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Memphis Mayor Advocates for City and UT Health Science Center Connection During Student-Hosted Campus Visit

Memphis Mayor Paul Young spoke with students Monday at an event hosted by the UT Health Science Center chapter of the American Medical Association Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS).

Students in the College of Medicine were brought a message of encouragement and opportunity by the recently elected mayor of Memphis, Paul Young, during his recent visit to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Memphis campus, where he highlighted the importance of the institution’s ties to the city.

Hosted by the UT Health Science Center chapter of the American Medical Association Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS), Mayor Young engaged with College of Medicine students, drawing from his past experiences as president and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission and as Memphis’ director of Housing and Community Development, emphasizing the transformative impact dedicated individuals can have on shaping the city’s future.

“I’m excited to be here because you all are important on your own and also an important part of the Memphis economy. I want you all to know that I know how important you are to the future of our city,” Mayor Young told the students. “There’s a national global competition for your talent, but we want you here in Memphis.”

In addition to emphasizing the students’ crucial role in Memphis’ health care sector and economy, Mayor Young underscored his connection to UT Health Science Center as his wife, Jamila Smith-Young, DNP, MPH, CPNP-AC, is a valued alumna and faculty member in the College of Nursing.

The event featured a Q&A session moderated by first-year medical student and AMA-MSS leader Tyler Bruno, who highlighted the significance of Mayor Young’s visit in fostering discourse around local health policy and understanding the city’s direction under his leadership. “As an organization, our goal is to promote discourse and engagement around topics surrounding health care and health policy,” Bruno said. “With Mayor Paul Young being our newly inaugurated mayor, we saw his visit to campus as a unique opportunity to engage with local health policy and understand the direction that the city is taking.”

Students in the AMA-MSS were inspired by the mayor’s words about their future impact on communities wherever they live.

Mayor Young provided valuable advice on becoming engaged citizens and servant leaders in the community. Drawing from his extensive experience in city leadership roles, he shared insight on how students can create a better Memphis and become influential leaders.

“My advice in terms of what you can do as you grow into leadership is to find the void. There’s always a void in every space that we work in every organization, things that can’t be done, that nobody’s doing. And if you come in and do it and own it, you are the leader. You lead this thing, whatever it is, whatever that initiative is, and you just own it. And I promise you that what’s going to happen is that people will start calling you. So, find the void and make that your thing,” Mayor Young said.

Mayor Young’s remarks resonated deeply with the student body, inspiring them to consider Memphis a place to pursue their medical career and a community where they can make a meaningful impact.

“Mayor Young’s comments about the needs of the Memphis community and the potential for the great impact that comes with being a community leader in Memphis inspired us as medical students,” Bruno said. “His emphasis on young leadership in Memphis as the future of the city empowers us as medical students to make a difference within the Memphis community during our time in the city. Hearing about his plans for city development and its impact on the physical, psychological, and economic well-being of Memphis and its citizens was very informative. It gave invaluable context for us medical students as we learn to help and treat others in the city.”