USF medical students shine bright in AMA spotlight, earning awards and taking the national stage

Taking active roles on a national stage earned several high-profile awards for students at the  USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, including showcasing the comprehensive range of involvement by the USF chapter of the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS).

At the AMA’s recent national meeting in Chicago, USF was named AMA-MSS School of the Year.

In addition, the USF chapter’s recent Fitness Bootcamp earned Event of the Year.

“Many other schools applied to be considered for these awards, so it was a huge feat to win both simultaneously,” said Phillip Zegelbone, a second-year student and chair of the USF AMA-MSS. “We’re extremely proud to have received two of the highest possible honors a medical school in the AMA-MSS can achieve.”


Applicants for the School of the Year were judged in several areas, including membership, community service, advocacy, innovation and collaboration.  USF won a $500 grant to be used toward the local medical student section’s activities.  For more on the USF AMA section’s achievements over the past year in the various award categories, click here.

The student-run Fitness Bootcamp  promoted teamwork and exercise in health professions students across disciplines, which made the event stand out among competitors, Zegelbone said. “We believe the bootcamp’s interprofessional nature boosted its popularity with the AMA.”

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Some USF AMA Section members show off their recent high-profile awards. Kneeling: Elise Diamond, MS2. Front row, l to r: Jessica Deslauriers, MS4; Jennifer Chevinsky, MS3; Kanchi Batra, MS3; and Monique Konstantinovic, MS2. Back row, l to r: Aresh Ramin, MS3; Cameron Paterson, MS2; R. David Graham, MS4; and Phillip Zegelbone, MS2.

Several USF medical students were also elected to national and regional AMA positions at the national meeting:

• R. David Graham (Class of 2014) was elected Speaker of the national medical student section
• Jessica Deslauriers (Class of 2014) was elected At Large Officer
• Zegelbone (Class of 2016) was elected Regional Community Service Chair.

Winning another nationally-competitive honor was medical student Chelsea Frost (Class of 2016), who was selected as a 2013 Orthopaedic Summer Intern,  a program co-sponsored by both Nth Dimensions and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery. Frost is one of 15 medical students selected nationwide to be Nth Dimensions/AAOS scholars. She was selected among 65 applicants nationally.

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Jennifer Chevinsky

And continuing with the news of USF medical student involvement on national platforms, Jennifer Chevinsky (Class of 2015) edited the June issue of the Virtual Mentor, AMA’s online ethics journal. Each issue of Virtual Mentor has a theme—a medical specialty field or topic of concern or debate in medical ethics. Invited medical students and residents apply to serve as theme issue editors and for the June issue Chevinksy offered a slate of articles on team-based learning, including the lead article called “Redefining Leadership and Medical Teams”. There are several articles by USF Health faculty, as well as a podcast of an interview with Dr. Stephen Klasko produced by Chevinsky.

By Sarah A. Worth, USF Health Communications