Two medical students at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine were named to prominent leadership positions with the American Medical Student Association.
Annelise Silva was named national president-elect, and Adjoa Cofie will take on the role of national vice president of programming and development.
Silva will spend most of her time as president-elect learning the organization at the national level and will step into the role of president in 2025 during the association’s 75th year.
One of the reasons Silva wanted to serve at the national level was her passion for educational equity.
Before enrolling in Wright State, Silva taught eighth-grade science with Teach for America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing leaders committed to expanding opportunities for low-income students. During that time, she began to realize the importance of bringing health care and the classroom together.
Silva began her involvement with American Medical Student Association in her first year of medical school as president of the Boonshoft School of Medicine chapter. In this role, she helped lead an ambitious revamping of the chapter, including a novel four-year dual executive board chapter model. In co-leadership with Cofie, the AMSAxBSoM chapter is now the single most active American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter internationally.
“I’ve been really invested in educational leadership and educational equity throughout medical school, and that’s what attracted me to AMSA,” Silva said. “Through AMSA, I’ve seen just how many avenues we have to affect change in those areas. It is the largest and oldest student medical organization in the country with a lot of valuable resources to help coordinate that intersection between, education, research and clinical practice. This is something I really thought I could thrive in.”
Silva has also served as co-president of the radiology interest group at the Boonshoft School of Medicine. In this capacity, she helped institute a supplemental workshop series in radiology education geared toward anatomy courses for medical students. She also served as vice president and diversity representative for the chapter of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association and has worked with the Department of Medical Education, where she is enrolled in the Physician Leadership Pathway program.
Silva expects to graduate in 2024.
Cofie will take on her new role as vice president of programming and development of the American Medical Student Association in June. Previously, she participated in the Boonshoft School of Medicine chapter, serving as the director of advocacy and innovation in her first year of medical school and president in her second year.
As president of the Wright State chapter, Cofie had a lot of responsibilities, including working toward expanding its presence at Wright State and communicating with and developing relationships with the national boards.
She helped establish partnerships with local political advocacy groups and hosted events on campus focused on various health care issues, including women’s health. She also created a program advocating for underserved communities, partnering with physician-advocates that helped students run through social and political scenarios they might encounter with patients and colleagues in their careers.
Cofie encourages medical and pre-medical students to take advantage of the opportunities they can gain from participating in the American Medical Student Association. She said students considering a career in medicine would benefit from the valuable mentorships and resources offered by the association.
“During my two years here at Wright State in both of my roles at the chapter level, I helped build a lot of programs that have been very efficient and sustainable and have increased our membership. I am very excited to have the opportunity to help other chapters across the U.S.,” said Cofie.
Cofie also volunteers at least once a month with Boonshoft School of Medicine activities, local schools and women’s shelters.
Cofie expects to graduate in 2025.