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Published in CenterView on November 19, 2012

AAMC student board taps SOM’s Husband as national delegate

By Gary Pettus

The election of medical student Leland Husband to a prominent leadership position will help generate national recognition for his school and, he hopes, new ideas for improving health care for his state.

husbandHusband, of Tupelo, was selected this month as a National Delegate on the 12-member board that leads the Organization of Student Representatives (OSR), part of the influential Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Involvement in the OSR empowers medical students to help determine the direction of academic medicine on a national level.

Husband was one of five students representing UMMC’s School of Medicine at this month’s AAMC national conference in San Francisco.

“We had one of the largest delegations there,” said Husband, a second-year student. “it’s important for us to be involved with OSR because it’s important for our school.

“We learn things that we bring back here. And it always helps when representatives of other schools meet students from Mississippi, which helps break down some of the stigmas about our state.”

Husband already had earned two master’s degrees when he decided to become a physician a couple of years ago after visiting the Philippines and other developing nations.

“I’d come back to Mississippi and drive to certain areas and see that it’s not much different in some places,” he said. “I love this state. We can help it improve health care. That’s why I went to medical school. That’s the goal.”

Committed to improving the nation’s health “through the advancement of academic medicine,” Washington, D.C.-based AAMC represents all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools, hundreds of teaching hospitals, 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students and 110,000 resident physicians.

Husband’s election to the national office demonstrates that the OSR “respects the experiences, contributions and leadership that our students have to offer,” said Dr. Steve Case, associate dean for medical school admissions.

The School of Medicine has profited from its involvement with AAMC, said Dr. Jerry Clark, associate dean for student affairs in the School of Medicine.

“One of the surprising benefits to me has been the recognition that we’re way ahead of the curve here in many areas,” Clark said. “It’s helped me develop a confidence to continue to try new things.”

John Bridges, M2 class president, said Husband already has served the Class of 2015 well as its curriculum committee representative.

“He is an excellent communicator, diplomat and advocate for our students,” Bridges said.
Zachary Pippin, M2 vice president, said Husband is a leader.

“He always handles himself with professionalism,” Pippin said. “He is constantly looking to make things better.”

The School of Medicine’s four other representatives in San Francisco were Jake Lancaster, Jonah Gunalda, Matthew Oglesbee and Eric McDonald.

“Leland’s election is huge for us as a school,” said McDonald, a second-year student. “He has the responsibility to be a voice for medical students across the nation.

“That voice, coming from UMMC, can assure that we remain a leader in medical education.”