Jessica Thomas, an American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine student, will be nationally recognized as a Future Leadership Project (FLP) Fellow at the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) 2016 Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC).

When thinking about joining a healthcare career, Jessica decided to become a physician since she takes particular delight in solving medical mysteries. While studying at Rutgers, she joined MAPS, the pre-med division of SNMA. She applied to U.S. medical schools but did not receive any acceptance letters because of her low MCAT score. She’s happy she ended up studying at AUA.

“The Educational Enhancement Department really improved my test taking skills,” said Jessica. “AUA has outstanding academic support.”

She is particularly passionate about serving patients in underserved communities. Although she’s still considering what to specialize in, she knows the importance of having physicians go where they’re needed most. On campus, Jessica chartered a chapter of SNMA because of its history with developing student leaders who go on to serve in these communities.

“SNMA is great for international medical school graduates (IMGs) who want to learn more about diversity,” said Jessica. “When you’re in clinicals, you’ll need to understand patients from different cultures and backgrounds.”

The SNMA is the United States’ oldest and largest student-run medical organization focused on the interests of medical and pre-medical minority students.  Once selected through the competitive application process, FLP Fellows participate in a one-year program to develop their leadership, business, and networking skills. Jessica’s achievement is especially noteworthy, as she is among the first Caribbean medical school students to receive this distinction.

“I’m honored to be considered on the same level as U.S. medical students,” said Jessica.

Jessica will be honored at the National President’s Luncheon at AMEC. She thanks Dr. Priscilla Mpasi, Pediatrics Resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center and SNMA Future Leadership Project Co-Director, for this incredible achievement.

“Jessica has impressed the organization with [her] outstanding demonstration of potential leadership skills and has initiated a national leadership project that mirrors the excellent leadership and professional skills she has developed during her time at American University of Antigua College of Medicine,” said SNMA leaders Priscilla Mpasi and Johnothan Smileye Jr.

The 2016 AMEC will be held on March 23-27 in Austin, TX. AUA is proud of this significant achievement and we anticipate seeing more great news from Jessica Thomas in the future.