Medical student helps plan LMSA Northeast conference

October 21, 2022

Amber Vargas speaking in front of a podium.

Second-year medical student Amber Vargas, MD ’25, played a large role in planning and coordinating the Latinx Medical Students Association’s Fall 2022 House of Delegates.

This regional conference, in which executive members from every medical school with an LMSA chapter in the Northeast region were in attendance, was hosted at Quinnipiac’s Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine earlier this semester.

The theme of the conference was “Tu Voz es Tu Poder,” which means "your voice is your power." The planned talks and workshops focused on providing students with tools to use and strengthen their voices to uplift, advocate and empower throughout their careers in healthcare.

“It was truly a wonderful event,” said Vargas. “It was simply amazing to have so many smart, successful, happy and humble Hispanic/Latinx individuals in one room. We had students, faculty, clinicians, researchers and guest speakers from different cultural backgrounds, different institutions and different parts of the country.”

Vargas said that she and the other members of Netter's LMSA chapter executive board as well as the co-director elects worked together to plan a smooth day of activities where attendees were able to learn and network.

“LMSA is a flourishing organization working on creating support for Hispanic/Latinx individuals interested in medicine,” explained Vargas. “I'm from the Bronx, where ‘minorities’ are the majority, but I never identified as a ‘minority’ until leaving the Bronx. I am so grateful for finding a home away from home in LMSA. It's nice to form connections with faculty and students who understand Hispanic/Latinx cultures.”

Vargas has interests in mentoring, building community and promoting leadership. To plan the conference, she regularly met with student affairs and coordinated a sponsorship with Hartford Healthcare. She said that this is just the beginning of an ongoing partnership between LMSA and Hartford Healthcare, as they plan to be involved with future events and sponsor future scholarship opportunities.

“During my time at Netter, I have been able to work on my community building, communication and leadership skills which provided me with the necessary tools to facilitate this conference,” said Vargas. “Additionally, the faculty members that were involved with the planning of this conference were simply amazing. They really helped our executive board execute a fruitful day and meaningful experience.”

Vargas encourages other students to get involved and speak up.

“You never know where your experiences will take you,” she said. “In tune with the mission of our event, it is important to advocate for yourself, your peers, future patients, and anyone you feel is being cast aside or being unjustly treated. We have a duty to ourselves, our families and our communities to continue to strive in a positive direction of inclusion, belonging and equity.”

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