Giving Voice: CI MED Physician Innovator Elected as National Delegate to Prestigious Med Ed Group

January 19, 2024
Beth Hart

Written by Beth Hart

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A Carle Illinois College of Medicine physician-innovator has been elected to represent medical students nationwide on policies affecting diversity and mentorship within medical education. Alexa Lauinger will serve as a national delegate on the Organization of Student Representatives’ Community and Diversity Committee, tasked with representing the student voice within the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) through feedback on policy changes and new initiatives. Lauinger says this is an opportunity to make a national impact on key issues affecting the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.

<em>Alexa Lauinger</em>
Alexa Lauinger

“Being a national delegate, especially on the Community & Diversity Committee, is an opportunity to empower medical students across the nation,” Lauinger said. OSR is made up of students from accredited medical schools in the U.S., and national delegates are elected from within the OSR membership. “This position allows me to work directly with the group on student affairs in the AAMC and share the concerns of students, especially regarding research, mentorship, and equity.

In her new role, Lauinger is particularly focused on creating channels and tools that help medical students find and connect with medical, research, and lifestyle mentors. “Finding a mentor and asking them for help can shape the achievements and networks that a student has access to, and this varies greatly based on your medical school and your location,” Lauinger explained. “I want to help build a toolbox to help students build the skills to expand their network and reach out to mentors.”

Lauinger plans to use her connections as an OSR national delegate to create collaborations with other medical schools across the nation, sharing ideas, research projects, and policies. “One of my goals is to host asynchronous panels on mentorship from physicians in a range of specialties to help offer their advice to students that don’t have these opportunities,” she said.

Even though OSR National delegates do not vote on AAMC policies, they provide feedback and facilitate communication with member schools. Lauinger says she wants to ensure that students at CI MED and other medical schools are informed about changes that are being enacted at the national level. Her term as national delegate runs for one year, and she hopes to run for OSR National Chair in 2025.

Editor’s note: The AAMC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. The Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) represents medical students nationwide and provides an active role in advancing the AAMC mission to improve the nation’s health. The OSR’s community and diversity committee promotes cultural awareness, community service, and diversity within medical education.

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This story was published January 19, 2024.