California medical students honored with 2014 AMA Leadership Awards

June 16, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Medical School Physician Leadership Professional Development & Education 

Two Californian medical students were honored with Leadership Awards last week by the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation during the annual AMA House of Delegates in Chicago. Both awardees are students at the University of California School of Medicine, Irvine.

California Medial Association member Asghar Haider, a fourth-year student in the combined M.D./MBA program, is passionate about community outreach. As an immigrant and first-generation college student, he recognized the need for mentors for teens in his community. “Immigrating to the United States from Pakistan gave me a unique perspective from an early age. I lacked academic mentors who went through the process of applying and graduating college in this country. Realizing there were many students like this in my community, I co-founded Peer Advancement Community for Teens (PACT) during my second year to bridge the mentorship gap in my community.” PACT is a mentoring program for children of immigrants who seek a college degree. Haider is working towards a dual M.D./MBA degree to better understand the changing health care landscape and to advocate for his future patients. His aspiration is to become a leader in academic ophthalmology.

Raja Narayan is an M.D./MPH student pursuing a Master’s of Public Health in applied biostatistics and epidemiology. He has been deeply involved in deploying technology to advance medical education and patient care, which has led to his work with the Khan Academy on a series of videos for pre-med students who will be taking the new MCATs in 2015. “The MCATs haven’t been updated since 1991,” he said. “I have been working with Association of American Medical Colleges and the Robert Wood Foundation to create a series of physiological systems videos that will help students understand the material and pass the test.” Narayan will be completing his final year of medical school this year and will seek a medical residency in general surgery.

AMA Foundation Leadership Awards recognize individuals with outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service and education. The award program provides medical students, residents, fellows and early career physicians from around the country with special training to develop their skills as future leaders in organized medicine and community affairs.

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