COM Student Leader Elected To National Board
April 14, 2023
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd
By Hannah Haney
The National Student Executive Board for the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) recently announced five new board members, including a representative from Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM). Kensley Grant, a third-year medical student, has been elected president for the 2023-24 term.
T@S: How long have you been a member of the National Student Executive Board?
KG: I have been a member of ACOFP for three years, since my first year at medical school. I started as a general member and served as our local chapter president before deciding to run for a national leadership role. I was lucky enough to be elected and serve as the national parliamentarian during my OMS1 year. I just completed my role as the national secretary and am now thankful to be serving students as the 2023-2024 national president.
T@S: What are your emotions regarding being nominated for the presidency?
KG: I was humbled by my nomination to sit on the National Student Executive Board for the ACOFP as president. It's a big job but I couldn't be happier to work alongside the other student doctors, residents and physicians helping to lead the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. The work that they all do for their communities, patients and fellow colleagues is unmatched. I'm honored to be a small part of it.
T@S: What duties do you anticipate with your new title?
KG: Like any leadership position the role fluctuates slightly depending on the needs of students and members. However, the president helps lead the National Student Executive Board, which is made up of five other members. We work together to support all local ACOFP chapters around the country, oversee all national committees and create the student programming and events for the national convention. We also create outreach events and educational opportunities for our student members throughout the year, including volunteer and philanthropy events, a podcast, a monthly newsletter and multiple roundtable/panel discussions with field leaders and experts throughout the year. We oversee resolution writing and policy changes, while working with state/national governments, the AOA and the ACOFP Board of Governors to provide students with a voice that helps direct the future of family medicine.
T@S: Is there anything you would like to note about your experience with ACOFP or your past leadership role?
KG: My experience with ACOFP has been extraordinarily rewarding. Having the opportunity over these last three years to engage students in policy making, advocacy and philanthropy has been amazing. Getting the chance to be part of something that enacts real positive change in not only medicine, but also for our friends, family and country has easily been my favorite part. I have met some of the best physicians and students through this opportunity that I will stay in touch with for life.
T@S: What would you recommend to other student doctors looking to follow in your footsteps and lead on a national level?
KG: Be gutsy! Opportunities will not just fall into your lap but that doesn't mean they aren't out there. You must network and search out opportunities. Figure out your interests and join those organizations on a local, state and national level. Talk to your faculty about contacts that they may have and reach out to them. Reach out to the student leaders of those organizations and ask how you can get involved. Focus on your education and on why you wanted to become a doctor in the first place. If you are passionate about something, you will make it work.
T@S: How did/does SHSU-COM support you in your endeavors?
KG: SHSU-COM has always been supportive on the whacky ideas that I've had. Many of our faculty members take the time to sit down and speak with you about the ideas you have and the path you want to take. If they aren't sure how to guide you, they help find someone that can. They have allowed me to travel to national conventions, have helped fund my research and invited me (as well as others) to events or gatherings to allow us to network. However, the students at SHSU-COM are unparalleled. I have seriously never met a group of people that support each other so much in the ways that our students do. Whether it be someone to talk to when you're down, or someone to just say "dude, you can do it," or someone to study with you - the students have always had each other's backs and have always rooted for one another.
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