Med Students Hold Leadership Week, With AMA Support

Members of the UConn American Medical Association chapter's executive board.
Members of the UConn American Medical Association chapter’s executive board. Left to right, back: Alyssa Ettinger, Jonathan Lis, Chris Hampton, and Andrew Glick. Front: Elise Mester, Sarah Mattessich, and Christina Klecker. Not pictured: Victoria Greenwood. (Eric Swanson/UConn Health Photo)

It’s Leadership Week at the UConn School of Medicine, a series of events to provide a chance for students who envision themselves as leaders in medicine to share ideas with those who already are—in this case, members of the UConn Health faculty.

The annual tradition of UConn’s American Medical Association student section runs through Thursday. Among the participating faculty are Dr. Bruce Liang, medical school dean, as well as Drs. Paul Dworkin, Anton Alerte, Jane Grant-Kels and Rob Fuller.

“Leadership Week promotes AMA’s core value of leadership by providing an interactive forum for physicians and medical students to discuss pathways to leadership roles and professional development,” says Sarah Mattessich, one of the student organizers. “Last year this event was extremely successful. We had 80 students attend, and we are expecting similar numbers this year.”

Mattessich, a second-year medical student, serves as treasurer of the UConn chapter of the AMA. In that capacity she was able to secure a Section Involvement Grant from the AMA to help offset the costs of holding Leadership Week.

“Our grant will allow us to provide food for our series of events: one dinner and two lunch-and-learns,” Mattessich says. “Success of this event has been possible through the efforts of our entire executive board of second-year medical students. Jonathan Lis and Andrew Glick, the co-chairs of our AMA chapter, have been instrumental in executing this event, including recruiting physician speakers and advertising among the student body.”

Psychiatry professor Mary Casey Jacob, the chapter’s academic adviser, praises Mattessich for her efforts to coordinate this year’s event, by working closely with Lis and Glick and by obtaining the grant.

“This tells us Sarah wishes to provide this important service to her peers, that she is highly organized, and that she know she wants to be a leader within medicine,” Jacob says. “UConn is proud of students like Sarah, who will not only be excellent doctors but also people who nurture their roles within communities as leaders.”

Last year, the UConn chapter hosted the regional student AMA meeting. The year before, UConn’s was a finalist for Chapter of the Year.

“This is a very active and accomplished group,” Jacob says. “That they manage to achieve so much on top of medical studies is quite an achievement.”