A year and a half ago, we sat in a fancy restaurant in downtown Atlanta, grabbing a late dinner and jabbering excitedly about the sights and sounds of our first national conference. in-Training was barely a few hours old, little more than a few notes hastily scribbled on napkins. We joked that one day we would host our own conference, with medical students all over the country flying in to discuss shared experiences in medical education and to speculate on the future of our profession.
It was a pipe dream, we admitted, the fantasy of two overly-eager medical students who hadn’t even stepped into their first lecture hall and whose publication had barely passed its first Apgar score.
However, at the American Association for Medical Colleges (AAMC) Annual Meeting this past weekend in Philadelphia, our dream found its first roots. As we presented our poster on in-Training’s inception and expansion, we introduced one of our columnists, a Texan, to one of our contributing writers from the far state of Connecticut—the first time we had ever introduced one of our writers to another.
A small and seemingly trivial act, but for a virtual publication composed of medical students from all over the world, it was a testament to in-Training’s evolving role as the voice of the medical student community. Our writers—an entrepreneurial bunch of their own right, as we discovered—met other writers, talked about their mutual projects, and reflected on the rigors of medical education.
When we unveiled our new mission statement over the summer, we knew our third purpose, collaboration, would be the most difficult—and most vital—to achieve. Our first two missions, self-reflection and communication, are nothing new to in-Training. With 199 articles published by 97 medical students at 48 institutions across the United States, Canada, India, and even the Dutch Antilles, it is clear that medical students are eager to reflect and share their experiences with their peers.
But to have students use in-Training as a networking platform, as a means to mutually collaborate on projects, and as a way to identify with peers who share interests in humanism or policy or art: this is why we founded in-Training.
And so, on this 200th article published on in-Training, we would like to affirm our commitment to the medical student voice. Through new partnerships and collaboration with colleagues met through the AAMC, we are building relationships to strengthen our publication and the bonds between medical students worldwide.
Thank you to our writers who enrich us, our editors who guide us, and our readers—a whopping 4,000 of you a month—who support us. Your empowerment of the medical student community leads us to a better future for health care and for our patients.
Keep reading, keep writing, and spread the word to your friends and colleagues. And of course, let us know if you’re interested in contributing.