Third-year Upstate medical student Sam Schueler has been honored by the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation with a 2012 Leadership Award.
The national award recognizes community service, advocacy and public health efforts. It also provides special training for honorees to develop their skills as future leaders in organized medicine and community affairs.
The AMA Foundation honored Sam and 29 other Leadership Award winners at its annual Excellence in Medicine Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Sam said he’s grateful he got the chance to represent Upstate on a national level, and was able to “share some of the cool things we have going on” with other medical students, residents and attendings from around the country.
“I’ve kept in touch with the other award recipients — we help each other brainstorm through problems at our individual campuses, and there are some collaborative efforts on broader issues,” he said.
Sam, who is president of Upstate’s Student Government, is interested in the role a physician can play in health policy and advocacy for populations with low socioeconomic status.
“I’m interested in gastroenterology, but I still haven’t reached a final decision on what field I am going into,” he said. “I know I want to be involved in health care delivery and advocacy for underserved popuations on both the local level — seeing patients with limited or no health insurance — and on the national level in terms of shaping policy.”
At Upstate, Sam co-founded the student magazine “Upstate of Mind,” and has served as president of Community Outreach and Preventive Education (COPE), a student group that provides mentoring and health education to disadvantaged youth in Syracuse.
Sam sits on various committees aimed at improving student life at Upstate, and coached his little sister’s soccer team during his first two years of medical school.
“These dedicated medical students, residents and physicians are deeply committed to transforming their communities and improving the health of their neighbors,” AMA Foundation President Dr. Owen Garrick said. “Our hope is that celebrating the efforts of these medical leaders will inspire us all to give back to our communities, as they have done.”