The journey to medical school can be difficult for some minority students. But a student organization at Florida State University aims to make the seemingly impossible accessible for students of color.
FSU’s Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, or MAPS, is the undergraduate chapter of the Student Medical Association, which falls under the parent organization, the National Medical Association.
MAPS’ mission is to help aspiring minority physicians get into medical school. MAPS does this through guest speakers, community service, providing workshops, networking and conferences.
Current FSU MAPS historian Gabrielle Perez said, “MAPS is a family that strives for the common goal of becoming physicians while uplifting and pushing all of our members toward their dreams.
“As a minority student I searched for an organization that understood me not only as an aspiring health professional but as a minority,” Perez added. “There are a plethora of pre-medical organizations to choose from but what makes MAPS unique is that it specifically speaks to the minority experience and how our journey to medicine is different and difficult from most.”
MAPS prides itself in enhancing the engagement between pre-medical students and those persons relevant to the health care professions.
Not only was this organization created for the purpose of creating accessible opportunities for minority students but providing them with the comfort of knowing they are not alone.
Ashlei Phillips, a past MAPS vice president, says her experience in MAPS shaped her in a positive way.
“Without MAPS, I wouldn’t be where I am today. MAPS put me in positions to meet very important people who then open doors for me that I would have never imagined. They provided me with tutoring, volunteer hours, clinical experiences, scholarships and jobs,” Phillips said.
Phillips also served as the public relations chair in 2017-2018. She says she thoroughly enjoyed both positions and wouldn’t trade the experiences for the world.
Brooke Parker, a current member of MAPS, remembers first hearing about MAPS. “I remember hearing about this organization at freshman orientation and from there I knew this was an organization I wanted to be a part of. Being a member of a pre-medical organization tailored to minorities was very intriguing to me,” Parker said
MAPS is doing a fundraiser to raise money to go to the Annual Medical Education Conference. You can find more information on this fundraiser and the organization on its Instagram page FSUMAPS.