Organizations and associations for pre-med students

October 30, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Pre-medical students on placement at Iringa Regional Hospital Medical education in the United States involves a host of businesses and organizations, from student-led associations to test preparation companies. As you move forward toward your future career as a doctor, it is helpful to know a little bit about each of these organizations and how they can impact your education.


Below, you can find a list of important groups that you should know about in addition to a short description about each.


Association of American Medical Colleges

The Association of American Medical Colleges is also known as the AAMC. The AAMC is an important voice when it comes to medical ethics and legislation, as it represents all American and Canadian medical schools and most teaching hospitals. It is worth noting that the AAMC is the not-for-profit organization that administers the Medical College Admission Test, more commonly known as the MCAT, and the American Medical College Application Service, or AMCAS. Any aspiring doctor will almost certainly take the MCAT and will most likely apply to med school through AMCAS. The scope of the AAMC’s mission is extremely broad and encompasses everything from research to patient care initiatives. Major concerns for the AAMC include health education, global health, and advancements in medical technologies and therapies. According to its official website, the “AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians.” To get the most up-to-date information on the AAMC, you can visit the AAMC website.


American Medical Student Association

The American Medical Student Association, or AMSA, is a national organization that is governed by its student-members. AMSA represents any concerns that aspiring physicians may have as they work toward their careers in medicine, including improving the medical training experience and access to quality healthcare, both in America and around the world. Med students, pre-meds, interns, residents, and licensed physicians can all become members of AMSA. In addition to running its own magazine, The New Physician, AMSA takes an interest in the political policies surrounding medicine. The organization offers a suite of benefits to its members, such as career and leadership development seminars, webinars, and international exchanges. Students are encouraged to participate in local chapters, events, and meetings and to take advantage of everything AMSA has to offer. If you would like to read more about AMSA, you can find plenty of information on the AMSA website.


Student National Medical Association 

The “SNMA” is a student organization that focuses on diversity and increasing opportunities for students of color. The Student National Medical Association puts great emphasis on social and cultural awareness in healthcare, the needs of underserved communities, and the concerns and advancement of minority medical students and medical school faculty. The SNMA’s members include medical students, pre-medical students, residents, and licensed physicians. It runs a number community outreach programs that deal with important issues within healthcare, such as sexual health awareness, violence prevention, and smoking cessation. Members can participate in educational and mentoring opportunities in addition to the SNMA’s national committees, which include a number of student interest groups. Of course, the SNMA also advocates for its mission in the political sphere. You can read more about the organization’s activities on the official website of the SNMA.


Student Doctor Network 

The Student Doctor Network is a nonprofit organization with a membership that includes pre-health students, graduates, and doctors. According to the SDN’s official website, the “educational mission of SDN is to assist and encourage all students through the challenging and complicated healthcare education process and into practice.” The SDN’s extensive and historic membership contributes to a large online database of information for aspiring doctors. Its forums are an important and widely used resource for pre-health and graduate health students.



Kaplan, Inc. is a major for-profit organization that offers everything from medical test preparation to professional training courses. Kaplan is a world leader in test preparation when it comes to exams like the MCAT and the USMLE, or the United States Medical Licensing Examination. All physicians with an M.D. must take the USMLE. Many students hoping to become doctors will make use of Kaplan’s offerings at some point in their educations. You can find more information about Kaplan’s MCAT test preparation on the Kaplan website.