Ashley Penington, PNWU OMS III, was recently named as the Emergency Medicine Residency Association’s (EMRA’s) 2020-2021 Medical Student Council (MSC) Student Advising Coordinator. Each year, 25 students from across the country are selected to serve on EMRA's MSC. The role presents Penington with an opportunity to become more involved in the field of Emergency Medicine, network with students and faculty from coast to coast, and develop resources to assist her peers in navigating medical school and the residency application process.
PNWU has enjoyed a strong representation in the council throughout the short history of the university, with the most recent council boasting two PNWU medical students -- Cameron Justice, 2019-2020 EMRA MSC Osteopathic Coordinator, and Jenna Cacchillo, 2019-2020 EMRA MSC Student Advising Coordinator. AJ Lakey, PNWU Class of 2019, also served as the council's Osteopathic Coordinator in 2018-2019.
“I am both honored and excited to be a part of this incredible organization focused on providing resources for students interested in matching into emergency medicine,” said Penington.
As the Student Advising Coordinator, Penington will help to organize monthly ‘hangout sessions’ that aim to provide expert insight for students and residents regarding matching into emergency medicine, interview strategies, how to be successful on rotation, issues concerning health policy, mental wellness in residency and various other topics. By working with the Emergency Medicine Residency Association (EMRA) Medical Student Council, Penington will have the opportunity to collaborate with the other members of the Medical Student Council across the U.S., as well as Program Directors, practicing emergency medicine physicians and other health professionals involved in emergency medicine.
Penington credits her interest in the organization to her time as a member of PNWU’s Emergency Medicine Club during her first year of medical school, as well as her time as the club’s president last year. Through various skills labs and lecture series within the club, she explained, she quickly discovered her passion for teaching and helping educate her fellow peers.
“The first two years of medical school are incredibly challenging with the constant mundaneness of studying,” said Penington. “One thing I loved about being club president was providing opportunities for medical students to remember why they chose medicine in the first place by engaging them in hands on activities.”
“The foundation laid by previous club leadership has created a sustaining Emergency Medicine Club that is highly involved on campus,” she continued.
Thanks to that involvement, the PNWU Emergency Medicine Club was named as the EMRA’s Pacific Northwest Regional Emergency Medicine Interest Group of the Year, and second runner up for the National Emergency Medicine Interest Group of the Year.
“Because of this previous experience, I knew that trying to join an organization that would continue to foster that enthusiasm for continued learning would benefit both my personal and professional goals,” Penington said. “EMRA provides phenomenal resources to medical students with the intention of providing the most up-to-date and relevant information needed to shine — both during your EM rotation as well as in residency. This organization especially helps foster a relationship of camaraderie among those interested in the field. I look forward to having the opportunity to demonstrate my commitment and leadership capabilities as a representative of PNWU.”