionate medical student pursuing a career in emergency medicine. She possesses the characteristics that are essential to be a strong leader in this profession. She has exhibited success in collaborative efforts and commitment to continued lifelong learning. Her accomplishments include establishing a nonprofit organization which distributes medical supplies to underprivileged communities and help with supplying PPE during the COVID pandemic. She was motivated to pursue leadership in emergency medicine after witnessing the struggles that the COVID pandemic caused in patients and also medical students. Her institution does not have a home emergency medicine program and she saw the additional challenges her classmates faced applying for residency this year due to lack of mentorship and audition rotation opportunities. Her experience here would make her an excellent advocate particularly for the many medical students in these regions with no significant EM advising.

I’ve had the fortune of being able to work and collaborate with Jessie in both an academic and personal settings and can attest to her work ethic and motivations. She has a passion for advocacy and inclusion in emergency medicine, which is a perspective I believe is much needed in the field. Jessie is very pleasant to work with, creative, and would no doubt be an excellent candidate for this position and a wonderful addition to your team.

Candidate Statement: It is my intention to exemplify an AAEM/RSA Midwest Regional Representative who actively seeks to listen and understand the ongoing inequities, challenges and areas needing improvement in the field of emergency medicine. Amidst the impact that COVID has placed on the education of medical students world-wide, I was fortunate to take part in an emergency medicine elective as my first rotation of third year. This involvement not only solidified my decision to pursue emergency medicine as a career, but also brought awareness to the fact that many fellow medical students struggle to have similar access to hands-on experience. As an AAEM/RSA Midwest Regional Representative, my goal is to educate and provide networking opportunities to all students equally, with an emphasis on helping those whose institutions are unable to provide them with specialty mentorship and elective opportunities. I would like to bring forth creative outlets and groups in order to connect students in a collaborative effort.

In addition to providing guidance and direction to fellow medical students about the field of emergency medicine, I would also like to advocate and encourage women, minorities and disadvantaged students to join this inclusive community by aiming to ensure that access to information is provided equally. It is my hope that this goal will transcend to DO students both with and without home emergency medicine institutions. During my undergraduate education, I was fortunate to establish a non-profit organization that raised funding to provide medical supplies to disadvantaged medical clinics nationwide. This process required me to network with countless clinics, medical supply providers and various foundations in order to create an impact. It is my intention that the collaboration, determination, and communication skills I acquired during this experiences will translate towards the type of candidate I aspire to be as an AAEM/RSA Midwest Regional Representative.

The field of Emergency Medicine is brimming with a strong community of individuals who uplift, motivate and push one another towards success. It would be an incredible honor to take part in this experience, building relationships and helping others in the same way they have helped me. As a third year at Kansas City University of Medicine it would be a privilege to serve the Midwest region of medical students.

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Robert Canning

Candidate for Midwest Regional Representative
Nominated by Lauren Lamparter, AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council President
Medical School: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

Nomination Statement: I would like to recommend Robert Canning for the role of Midwest Medical Student Representative as I believe he is the medical student best suited for this role. I have known Rob for the past year and seen him work in his current role as EMIG President at Stritch School of Medicine where he has been an innovative and strong leader. He has taken a fairly well-established role and created many new and exciting opportunities for medical students to engage with and better understand emergency medicine from both the resident, attending, and sub-specialist perspectives. He has extensive past knowledge of the EM field given his experience as a paramedic, and he has experience with the legal side of medical corporations in his past work as an attorney. He will not only bring his expertise to this role, but he will be an excellent advocate on behalf of the medical students in the Midwest. He has been a member of the advocacy committee of AAEM and has extensive understanding of the main position statements of AAEM. I know he will be an excellent addition to the RSA medical student council and will bring innovative ideas and a strong work ethic.

Candidate Statement: The American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA) is a remarkable organization that works tirelessly on behalf of the emergency medicine (EM) community. It goes without saying that this past year has been unlike any other. As a member of the Advocacy Committee, I’ve watched the development of position statements related to, among other things, the important issue of graduate medical education and independent practice, the creation of a wrongful termination tracker, and the advocacy for fair hearings and due process legislation. As a first-year medical student, I attended the Midwest Medical Student Symposium and this year helped organize the virtual conference, which was noteworthy in its way of connecting residency programs with students. Lastly, as president of our local EMIG, I continued our local professional development push by hosting a career planning session for students, connected students with research opportunities, and put on an EM subspecialty physician panel. I am running for Midwest Regional Representative because I want to continue with these efforts to build a community of EM residents and interested medical students, create stimulating and relevant content and further develop a platform for professional development and advocacy.

Specifically, as a member of the Medical Student Council, I would push to continue and build on the successful efforts this year in hosting virtual panels, publishing podcasts, and distributing mailings. Additionally, I not only want to strengthen the strong Midwest Medical Student Symposium but also wish to further develop the other regional symposiums, especially for students who may be interested in geographies farther afield from their medical school. Lastly, I want to work with the AAEM/RSA to continue to improve the residency application process to promote fairness and efficiency. For these reasons, I hope you will select me as the Midwest Regional Representative.

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Craig Mitchell

Candidate for Midwest Regional Representative
Self-nomination
Medical School: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

Candidate Statement: My interest in emergency medicine began prior to medical school when I was working as a scribe and then a travel trainer for the company I worked for. This position allowed me to see its diversity within the field and within in different regions. This interest evolved when becoming lab tech for the ER and inpatient settings allowing me to see other views of the department and those who work within it. I believe that ER has the strongest team dynamic and those interpersonal relationships are skills I want to develop as I grow into an EM residency applicant. While in medical school, I have cultivated my interest in emergency medicine by joining and becoming and member of the e-board for our EMIG and applied to be the representative for AAEM for my school.

It would be an honor to act as a regional representative for AAEM/RSA within my region and challenge the leadership and secretarial skills I have collected from previous work and club experience. My goal is to create an ease in coordinating communication between representatives in the Midwest as well as act as a liaison for the resources they provide within my own school. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered AAEM/RSA and already I’m impressed with the offerings and want to put my best foot forward in allowing others to find and reach out within the organization.

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Scott Sabo

Candidate for Midwest Regional Representative
Self-nomination
Medical School: Tulane Medical School

Candidate Statement: It sounds weird to say, but the emergency room is one of my favorite places. It is the only true net in our country and the doors are open 24 hours a day to whoever walks through them--whether it's a severed finger, major trauma, or just someone hoping for a sandwich and a warm place to spend the night. Public health often tells a parable about people drowning in a river. Some bystanders rush to pull out the drowning victims, while others go upriver to find out why people are falling into the river in the first place. For emergency medicine, the parable is incomplete, because often the people saved go back up and fall in again.

I see the role of emergency medicine as both pulling the drowning victim out of the proverbial river, as well as implementing better interventions to address the systemic needs failing so many patients. It will require us to think broader, advocate loudly, work tirelessly, and leverage a multi-disciplinary approach. It’s going into our communities to teach bystanders how to use Narcan, its making sure patients have follow up appointments before they leave the emergency room, and connecting them with resources for homelessness, addiction, and abuse.

As a regional representative I want to foster curiosity to help the undecided medical student decide if emergency medicine is right for them, support ongoing initiatives, collaborate to start new ones, and create a paradigm with my future colleagues, that while emergency medicine will always be the net, we must consider it part of our specialty to identify and disrupt the patterns of the people falling into it, even before we have an “MD” behind our names.

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Joanna Cho

Candidate for Northeast Regional Representative 
Nominated by Bryan Redmond, AAEM/RSA Northeastern Regional Representative 
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Candidate Statement: Prior to matriculating to medical school, I worked as an ED medical scribe at Englewood Hospital in northern New Jersey, where I was first introduced to emergency medicine. While working closely with ED physicians as part of an effective healthcare team 40 hours per week, I began to take a particular interest in emergency medicine for a multitude of reasons. These reasons ranged from being the first to greet the patient and help make a diagnosis, to the vastly diverse patient population and cases, and finally to the well-rounded knowledge of medical science that the field of emergency medicine uniquely requires.

Since then, I have taken steps to pursue becoming an Emergency Medicine physician. I have shadowed several EM physicians, and I have joined an EM research team to conduct an ongoing clinical research study that evaluates healthcare disparities in triaging patients in the pediatric ED. Additionally, I have attended multiple EM conferences, both virtually and in-person, at medical schools throughout the northeastern region.

Currently, I serve as co-president of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group. In this leadership role, I have had the privilege of working not only with URMC ED faculty, but also with other medical schools within the northeastern region to engage and foster interest in EM for fellow medical students. Thus far, we have successfully organized and facilitated monthly talks, shadowing opportunities, skills labs, and networking events, and we are currently planning for our annual Upstate Western New York Emergency Medicine Conference.

I believe that my experiences collaborating with URMC Emergency Department faculty, in addition to my premedical experience as an ED scribe, have prepared me to be a capable, diligent, and effective AAEM student representative for the Northeast region. Once elected, I hope to listen to, as well as facilitate discussion between, the many Emergency Medicine Interest Groups (EMIGs) throughout the Northeast, while implementing new ideas to help boost other students’ interests and careers in emergency medicine. Thank you for considering me as a candidate for this position.

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Jiten Patel

Candidate for Northeast Regional Representative 
Nominated by Lauren Lamparter, AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council President
Medical School: Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University

Nomination Statement: Thank you for considering Jiten for the role of Northeast Representative. I believe he is an excellent choice for this role and will be an asset to the medical student council.

Candidate Statement: My name is Jiten Patel and I am a third-year student at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. My interest in emergency medicine started simultaneously with my interest in medicine as a whole due to my early exposure to the field through family and my shadowing. Throughout my first three years as a medical student, I kept an open mind with all the different specialties but after going through clerkships, they confirmed that my interest in EM from day one was the correct move. I enjoy meeting new people from different walks of life, especially those who are motivated and working hard towards a similar goal to myself. I work well as a team player and make sure that every member of the discussion’s voice is heard and taken into consideration. My role as social chair for my class often requires me to coordinate between many different student groups, the school administration, and the student body as a whole in order to plan large-scale events that are accommodating and welcoming to all members of the school. I will use my communication and leadership skills I have honed through this role to coordinate with representatives from other schools, both within my own region and across the country. I will work hard with others to plan events and create an environment that allows students to fully experience and explore their own interests in Emergency Medicine. Thank you for considering me for the Northeast Regional Representative for the AAEM/RSA Student Council and I look forward to working with you in the future.

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JoJo Dodd

Candidate for Southern Regional Representative 
Self-nomination
Medical School: University of Mississippi Medical Center

Candidate Statement: As the Regional Representative for the South, I will strive to strengthen the connection between the AAEM/RSA and the medical student community with a focus on those who have already shown interest in emergency medicine. Most campuses have EM student interest groups that meet regularly. I believe we should be actively engaging those groups and finding ways to connect them with resources, residency programs, and opportunities for mentorship. I further hope to support the mission of the AAEM/RSA by helping to provide the medical student perspective to leadership, especially as the landscape of medical education is being disrupted by the pandemic and upcoming changes to the Step exams.

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Kersti Bellardi

Candidate for Western Regional Representative 
Nominated by Gabe Stahl, MD MPH, AAEM/RSA At-Large Board Member
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Nomination Statement: Kersti has played an integral role in the RSA Advocacy Committee and would be a strong voice and member of the MSC. Kersti takes initiative in her projects, produces excellent content, and is very familiar with the EM landscape and critical issues facing EM bound students. I highly recommend Kersti for a position on the MSC and am confident that she will be a great addition.

Candidate Statement: I am excited and grateful to be nominated for Medical Student Council Western Regional Representative. Ever since I attended the 2018 AAEM Scientific Assembly in San Diego as a first-year medical student, I have been drawn to the mission and people of this organization. Two months later I felt compelled to travel to Washington D.C. for the AAEM & AAEM/RSA Health Policy Symposium & Advocacy Day in order to explore how my interests in emergency medicine and health policy may overlap, and I quickly realized that this was the right organization for me.

Since then, I have enjoyed serving as a member and later as the Vice Chair of the AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee. In these roles, I have worked on co-authoring statements and hosting podcasts on topics such as surprise billing, gun violence, and lay corporations running residency programs. My AAEM/RSA opportunities have been amazing learning experiences. Thus, I am motivated to learn more about the organization that has helped shape my future in medicine while supporting other medical students by working on the council. I have become increasingly drawn to emergency medicine after a career in education allowed me to live abroad in Berlin, Germany for 7 years. When I returned to California, I began working as an EMT while studying pre-medical sciences for medical school and later I volunteered as an ED Liaison in Los Angeles. These early experiences made me realized how well I fit into a team environment where the variety of cases and triage fascinated me every day. My nontraditional path to medicine led me to a global health master’s program at UCSF, where I researched a context-specific trauma care course in Uganda. In medical school, I have been involved in workshops and lectures as an active EMIG member as well as volunteered as a crisis counselor alongside my AAEM roles.

As a member of the Medical Student Council, I aim to represent and work on sustaining the AAEM/RSA organization that provides students many opportunities to explore their interests. In the advocacy committee, I have evolved as a leader through collaborating with students, residents, staff, and physicians. In this role, I have gained skills and insights into communications, project planning, and the work required to get ideas off the ground. I would be honored to bring my hard working, open-minded nature to this new role where I can support student initiatives for the future of this organization.

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Tristen Burt

Candidate for Western Regional Representative 
Self-nomination
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Candidate Statement: With the advent of COVID-19, expanding practice scopes under AB890 in the California Legislature, and the ongoing efforts in transitioning to value and coordinated care within EM, there is a strong need for student leadership and proactivity within our EM training community. My goal in running for RSA student leadership is to facilitate conversations, foster EM-community training opportunities in ever expanding areas of technology such as point of care ultrasound, and reinforce RSA chapter relations. Ultimately, I believe the greatest asset to achieving these goals is to act as a voice between local EMIG groups, individual constituents, and the RSA board of directors in communicating needs as we inherit the future of our specialty. As a participating RSA student chapter member, I have been privileged to attend in person meeting, zoom meetings, and even help facilitate local EM community gatherings through local Emergency Medicine Interest Symposiums, hosting schools from all over the West Coast and having various student EMIG groups, program directors, an AAEM representatives in attendance. With a background in NYLF summer medicine teaching programs, EMIG leadership, pre-hospital care education, and pipeline health science education fairs at the local community level, I have a rich desire in cultivating and coordinating education about emergency medicine and the field of healthcare at large. With an already robust assortment of opportunities hosted by AAEM RSA, I am hopeful in continuing the momentum and expanding the programs offered to RSA members, both at the student and resident level, and am excited at the prospect of engaging our local West Coast EMIG groups more at an in-person level. If elected, I would be honored to continuing the advocacy, collegiality, and promise that the field of EM holds for those of tomorrow.

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Mary Unanyan

Candidate for Western Regional Representative 
Nominated by Erin Hartnett, AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee Chair
Medical School: Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Nomination Statement: I would like to nominate Mary Unanyan for the position of West Regional Representative. Mary joined the AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee this summer, bringing with her a passion for representation and the issues facing emergency medicine. She has already shown great initiative and teamwork. Serving as a vocal member during meetings and spearheading multiple new projects, Mary has proved an invaluable addition to the committee. She is always willing to help and offer her support to the team. With her passion for emergency medicine and enthusiasm for group collaboration, Mary is an excellent candidate to represent the interests of her region.

Mary has showcased her drive to partner with AAEM and make an impact through her involvement in the Advocacy Committee and her recent appointment as an RSA Representative Council Member. As her school’s EMIG President, Mary has facilitated multiple events on topics ranging from residency informational sessions to educational lectures on human trafficking advocacy and how to incorporate diagnostic imaging into patient care. She strives to uplift and inspire others by fostering opportunities for education and career development. Her experience in numerous leadership roles, coupled with her friendly and outgoing personality, will enable her to be an effective Regional Representative. Furthermore, Mary embodies the values of AAEM and will be a strengthening addition to her fellow council members. She is someone with a bright future ahead of her as a leader in emergency medicine and an ideal candidate for AAEM/RSA’s Medical Student Council. I would appreciate your support in choosing Mary as the Regional Representative for the West.

Candidate Statement: My name is Mary Unanyan and I am running for West Regional Representative because I want to uplift medical students and inspire them to pursue emergency medicine (EM.) I was first introduced to AAEM when I attended the Southern California EM Symposium in January 2020. It is clear how passionate AAEM is with how involved they are in education and advocacy. As someone involved in policy and advocacy through California Medical Association (CMA), I particularly appreciate AAEM’s proactive approach in advocating on policies affecting the practice of EM physicians. I knew the opportunity to partner with AAEM would be invaluable for my growth towards becoming a physician who is active and well-versed with critical issues in EM. After that first conference, I quickly immersed myself and joined the AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee. Through our discussions, I learned about the importance of issues like due process rights and how AAEM navigates these issues to protect the integrity of EM. My team members’ genuine passion and ardent support for EM further inspired me to become more involved—resulting in my appointment as a RSA Representative Council Member and desire to run for Regional Representative. I want to support AAEM and collaborate on initiatives that increase student involvement and provide opportunity for education and career development. With my leadership experience in CMA and my school’s EMIG, I am confident in my ability to foster connections, facilitate events, and be an effective team member. If given the honor to serve as Regional Representative, I will be transparent and welcome any feedback from my region on how to better serve their interests. I am grateful for the opportunities AAEM has afforded me and want to pay it forward. I humbly ask for the honor to champion my region as the AAEM West Regional Representative. Thank you.

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Alexandria Brennan

Candidate for International Ex-Officio Member 
Self-nomination
Medical School: American University of Antigua

Candidate Statement: As we see the toll the pandemic is taking on emergency departments across the globe, I am concerned that changes such as closing/limiting away rotation availability will have an impact on both domestic and especially IMG students. As we acclimate to this new normal, it will be crucial to develop new methods of providing students with the appropriate breadth and depth of experience, not least to facilitate an appropriate Match. I believe that limited exposure to different health systems and ways of practice (e.g. community vs. academic facilities) can only hinder the EM field's drive to reduce burnout, as we see students committing to programs nearly sight-unseen that may not be a good fit. Furthermore, the disproportionate hindrance to the IMG population may serve to reduce diversity in residency classes, which is harmful to both program culture and patient care.

Working in the ER for many years, including the first year of the pandemic, I was exposed first-hand to how crucial it is to support all levels of our healthcare team. Physicians need to be leaders in advocating for their coworkers, and now more than ever it feels critical to have EM physicians with active, ground-level experience also serving in the leadership/administration of their hospitals to ensure that the right decisions (the hard decisions) for staff and patient safety are being made. Promoting knowledge of business and health care administration in medical education will allow our incoming generation of physicians to be more prepared to take an active role when similar situations with disproportionate impact on our departments arise in the future. I am interested in serving either as a Midwest or IMG representative (as currently, I am a hybrid of both) to collaborate on these and other priorities with hopes to shape the EM environment in which I will eventually be practicing.

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Benjamin C. Brody, JD

Candidate for International Ex-Officio Member 
Self-nomination
Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine

Candidate Statement: As a career-change student, who is a lawyer and most recently served as an elected Judge of Elections from 2017-2020, I feel I possess the skills and life experience to effectively and methodically represent my fellow international medical students to the Student Council and AAEM/RSA as a whole, as well as the increase the visibility of and engagement in AAEM/RSA with my fellow international medical students and their respective schools. Now more than ever, emergency medicine is a crucial field and those seeking to enter it must be equal to the task. I will provide steady, professional, and inclusive advocacy for the international students, all members, and the organization overall if elected. It will be a privilege and an honor to represent the international student members, and the Student Council, if fortunate enough to gain your vote of confidence and trust for my candidacy.

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Zoe Cole

Candidate for International Ex-Officio Member 
Self-nomination
Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine

Candidate Statement: I am a second year medical student at Ross University School of Medicine. I thoroughly enjoy my involvement in AAEM/RSA, which has included bringing back “Coffee Talk – A Mentorship Opportunity,” attending the Medical Student Symposium, and being a Student Representative. My interest in emergency medicine, and specifically in geriatric emergency medicine, began while I was volunteering for hospice and working as an EM scribe during my undergraduate studies. My interests were recently confirmed when I found myself as a patient in the ER, being cared for by multiple EM physicians and residents when I sustained a fracture of the TMJ during my first week of MS2. I am resilient, hard-working, and passionate in all that I do. Beyond my involvement with AAEM/RSA, I am a Lead Ambassador at my medical school, a Welcome Committee member, President and Founder of the ENT interest group, and a member of RUSM EM Interest Group, ACEP YPS, LMSA, and AMWA. In my spare time, I enjoy running outdoors and playing with my cat Sophie.

As a member of the AAEM Medical Student Council, I would work to increase RSA membership and interest among existing members. I would also work to arrange more networking opportunities, continue to scout out mentorship opportunities, and improve access to outside resources that will help students succeed in medical school and beyond. I would like to continue paving the way for the AAEM/RSA community to form purposeful connections based on our similar core values that led us to medicine, and to maintain these connections throughout our career lifespan. My various positions as a liaison and advocate for my student community have given me a foundation to continue contributing toward improving the care of the sick and advancing public health.

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Ava Omidvar

Candidate for International Ex-Officio Member 
Nominated by Tyler Stinson, AAEM/RSA Representative Council Member
Medical School: St. George’s University

Nomination Statement: This candidate embodies the core values of emergency medicine. She has been committed since day one to serve and provide essential emergency care to all communities she has been a part of. It is with no hesitation that I nominate Ava Omidvar for a position on this council for her continued service to her community throughout this crazy pandemic time.

Candidate Statement: Since infancy, hospitals were my second home because of a near-fatal hemangioma that perniciously affected my face and airway. Thanks to the tireless efforts of my medical teams, I was able to become like the other children and dream about what I wanted to be when I grow up. I wanted to become like my heroes who gave me a second chance.

My passion for medicine has taken me around the world. From the back of an ambulance in Baltimore, to a small clinic in Kampala, to teaching public health in Boston, to lifting off as a Medevac in DC, and now in my second year of medical school in Grenada. At each turn, I have encountered patients and people who inspire me to continue on this journey and to share with all who cross my path.

As a child, I dreamed of being a physician, but I could never have imagined what that could mean for the impact I would one day leave on the world. Now, being a physician is no longer about fulfilling my childhood dream - it is about ensuring that the HIV+ child I treated in Uganda, the homeless man I helped in my ambulance, and the many future patients I hope to serve, survive to see their own dreams come to fruition. It is my highest aspiration to serve the neediest among us and leave the world a better place than how I came to it.

Currently, I am on the RSA Critical Care subcommittee spearheading a new Critical Care course for the AAEM conferences. AAEM will provide me with opportunities in EM that I will not find anywhere else. Ultimately, I will provide the RSA Medical Student Council with a lifetime of acquired knowledge, skills, and passion from working in medicine around the world.

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Daniel Zumsteg

Candidate for International Ex-Officio Member 
Nominated by Bruno Perthus, MD, AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council International Ex-Officio Member
Medical School: University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School

Nomination Statement: My name is Dr. Bruno Perthus, and I am the former AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council International Ex-Officio Member. It is my pleasure to nominate Daniel Zumsteg for this same position. Daniel is a dedicated student, leader, and future emergency medicine physician. Daniel is the incoming Ultrasound Chair for our program’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group. He has already shown initiative in this capacity by establishing a relationship with the Ochsner Emergency Medicine residency ultrasound director, with plans for a series of ultrasound lectures and didactics. He continues to be an active and eager member of our interest group and is the first to volunteer his time toward tasks that need completing.

Daniel is well acquainted with various leadership roles, stretching all the way back to his days in the Boy Scouts, and is a thoughtful voice in our medical school community. On the hospital wards, he is enthusiastic, effective, and dedicated to addressing the needs of the patient, the team, and his peers, and he does so with grace, tact, and just the right amount of levity. The organizational experience and adaptive problem-solving strategies that he has developed over his career to this point will undoubtedly continue to serve him as his career flourishes through the coming years.

As the current RSA International Ex-Officio Member, I do not doubt that Daniel would fill and improve on this position throughout his time as a member of the AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council.

Candidate Statement: When I began as a medical student at the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School, I was excited to learn how Australia prepares its medical students to be effective physicians in their healthcare system. COVID-19 has disrupted education for both American and Australian medical students, and I am fortunate to hear how my friends in both communities are adapting. However, as the American medical community charts a path forward, international medical graduates should be represented, especially during conversations about residency applications and requirements for entering The Match.

Before medical school, I worked in the US Department of Veterans Affairs, managing several large, multi-center clinical studies with the project management team. While there, I actively engaged in discussions that helped refine VA protocols for secure communication of time-sensitive study data. I also learned to be an effective facilitator between study leadership and individual site managers so that the most accurate and complete data from each study site was collected for analysis. Now, as an incoming leader within my program’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group, I am excited to organize learning opportunities for myself and my colleagues, with a particular focus on the wide utility of ultrasound.

I am highly motivated to work with the AAEM/RSA Medical Student Council to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our nascent careers as emergency medicine physicians. If elected, I intend to draw upon my experience as a project manager with the VA to be a prudent leader and an effective advocate for other international medical graduates in the role of International Ex-Officio Representative.

 

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