December 13, 2011

A Note of Farewell from the Outgoing Officers

It has been nearly two years since the process to create the Catholic Medical Association Student Section began.  These two years have been full of great joy for me as I have watched an idea become a reality, and have seen so many people positively impacted.  It was during my first year of medical school that I began working with the Catholic Medical Student Association, which would later become the CMA-SS.  I primarily spent my time writing and editing the quarterly newsletter for that group, and I have continued that much of that same work in my writing for the CMA-SS blog.  It has been difficult at times to get my posts up, but I have enjoyed sharing my experiences in medical school and my reactions to current events with all of you.  I hope that what you have read over the past year or so has had a positive impact.  As we make this transition to a new set of leaders for the CMA-SS, I want to first say thank you for your support in our work.   Secondly, I want to encourage you all to continue to spread the word of the CMA-SS.  We are small but growing group, and the larger we become, the stronger a voice we can have in protecting both physicians and patients in this current culture.  I urge you to continue to follow the blog, twitter, and Facebook, and to make sure to tell your friends!  I pray that as we all continue in our career and vocation, our paths will continue to cross and we can continue to be a source of mutual support for one another.  If you would like to continue to follow my personal writings, I encourage you to check out my new blog “Confessions of Cultural Heretics.”

In Christ-
Brian J Burke

I do not think that one single thing has helped me more in navigating and surviving medical school than the Catholic Medical Association.  From my first interactions with CMA physicians and students at the conference in 2009, I knew I found a home that could provide the support and formation to help me thrive in my journey to becoming an authenic Catholic physician.  I have found such strength and support to stand up for what I believe and have been challenged to dive to new depths of study and understanding of the Church’s teachings.  I feel so blessed and privileged to serve as a founding member of its Student Section.  This organization has provided me with such joy and renewed purpose in my professional vocation of becoming a physician.  In addition to the formation I have recieved, I greatly treasure the relationships I have formed within the CMA.  I have so much respect and admiration for the dear physicians I have met along the way, especially those I have been blessed to work with on the CMA Board.  I do not think words can describe how both professionally and personally these physicans inspire me and serve as role models.  I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their steadfast guidance and encouragment over the years.  The students I have met as well through the CMA-SS have truly become more than colleagues, but friends.  It has been so wonderful knowing there is a network of students like me across the country both in professional and in personal values.  So even though at times I have felt quite isolated in my own situation, I have much comfort in knowing that there are others only a phone call away going through the same thing.  My fellow members of the CMA-SS leadership team have been amazing supports as well and I thank them for their dedicated perseverance and devotion to our mission.  It has been truly a gift getting to know them through working together. 
Although I leave my post as CMA-SS president to finish the last few months of medical school, and begin the next adventure of internal medicine residency, be assured that my prayers continue – that the CMA-SS may continue to strengthen and grow, increasing the Catholic presence in our medical schools and transforming lives (just like mine!). 
Sincerely in Christ,
Natalie Rodden
As I reflect upon the time I have been involved in the CMA, both as a member and as a board member of the CMA-SS, I am struck by two sentiments. First, I am overwhelmed by the support the CMA. I have experienced firsthand both in my own life and in other students’ lives how important the support of the CMA can be. When I reflect upon my own life, I can recall my first year of medical school, before I had heard of the CMA or encountered a Catholic community in my school. All of the struggles of medical school seemed to be amplified by the fact that I was traveling the journey alone. When I later did become involved with the CMA, the support I received from physicians in my local guild was astounding. In many ways, I do not think my experience was unique, as I have heard similar stories from other medical students. The CMA has proven to be a tremendous source of support during the medical school journey
Second, I am struck by how much the CMA-SS has grown over just the past few years. At the 2010 conference in Seattle, very few physicians had heard of the CMA-SS and it seemed that we, the CMA-SS board members, spent a great deal of time explaining what the organization was. Fast forward one year, and at the 2011 conference in Phoenix, it seemed that everyone knew about the CMA-SS. It truly has been amazing and exciting to experience all this growth. To all the members of the CMA-SS and to all the supporters who have helped spread the word in their own communities, I offer you my sincerest thanks. It has been an honor to serve on the board.
– Rebecca Ackroyd-

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