Here at Northeastern there are hundreds of great student organizations to get involved in! We want to highlight some organizations that you may not know, so we’re interviewing members of student organizations to learn a little bit about them and what their club is about. Tune in every week for a new post from The Club Chronicle! 

The Club Chronicle Interview #18: NU MAPS

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Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your position in this club? 

My name is Sabie Marcellus, I’m a 5th year behavioral neuroscience major and I have minors in womens, gender and sexuality studies and health humanities and society. I’m the president of MAPS, this is my second year as president. Last year I was co-president with Donna Appiah and this year I’m the sole president which has been a lot of fun. Prior to being a co-president, I was the secretary for MAPS. 

Can you describe what MAPS does?

There are 240 MAPS chapters across the nation. Essentially each chapter tries to support students, minority students especially, who are looking into going into medicine. Each MAPS chapter has an associated parent chapter with a medical school, ours is Boston University School of Medicine. We do different events with our parent chapter, like MAPS day where we get to go to the medical school campus and see what it’s like to be a medical student, talk to the dean of admissions, things like that. It’s all students at Boston University School of Medicine who run this for us, their chapter is called Student National Medical Association. We also do events internally on campus; we’ve done mental health workshops with OPEN, we do suturing workshops where we bring the BU students to us and they teach us how to suture on bananas, we do a minority physician panel with physicians in the area and they’ll talk about what it’s like to be a doctor, especially in this political climate. Basically we want people to see that there is a possibility for them to get involved in medicine despite the challenges they may face. 

How can students get involved?

It’s super easy to get involved. Just shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our mailing list. There’s no membership fee because we don’t want to discourage students from joining. We try to make it as open and inclusive for all. We don’t just want it to be for minorities, I think it’s important for everyone to come to listen to voices that are different from theirs. Our group is fairly racially mixed, even though we do cater to the minority palette as I like to say, but we never turn anyone away. You can subscribe to our emails and come to whatever meeting you want to come to. We’re pretty open and it’s been working for us so far.

MAPS Day at Tufts University School of Medicine, February 2018

What is the email students should use and do you have social media accounts?

Our email address is nuMAPSseboard@gmail. Instagram is @northeasternmaps, Twitter is @neumaps and Facebook is @neumaps. 

How long has the Northeastern chapter been around for?

The Northeastern Chapter of MAPS was established in 1999, so we’re going on 20 years now. Right now we’re planning on having a 20th anniversary conference in February, which is Black History Month. 

Do you meet regularly? If so, when and where?

MAPS meets every other Tuesday in 002 East Village from 6-7. 

About how many students are involved? 

Between 30-40 regularly come to meetings, then we have a few more people come in for big events. The events like our Minority Physician Panel or our Suturing Workshop we’ll expect 50-60 students to attend.

MAPS General Body Meeting October 8 2019; panelists are students from Northeastern University who are talking about the different opportunities they took advantage of this summer. 

This is more of a professionally focused organization, can you talk about the networking opportunities you have? 

We have the Regional Medical Education Conference in which physicians, medical schools, medical students, and premedical students from the region are invited to attend. SNMA/MAPS is split up into 10 regions, and we are in Region VII (the New England region). This year’s conference will be hosted at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine on November 23. There is also a larger, national conference that occurs every spring called the Annual Medical Education Conference. That is going to take place in Cleveland, Ohio this upcoming April 8-12. You get to network with not only other premedical students in different MAPS chapters, but with medical school students in SNMA and physicians in the AMA, the American Medical Association. You get to talk to everyone and they are so open to giving out their email addresses, offering opportunities for you to shadow or do research, answering questions. Everyone is very open and wanting to build up students to  get them to a point where they are healthcare providers. On a smaller scale, we do things like mentorships with Harvard Medical School and we do mixers with BU School of Medicine, this allows us to meet with medical students on a more casual basis which is so much fun. They are always open to talking with undergrads. They are very open about their experiences and helping everyone with their pathway to medicine. 

What is your favorite event you’ve participated in?

I think my favorite has to be the minority physician panel. The minority physician panel used to be an annual event that MAPS held, and then there were some internal issues with the club where that was no longer the case. I joined the MAPS eboard at the end of my second year, and our eboard was able to reestablish this important event. I’m happy to say that we’re now at our third annual minority physician panel. I’m really glad I was a part of the team that brought back this event!  It’s a good platform to hear from others, and it allows students to hear different voices from people of different backgrounds.

MAPS first annual suturing workshop in September 2018 taught by students from Boston University School of Medicine SNMA.

What is one thing you wished people knew about MAPS? 

I wish people wouldn’t get scared about the word minority.  Justin Anderson is on our national board for the Student National Medical Association, holds the position for Health Policy and Legislative Affairs Co-Chair, and is a white man. In 2017, Chris Li was in the Northeastern MAPS eboard as co-president, and he came from the two most represented background in medicine; white and Asian. People think  that because their not a minority they can’t join, but that’s not true at all. It’s so important for people to hear from others who don’t look like you. At the end of the day you’re going to be providing for everyone, so you have to hear about experiences from everyone. That’s the only way you’re going to be a good doctor or a good healthcare provider. You have to be a good person before you’re a good doctor is what I always say, and one of the best ways to do that is by learning how to listen to others. 

What is your favorite part about being involved in MAPS?

My favorite part is meeting all of the freshmen students. Someone recently came up to me and said, “You are the first black woman that I’ve met who is an upperclassman in my major, is there any way you’d mentor me?” That was so mind blowing to me.  It’s so awesome that we provide a space where people are open to these opportunities and they aren’t afraid to reach out and email us or talk to us in person. Just today we got an email in the middle of October from someone asking  to join MAPS and we said of course we’ll add you to the mailing list. It’s never too late to join. I just love how open everyone is to joining different clubs and meeting new people, especially the freshmen.It makes me so happy that people are willing to join and step out of their comfort zone.