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Student National Medical Association

History

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) was established because of a need to produce competent and compassionate physicians to serve minority and indigent communities. These communities suffer from illnesses and deprivations that are both appalling and unacceptable in comparison to the majority community. SNMA was founded to foster within minority students an obligation to excellence and to produce quality health-care teams armed with the knowledge, skill and insight to practice medicine within underserved communities.

In 1964, under the auspices of the National Medical Association, the SNMA Constitutions and By-laws were drafted and approved. In 1971, SNMA became a nationally independent, nonprofit corporation with fiscal integrity and financial autonomy. As a result of the increase in minority medical students between 1971 and 1975, the association gained increasing recognition by government, private industries and health organizations. During the mid to late 1970’s, SNMA turned its efforts towards addressing health education and health-care issues while continuing the fight towards greater representation of minorities in health professions. The 1980’s witnessed the expansion of the horizons of the SNMA to encompass academic medicine.

SNMA has three main levels of operation: The national office, 10 regional offices and over 120 medical school chapter affiliates. The Board of Directors, elected by regional constituents, are responsible for the association’s corporate obligations. The House of Delegates, the highest governing body, is composed of representatives of the membership at large. They determine the direction and focus of the organization.

The founders of the Student National Medical Association established goals and purposes of the organization, as specified in Article II of its Constitution, to:

  • Create an atmosphere wherein professional excellence and moral principles can find fullest expression;
  • Disseminate information relevant to minority problems within the field of medical education;
  • Take the necessary and proper steps to eradicate prejudicial practices in the field of medical education and related areas, as these practices are based on race, creed, color, sex or national origin;
  • Develop workable programs or implement better urban and rural health care;
  • Provide national leadership on the promulgation of legislative policies for the provision of better health-care;
  • Sponsor programs for minority youth to encourage their entrance into the health-care professions; and
  • Raise the levels of minority student recruitment, admissions and retention in schools training health-care professionals.

Mission

Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.

SNMA chapters based at allopathic and osteopathic medical schools throughout the nation, and some colleges, implement our programs and activities locally. SNMA programs are designed to serve the health needs of underserved communities and communities of color. In addition, SNMA is dedicated both to ensuring that medical education and services are culturally sensitive to the needs of diverse populations and to increasing the number of African-American, Latino, and other students of color entering and completing medical school.

Goals

The goals of SNMA are:

  • To serve as a credible and accurate sourvce of information relevant to minority issues in the field of medical education
  • To encourage and foster the development of minority faculty in order to increase the presence of minority mentors and biomedical researchers in academic health centers
  • To evaluate and cultivate the necessary measures to eradicate practices in the field of health profession education that compromises the goal of providing quality education to minorities and women.

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