On July 15th, Medical Students for Life of America saw the completion of the first ever pro-life externship program for pro-life medical students. The purpose of the Med Students for Life Externship is to train the next generation of medical professionals by engaging some of America’s leading scientists and physicians, legal scholars, ethicists, and policy-makers. These future physicians shadowed physicians at Harvard Medical School along with other institutes and private practices throughout the United States, worked in community-based medical and health promotion centers, andpresented their bioethics research findings at a national research symposium.
The Med Students for Life Externship program was created as a way to further help develop and encourage pro-life medical students and show our nation’s medical schools that another way does exist. Organizations like Med Students for Choice have dominated the medical school debate for far too long, leading many medical students into believing that abortion is an acceptable medical procedure. At Med Students for Life, we believe that is not the case, that options really do exist, and future medical professionals should not be forced into believing otherwise.
The MedSFLA Externs followed one of two tracks: (1) Summer Fellowship as a rising 2nd year medical student or (2) Early Medical Scholars Program as a current junior or senior premedical student. Selected Fellows participated in the week-long Distinguished Lecturer Series in Washington, D.C. from June 10th to June 15th, 2012.
To highlight the students’ caliber, one of our MedSFLA externs is not only currently preparing a bioethics position paper for the Journal of the American Medical Association, but she also managed the initial emergency response to an unconscious woman sighted in Boston’s Logan Airport as soon as she landed for her externship.
The MedSFLA Externs traveled from the below institutions to complete this summer medical externship and bioethics research in the following areas:
- Texas A&M School of Medicine: Ethical Considerations for Tubal Interventions in Infertility
- Tulane School of Medicine: Health Care Allocation with Resource Shortage
- University of Minnesota Medical School: Sex Specific Terminations of Pregnancy
- Tulane University: Ethical & Economic Consideration for End of Life Care
- Louisiana State University School of Medicine: Physician-Assisted Suicide in the Age of Autonomy
- Bowdoin College: Wholistic Measures of Health for Hospice Patients
MedSFLA was thrilled to be able to play a small part in the development of these future pro-life physicians, and we look forward to expanding our program to serve even more next year.