American Medical Student Association Premedical Chapter formed at MU

Medical science and health science majors are active in AMSA.
Misericordia University students majoring in medical science and health sciences recently formed an American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Premedical Chapter in order to pool their ideas and visions of a healthier tomorrow together for patients and health care professionals alike.

The AMSA Premedical Chapter at Misericordia University is an educational resource for members and other medical and health science majors. It provides an environment that supports the creative ideas of pre-health professionals, such as nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant and speech-language pathology, and places an emphasis on physicians-in-training. The student organization is forging a Mentorship Program with the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, Pa., and will be holding bi-weekly Medical College Admission Test or M-CAT study sessions on campus. Other educational opportunities such as webinars, like November’s session with a representative of, and service-learning opportunities will also be held periodically.

Students in the AMSA Premedical Chapter at Misericordia University include Donna Castelblanco ’14, Edison, N.J.; president; Anna Konstas ’14, Montrose, Pa., vice president; Matt Essington ’14, Brick, N.J., treasurer; Mark Walbert ’14, Maple Glen, Pa.; Sara Sabatino ’14, Nuangola, Pa.; Josh Krall ’14, West Pittston, Pa.; Michael Pheasant ’16, East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Kurt Gildea ’16, Ottsville, Pa.; Rachel Bohn ’16, Mountain Top, Pa.; Sabrina Alles ’15, Dallas, Pa.; Jackie Kochmer ‘15, Clifford, Pa.; Joshua Papp ‘15, Dallas, Pa., and Stephanie di Fillipo ’16, Danville, Pa.

The students, some of them fresh off a service-learning trip to Lima and Chimbote, Peru, also decided to conduct a fundraiser as a service-learning project during the fall semester to benefit the Ministerio de Salud, Puesto de Salud Nicoals Garatea, a health ministry operated by the Sisters of Mercy, in Chimbote. The students raised $250 or 655 nuevo soles through a Peruvian-themed raffle in which students selected a number and watched a guinea pig walk through a maze into numbered boxes. Winners received $10 gift cards that were donated to the Misericordia University AMSA Premedical Chapter, according to Castelblanco, a medical science major from Edison, N.J., who is the president of the local chapter.

“When I went to Peru, I became close with the Sisters and I still talk with them on a regular basis,’’ said Castelblanco, explaining why they chose to donate the money to the health clinic in Chimbote. “Before I left, I asked where they needed help. A lot of us on the trip are health science majors and we found out what they needed in the health clinic. It was far too expensive to send over the things they needed, so we decided to make a monetary donation.’’

The money raised from the AMSA Premedical Chapter’s first service-learning project will be used by the health clinic to purchase medical gloves, children’s multi-vitamins, medical masks, and baby aspirin.

“As premed majors, you just can’t practice and study,’’ Castelblanco added. “You also have to have the empathy and knowledge of the global community. I thought this would be a great way to incorporate our passion for health and serving our global community.’’

AMSA was founded in 1950 and is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. It is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of future physicians. AMSA members are medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians, according to


Misericordia University students majoring in medical science and health sciences formed an American Medical Student Association Premedical Chapter. MU students in the local chapter, from left, are Sara Sabatino, Nuangola, Pa.; Rachel Bohn, Mountain Top, Pa.; Matt Essington, Brick, N.J.; Jackie Kochmer, Clifford, Pa.; Donna Castelblanco, Edison, N.J., and Anna Konstas, Montrose, Pa. Absent from the photo are students Michael Pheasant, Dallas, Pa.; Josh Krall, Pittston, Pa.; Joshua Papp, Dallas, Pa., and Mark Walbert, Dallas, Pa.