Academic club brings female CBU students together as they pursue careers in medicine
A nursing student speaks to her peer at the Club Fair at California Baptist University on Oct. 7.
Riverside, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2016)—A desire to support women pursuing careers in medicine led Jocelyn Parra, a health science senior, and her friends to start an academic club at California Baptist University last year. This year the club has grown to 25 female students.
“We wanted a group that focused on helping students build connections with medical professionals and give opportunities to do community outreach,” Parra said.
The club—the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)—holds professional development events throughout the year. The group also invites medical professionals to share their experiences as health providers; guest speakers have included doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical school admission counselors. The club has also provided a social forum for members to discuss women’s issues in medicine along with developing a plan to balance the roles of seeking a career in medicine and raising a family. Additionally, the club members perform volunteer work, such as participating in health fairs and assisting in medical clinics.
“The aim of this club is to prepare female students for work as clinicians in healthcare,” said Dr. Marshare Penny, associate professor of public health and faculty advisor for AMWA. “For this club, the students are able to connect with national chapters and have access to resources that will help them be successful in the future.”
Parra said she hopes students stay connected beyond CBU.
“I would love for students to be empowered and motivated to continue their careers with the connections and networks that they will make through this club,” Parra said.