Students attending the SNMA Conference
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SIU attends SNMA Conference

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SIU Family Medicine Residency Program for Springfield went to recruit medical students at this year’s Student National Medical Associations Annual Medical Education Conference (SNMA). On April 5 - 9, Dr. Christopher Smyre, MD, Assistant Professor and Director of Antiracism, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, traveled to Hartford, Connecticut, with Dr. Dorathy Okon, MD, a PGY2 Family Medicine resident physician to recruit students to the program. Their goal was to work toward continued diversification of the program’s residents and providers for central and Southern Illinois.

“The SIU Family and Community Medicine Department is committed to becoming an antiracist department. The Springfield residency program has created a culture of inclusivity where underrepresented minority residents can thrive. We want to continue working to increase the diversity of those applying to our program. We hope they will stay in central and southern Illinois to provide care and diversify the face of healthcare in our region. We provide care to a diverse patient population, and our community desires a diversity of providers,” said Dr. Smyre. 

The SNMA Conference is the largest gathering of underrepresented minority medical and premedical students across the United States and the Caribbean. For 59 years, the conference has worked to diversify the face of medicine, serve under-resourced communities and promote health equity and social justice for all. 

The conference has several educational workshops and programs focused on academic and clinical success, professional development and personal growth. The Annual Medical Education Conference helps future doctors toward becoming “clinically excellent, culturally competent, & socially conscious.” It also grants medical and premedical students a unique opportunity to network with colleagues, physicians, medical schools and residency program representatives, and partners. 

Along with members from Springfield’s SIU Family Medicine Residency Program, several other SIU departments had individuals attend the conference. This included the SIU Family Medicine Residency Program for Carbondale, Decatur, and Alton and the SIU Internal Medicine Residency Program, The Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion, and SIU MEDPREP.

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