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2005-03-01-Medical Students Want More Focus On Global HIV/AIDS
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation's largest independent medical student organization, today released survey results showing that a large majority (72.7 percent) of medical students surveyed believe that global HIV/AIDS is the "crisis of our generation." Nearly 90 percent of respondents agree that the US should make its response to the pandemic a higher or top priority.
While medical students ranked global HIV/AIDS as what should be one of healthcare's top three priorities, the survey shows that many medical schools provide insufficient or poorly coordinated education and little or no clinical experience on the topic.
"I spend so much time trying to study enough detail to pass our exams that I feel I am missing out on knowledge of bigger, more important health issues," says an anonymous response. Another says, "As a global leader, the United States has the responsibility to be a leader in the response to HIV/AIDS."
"Medical students are interested in learning more about global HIV/AIDS and want to learn the skills necessary to fight the pandemic," says Dr. Brian Palmer, AMSA national president. "With over 8,000 AIDS-related deaths each day, our nation's medical schools need to amend curricula to address the greatest health crisis of our generation."
AMSA believes that physicians have the responsibility to provide factual education to medical students, residents, attending physicians and all other health-care professionals and students regarding HIV infection and related illnesses, treatments and prevention strategies.
Today marks the beginning of Global AIDS Week of Action, sponsored by Physicians for Human Rights and AMSA. Thousands of health professional students nationwide will join together to provide education and action on the global AIDS pandemic aimed at raising awareness among their peers, educators, communities and elected officials.
To address the issue in more depth, AMSA is hosting a full-day conference, "Medicine's Response to the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic," dedicated to examining the latest in the fight against HIV/AIDS and how medical students and health professionals are taking action locally, nationally and internationally around the pandemic. This event will be held on March 16, as part of AMSA's 55th Annual Convention (http://www.amsa.org/conv.)
This is an unscientific survey conducted to gather a general assessment on medical students' attitudes on global HIV/AIDS. AMSA designed and widely solicited this online survey to all AMSA members-425 students responded. For more information, please visit: amsa.org/global/gaw.cfm.
About the American Medical Student Association
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), with more than a half-century history of medical student activism, is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. With nearly 50,000 members, including medical and premedical students, residents and practicing physicians, AMSA is committed to improving medical training as well as advancing the profession of medicine. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at http://www.amsa.org.