In this blog post, Bernadette DeRussy discusses advice on starting an APSA Local Chapter and the importance of teamwork...
Over the past semester, I’ve learned that like most things in life, establishing and running an APSA local chapter is a team effort and cannot be done alone. The MD/PhD program at my school is quite small, but I am lucky that the few students we have are highly committed to pursuing careers as physician-scientists, which includes participating in groups like APSA. When asked to hold an office in our local chapter or to help out with meetings and activities, most of my fellow MD/PhD students were quick to volunteer. We also have strong connections with several MD-only students, which has greatly benefited our chapter.
If I could give only one piece of advice in starting a local chapter, it would be to make sure that you have a few individuals who are willing to put in the time and effort to make your local chapter a success. Filling out the secondary application for starting a local chapter initially seemed daunting, but after forming a team to work on the application, we were able to complete it in only a month. I know that many MD/PhD students are go-getters who are used to taking charge and doing things themselves, but starting and running a local APSA is a great reminder about the importance of teamwork and delegation. There really is strength in numbers!
Bernadette DeRussy, University of Mississippi Medical Center