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Student National Medical Association to Host Dream BIG Conference January 19

UTHSC’s Student National Medical Association , pictured here in 2017,will host its Dream BIG Conference January 19 in the Student-Alumni Center. More than 50 Shelby County middle and high school students are expected to attend. (Photo by Thurman Hobson/UTHSC)

Christian Salcedo, a second-year medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has volunteered in the past for Dream BIG, a free community outreach conference for Shelby County middle and high school students. This year, however, he helped plan the event and is excited to see what comes of it.

Now in its fifth year, the conference is hosted by UTHSC’s Student National Medical Association, an organization committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians.

This year’s conference will be Saturday, January 19, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the UTHSC Student-Alumni Center, 800 Madison Avenue. More than 50 students are expected to attend. Participants were identified through their school principals, social media, and youth groups.

“To me, Dream BIG reflects the goals and values that UTHSC stands for — the creation of a more inclusive, diverse, and culturally competent health care community,” said Salcedo, SNMA vice president. “Being able to invite and support the future generation of health care providers is an honor. I cannot wait to engage and challenge them in what will be a very fun day.”

Students will learn skills from SMNA members such as leadership, professionalism, cultural competency, and more at the conference. (Photo by Thurman Hobson/UTHSC)

The conference is designed help develop skills, such as leadership, professionalism, cultural competency, and more, in the younger generation through fun workshops and educational activities.

“I hope that all of the young students who participate will leave invigorated to pursue their dreams,” Salcedo said. “If we are able to inspire them to explore and engage with whatever they choose to do, I believe we have done our jobs.”

For more information on future conferences, contact hscsnma@uthsc.edu.