Student Organization Fair – Tuesday, August 12th, @2:45pm

Meet us at the Student Organization Fair for the Class of 2018!!! It will be held on Tuesday, August 12, at 2:45 pm in the Hiebert Lounge.


We will be talking about what we do as an organization, our plans for this year and how you can be involved throughout your medical school years.

See you there!

BUATP Awarded Best Student/Resident Abstract

Mobile 401

This year’s ATP abstract submission to John McCahan Education Day has been selected as the winner for Best Student/Resident Abstract! Nicole Economou and Lou Yu discussed the assessment of structured advocacy training integrated into the third year ob/gyn clerkship. Congratulations Nicole and Lou for this wonderful accomplishment, and many thanks to Dr. Chris Curry and Dr. Erica Holland, as well as the BMC Ob/gyn department for all of the support and hard work on this project. We hope that this success helps fuel the incorporation of formal advocacy training into all required 3rd and 4th year BUSM clerkships.

Roundtable on Issues Facing LGBTQ Prisoners Ft. Jason Lydon, Friday April 18th @ 12:15-1:30pm

Want to learn more about what’s going on with prisoners’ health right here in Boston?

Want to know how you can help?

Come join Physicians for Human Rights, buATP and BUMC Pride as we welcome Jason Lydon, the founder of Black and Pink.

Jason will give an introduction to current LGBTQ prisoner issues, prisoner organizing models and the role of medical professionals within the framework of abolition.

Black and Pink is a national organization that started here in Boston to support LGBTQ people currently residing in the prison system. So come discuss, ask questions, eat pizza and engage!

Q & A will follow a brief lecture, and pizza will be provided.

Friday April 18th, 2014

BUSM Room L-109


Social Determinants of Health Grand Rounds –Friday, March 21

Please join us and the Department of General Internal Medicine:

“Advocacy from the Front Lines of Medicine”

Presented by:

Jessie Gaeta, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, BUSM

Department of General Internal Medicine, BMC

Medical director of Barbara McInnis House

Friday, March 21, 2014

12:00 PM

BU School of Medicine Building, Keefer Auditorium

Hope to see you there!

* BMC’s Social Determinants of Health Grand Rounds is a new series of lectures that address the social, economic and environmental determinants of our patients’ health. By inviting experts in patient advocacy and health care policy to share their research and experience, they aim to foster a dialogue across departments and professions about the social context of our health care system.

Recap: February Grand Rounds: “Can Housing Act as a Vaccine?”

Our first buATP Advocacy Grand Rounds of the year took place on February 5th @ 11:30-12:30pm (in spite of the snow storm!) The discussion, titled “Can Housing Act as a Vaccine?”, was lead by Dr. Sandel, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the BU Schools of Medicine and Public Health. After sharing how she became passionate about housing advocacy, Dr. Sandel described how a stable, decent and affordable home can act as a vaccine to keep kids and adults healthy now and in the future. Dr. Sandel also talked about the current national homeless crisis and deliberately left ample time for student questions to allow for an interactive discussion.

**Our next Grand Rounds will be on Monday, March 31st @ 4pm, so be on the lookout for these!**

SNAP Challenge -buATP in the News!

Our very own second year ATP leader, Fabian Chang was recently involved in organizing a “SNAP Challenge,” during which students were challenged to restrict their food budgets to just $30 per week, the amount that individuals receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, are allotted. This challenge, along with comments from Fabian and Dr. Megan Sandel, was recently featured in BU Today. You can read more about the SNAP Challenge here.

Recap: December Advocacy Panel: From medical student to physician advocate

Our end-of-the-year advocacy panel was a success! On Monday, December 2nd, Dr. Curry moderated an advocacy panel of fellow physician advocates Dr. Gaeta, Dr. Rattan, and Dr. Walley. All three shared their thoughts about what advocacy means to them, about what doing advocacy means in their daily practice and life, and about how they got to the point they are at today as it relates to advocacy. They also shared their thoughts about how one can balance life, work, and advocacy.

On advocacy

Advocacy is a broad term that may mean different things to different people but, in the end, as medical students and physicians, we are intimately bound to advocate for our individual patients because diseases do not occur in a vacuum, but rather in intricate sociocultural contexts. Advocacy, thus, starts in the clinic by being aware of and identifying the non-biological determinants of health, and acting upon these determinants –this may be done at the patient level, or at the broader local, national, or international levels.

 On the importance of picking our battles if we aim to effect broader change

The world is full of problems that we as individuals will never be able to solve despite all of our good intentions and frustrations about these problems. But the fact that we fundamentally cannot save the world does not mean that we should give up changing anything. Where, then, should we start? To find our way as an advocate, the most important thing is for us to pick our battles. How? By finding an issue that makes us feel uncomfortable, an issue that we cannot rationalize, an issue that has a special meaning to us.

On how advocacy entails cooperation

Once one has identified his/her issue, one needs to start taking action. Because we all have limited knowledge, skills, and time taking action may seem overwhelming at first. Where should we start?! As was mentioned during the panel, changes are not effected by individuals, but rather by groups of individuals with different, complementary skills who work together towards a common goal. What does this mean? It means that, to be successful advocates, we should work hand in hand with people from other backgrounds who have the same vision as us, and skills complementary to ours.

On how to balance work, advocacy, and personal life

Medical students and physicians certainly do not have much free time on their hands, and thus the prospect of adding an advocacy piece to their life outside of school/their practice can seem daunting. Is there a solution to this? The idea that was mentioned in the panel is that life is a dynamic balance, and that being a physician advocate is just one of the many items that add to the balance. While the balance will sometimes tilt towards the “work + advocacy” side, it will tilt towards the “personal life” side at other times. Finding our most fulfilling dynamic is then what will allow us to find our ultimate balance between work, advocacy, and personal life.

On our privileged position as medical students and physicians

Medical students and physicians have a privileged position to effect change at the societal level because they have access to institutions, lawmakers, and money –among other resources, and simply by virtue of their position in the society. Realizing the unique potential that we have to effect change and taking advantage of this privileged position is key to our success as advocates.

A take-home message for medical students?

The “but… we’re only med students” reasoning that some of us have internalized and that may keep us from undertaking bold advocacy endeavors has no rational grounds: advocacy is intrinsically linked to our career path, and BUSM is full of opportunities to start advocating… now!

**Do not hesitate to email us at if you have any question, or if you would like to do advocacy but don’t know where to start!**

Juliette Flam, BUSM, buATP

Upcoming Events Around Boston

·         New! December 12: Webinar: Improving Quality & Safety for Diverse Populations: An Innovative Interprofessional Curriculum. 12-1pm. Education for medical and nursing students on strategies to improve quality, address disparities, and achieve equity will be essential in a time of rapid healthcare system change. The Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and the MGH Institute of Health Professions are hosting this webinar in an effort to provide the latest tools and guidance on these efforts. The webinar will highlight the development and implementation of an innovative, interprofessional curriculum for medical and nursing students. Visit to register and for more information.
·         December 13: Harvard Global Health Institute Talk: An Informal Conversation with Sophie Delaunay. 12:00-1:30 pm. Harvard Global Health Institute, 104 Mt Auburn Street, 3rd Floor, Cambridge. Ms. Delaunay, Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders, will discuss the role of an international humanitarian aid organization in the chemical weapons debate in Syria.
·         December 16: “Working with Faith-Based Organizations to Provide Cancer Control Interventions for Underserved Latinos” by Jennifer Allen PhD, Tufts University. 12:30PM. HSPH, Kresge G3. The goal of the study was to develop and test an organizational-level intervention to enable faith-based organizations (FBOs) to adopt, adapt, implement and sustain evidence-based interventions (EBls) to address cancer disparities among Latinos.
·         December 19: Good Spirits and Strong Bodies:  Mental Health Treatment in Syria 1903-1961. 4:00-5:30pm, Ballard Room, fifth floor, Countway Library of Medicine. Speaker: Beverly Tsacoyianis, Assistant Professor of History, University of Memphis; Doctoral Candidate, Washington University in St. Louis. For further information contact David G. Satin, M.D., Colloquium Director, phone/fax 617-332-0032, CHoM Web:

What are your plans for this summer? Are you looking for a unique global health experience?

If so, the 3-week course “Beyond the Biological Basis for Disease” offered by Physicians for Haiti and taking place in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, may be the perfect fit for you! Below are the course objectives, eligibility criteria, and application process. These and all that you need to know about the course can be found by clicking this link to the handout.

Course Objectives

1.   To promote international solidarity and partnership for generating solutions to global health challenges facing societies throughout the world

2.  To foster reflective dialogue between Haitian and international medical students as a means of strengthening ties between the next generation of Haitian health professionals and a global network of their peers.

3.   To provide a structured global health experience for medical students with dedicated supervision and teaching in clinical medicine and social medicine

4.   To study issues related to global health in a resource-poor setting with an emphasis on local and global context

5.   To foster critical analysis of global health interventions in resource-poor settings

6.   To facilitate the development of a clinical approach to disease and illness using a biosocial model through structured supervision and teaching

7.   To build an understanding and skill set associated with physician advocacy

Eligibility criteria for applicants

  • Medical student of any year
  • Fluent in French
  • Available for the entire length of the course (July 14-August 1, 2014)

Application Process

Applications are due January 15, 2014.

Credit for away electives can usually be arranged with a student’s home institution.

**To complete an application or for more information, please visit or**

Recap: October/November Grand Rounds: What doctors should know about the SNAP/Food Stamp Program

Our October/November Grand Rounds focused on the SNAP/Food Stamp program. Victoria Negus, an AmeriCorps serving at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, gave a talk about the basics of SNAP/Food Stamp eligibility, the application process, common myths surrounding the program, and the role of health care professionals in fighting hunger in Massachusetts.

Her take-home message for medical students and physicians? SNAP is a key component in gaining access to healthy, nutritious food, and it has been shown to have a positive impact on the health of families and individuals –a fact that is especially important to emphasize in light of the recent ARRA cuts. While SNAP is a complex program whose eligibility is based on many criteria, in the end it boils down to consistently asking low-income patients if they receive SNAP. If they do not, they should then be referred to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Project Bread, or outreach partners.

Please refer to the very helpful, straightforward, and Massachusetts-specific handbook Hunger in the Community – Ways Hospitals can Help for more details about the different ways in which you can help patients get nutritional support.

And here are other resources that Victoria Negus shared… and that we would now like to share with you!

1. Resources for the medical community

a) Project Bread:

 The Food Source Hotline: 1-800-645-8333

**Patients can call this number to be screened for SNAP eligibility**

b) Children’s Health Watch:

The SNAP Vaccine—Boosting Children’s Health

2. General resources

a) 2013 SNAP Advocacy Guide

b) Online resources: and

c) Food SNAP Coalition: listserv and monthly meetings in Boston –email Victoria Negus at if you are interested!

d) MCLE Basic Benefits Trainings: Thursday, February 6, 2014, 9:30am – 12:15pm

e) Food Stamps/SNAP client screening through Project Bread:


**Again, if you would like to receive email updates about SNAP from the MA SNAP Coalition, email Victoria Negus at and she will add you to the listserv. Also do not hesitate to contact her if you have any question about the SNAP program!**

Juliette Flam, BUSM, buATP