Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association

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Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
Formation 1995
Founder Dr. B Ulysses K. Li
Pediatric Gastroenterologist
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Type Student-governed Organization
Over 15,000 medical students, pre-medical students, residents, and physicians
Official language
National President
Kevin Riutzel
Website APAMSA

The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA), founded in 1995, is the nation’s largest organization representing Asian Pacific American (APA) medical students. APAMSA is a student-governed and national organization that promotes awareness and advocacy of issues affecting the APA community. They have over 15,000 medical students, pre-medical students, interns, medical residents, and practicing physicians. APAMSA hosts an annual National Conference and a Hepatitis B Conference in the fall. Most recently, the 2014 National Conference was hosted by College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University Nevada in Las Vegas, NV, with the theme "Remedies for Disparities." In past years, the 2011 National Conference was held at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Hepatitis B Conference was held in San Francisco, CA. In 2012, it was held at the University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor, MI and the Hepatitis B Conference was held in Boston, MA. In 2013, it was co-hosted by Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, NY.

Currently, APAMSA has local chapters at 78 different medical schools in the United States.

Previous APAMSA work[edit]

Disparities in Medical Education: In 2007, APAMSA conducted a national study[1] to reveal racial and ethnic disparities in medical school grades during clinical years. The study demonstrated that minorities receive lower grades than white medical students. This study served to show the possibility that cultural factors may play a role in medical school grades during clinical years. In 2009, APAMSA followed up with a second study[2] to examine medical student communication styles. The study concluded that there were differences in student communication styles and feedback based on demographic differences suggesting a need for cultural competency training for both medical student and teacher.

Bone Marrow Drive: During the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service, APAMSA helped organize the Gift of Hope, Gift of Unity Marrow Drives in Washington DC and in California with Yul Kwon and the national bone marrow programs: NMDP, AADP, A3M, and SAMAR.[3] In 2009, APAMSA also launched the 1000 CRANES for HOPE Campaign to register at least 1000 minorities onto the National Bone Marrow Registry.[4]

Hepatitis B: Since 2006, APAMSA has contributed to help raise awareness about Hepatitis B and liver disease in the APA community by Hepatitis B, APAMSA Fights to Break the Hepatitis B Cycle.[5] This campaign brought together a national cross section of medical students and physicians dedicated to ending the epidemic of hepatitis B in APA community, and the launching of several local hepatitis B education and screening programs across the United States.[6]

Japan Tsunami Relief: In 2011 in response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, APAMSA chapters throughout the United States raised a combined total of over $11,000 which was ultimately donated to aid the recovery effort in Japan. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine was recognized as the top fundraiser in the effort as they raised a total of $6508.32.


  • Academic Education Program
  • Bone Marrow Registration
  • Community Outreach Program
  • Health Advocacy Initiative
  • Health Disparities Initiative
  • Hepatitis B Program
  • International Medical Missions
  • National Cancer Initiative
  • Pre-Medical Program
  • South Asian Health


APAMSA officially started in 1995 by Dr. B Li and his colleagues with the first National Conference after they were worried about the future of APA medical students and communities. Since then, APAMSA has grown to include many National Programs including the Hepatitis B education and immunization project and the Bone Marrow Donation project.

As an organization based on health care, APAMSA has also held a prominent role in speaking out for smoking and tobacco use targeting the Asian community, for irresponsible alcohol use, for immunization and for health standards addressing needs of the medically underserved. So far efforts have been met with great success as smoking and alcohol consumption, along with related chronic illnesses, have been on the rise in Asian youth since 2003.


  1. ^ "Lee, et al. "Making the Grade:" Noncognitive Predictors of Medical Students' Clinical Clerkship Grades. Journal of the National Medical Association, October 2007, Volume 99, No 10, Pages 1138-1150.
  2. ^ Lee, et al. Cultural Competency in Medical Education: Demographic Differences Associated with Medical Student Communication Styles and Clinical Clerkship Feedback. 101;2. Feb 2, 2009. JNMA.
  3. ^ Beh.The Gift of Hope: 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee’s National Day of Service.
  4. ^ Ong. APAMSA Launches 1000 Cranes for HOPE.
  5. ^ APAMSA Fights to Break the Cycle of Hepatitis B.,0,w
  6. ^ Williams. Spoken Word Piece Calls Attention to Hepatitis B.

External links[edit]

  • [1] - Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association homepage
  • [2] - 1000 CRANES for HOPE: APAMSA Bone Marrow
  • [3] - Study shows lower grades for APA medical student
  • [4][dead link] - Cultural differences skew medical school grades
  • [5] - Gift of Hope: Presidential Inaugural Committees National Day of Service
  • [6] - APAMSA Hepatitis B 2008 Conference
  • [7] - APAMSA Hepatitis B 2007 Conference
  • [8] - Asian Americans Face Obstacles in Medicine