United States Department of Health and Human Services


Outreach Activities and Resources

National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

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Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Pre-Mission HIV/AIDS Training

Project/Program Dates: 2001 - ongoing

The Student National Medical Association is the nation’s oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Membership includes approximately 7,000 medical students, pre-medical students, residents and physicians. Established in 1964 by medical students from Howard University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, SNMA boasts over 50 years of service to underserved communities and medical students. SNMA is dedicated both to ensuring culturally sensitive medical education and services, as well as increasing the number of African American, Latino and other students of color entering and completing medical school.

In 2001, NLM became aware of SNMA’s projects, including its international medical missions and pipeline projects and started an NLM database training project for SNMA members. Initially, medical students coming to Washington, D.C. before traveling to Ghana for an International Medical Mission were targeted. These students spent a day at NLM where they received database training and attended presentations by NLM staff. The database class later moved to being taught at SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC). Over the years, NLM has presented information and training to medical students and others participating in SNMA programming, including the Medical Missions Program, the Physician Mentoring Institute (PMI), the Physician Researcher Initiative (PRI), and the Brotherhood Alliance for Science Education (BASE). NLM now presents self-directed training on the exhibit floor of the AMEC and through this activity reaches medical students, medical faculty, physicians and other health professionals attending AMEC, as well as undergraduate students attending SNMA’s Pre-medical Forum.

The SNMA recognizes that many of the barriers to greater diversity within the medical profession lie within the continuum of elementary through undergraduate education and their Physician Mentoring Institute (PMI) seeks to close the gap in preparing underrepresented minority students for a career in medicine and other health-related professions. NLM collaborated with SNMA to incorporate NLM’s resources into the curriculum for their PMI.

The Student National Medical Association is on the web at http://www.snma.org/.