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The American Medical Women’s Association’s First Annual TEA Conference at USF
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The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) held its first annual TEA Conference on Saturday, February 6 of 2016. The theme of the event was “Celebrating Superwomen in Medicine,” and AMWA was pleased to have around 60 physicians, medical students, and pre-medical students in attendance for an afternoon of networking and learning from presentations, panels, and small group discussions.

 

The TEA Conference featured a collection drive to benefit Metropolitan Ministries, which is a local nonprofit that helps the homeless, including many women and children, in Tampa. Conference guests brought donations of hygiene items. All guests also received a complementary event t-shirt at the conclusion of the conference.

The TEA in TEA Conference stands for Teaching, Empowering, and Advancing, and the goal of the conference was to teach, empower, and advance women in medicine through presentations, a panel, and personal stories. These three guiding principles (teaching, empowering, and advancing) are also what the AMWA chapter at USF tries to accomplish throughout the year through health-related community service events that benefit the underserved, as well as through speaker events for students on topics including healthcare for homeless women in Tampa, and sex and gender in medicine. While our AMWA chapter at USF works throughout the year to educate and serve within our school and community, the TEA Conference is unique. It is meant to connect likeminded students and physicians from all across central Florida.

The AMWA chapter at USF has hosted three TEA Events in years past, which were events for USF medical students that featured talks and panels by local physicians. AMWA eventually realized, though, that many students could benefit if it expanded the TEA to include students at different levels of training, since students at all stages in their education need role models to look up to and seek advice from. This was also the first year that AMWA was able to invite students from other schools to the TEA. This was an important first step toward collaboration between like-minded students at institutions that are close enough to create meaningful partnerships and sharing of ideas.

Around 50 students from 3 schools attended the TEA Conference in February. From the University of South Florida there were medical students, medical science master’s program students, and pre-medical undergraduate students from all four class years. There were also medical students here from the University of Central Florida and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. This was the most diverse TEA audience ever, which AMWA was extremely proud of, because teaching, empowering, and advancing women is a challenge that affects everyone and can most effectively be accomplished by involving everyone.

AMWA’s Faculty Advisor, Dr. Vinita Kiluk, assisted AMWA board members throughout the academic year to make the TEA Conference successful. Dr. Kira Zwygart, the Dean of Student Affairs at USF Morsani College of Medicine, also advised the conference planning team throughout the year.

AMWA was extremely honored to have so many inspirational speakers and physician guests, who truly are “Superwomen in Medicine,” at the TEA Conference.

 

These “Superwomen” included:

·         Dr. Deborah German (Keynote speaker): Founding Dean of the University of Central Florida College of Medicine

·         Dr. Heidi Pearson (Speaker, USF alumni, '04): Transplant Surgeon, Tampa General Medical Group

·         Dr. Vinita Kiluk (Attendings panel moderator and AMWA’s Faculty Advisor): Assistant Professor, USF College of Medicine in Pediatrics

·         Dr. Cathy Lynch (Panelist, USF alumni, '90): Associate Vice President, Women’s Health and Faculty Development, Associate Vice President in the College of Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology

·         Dr. Ashley Hodes (Panelist): Assistant Professor, College of Medicine Surgery

·         Dr. Patricia Emmanuel (Panelist): Chair of Pediatrics, College of Medicine Pediatrics

·         Dr. Kira Zwygart (Panelist and closing speaker, USF alumni, '98): Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine

·         Dr. Michelle Blanco (Small group Q&A, USF alumni, '10): Resident, USF MCOM Pediatrics

·         Dr. Anne Mattingly (Small group Q&A): Fellow in Surgery-Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center

·         Dr. Coralee Del Valle Mojica (Small group Q&A): Resident, USF MCOM Pediatrics

·         Dr. Lauren Swanson (Small group Q&A): Resident, USF MCOM Pediatrics

In addition to AMWA board members, the following 3 first year medical students from USF MCOM served on the TEA Planning Team:

·         Theresa Schwitalla

·         Toaa Abuelenen

·         Asyvia Powell

 

Thank you to all who attended!

 

Contact Teri Schwitalla tschwitalla@health.usf.edu if you are interested in attending the next annual TEA Conference, or if you are interested in mentoring current AMWA members or speaking at an upcoming AMWA event!

 

 

USF Morsani College of Medicine Alumni Society
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC 70, Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: 813-974-1470 I Fax: 813-974-2936

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