Buffalo, Michigan State med students find solidarity after mass shootings

Deans from the University at Buffalo in New York and Michigan State University in Lansing coordinated a lunch for 18 medical students to discuss their experiences navigating the stressors of med school and the mass shootings at both schools in the last year, UBNow reported May 22.

At an Association of American Medical Colleges meeting this spring, Allison Brashear, MD, vice president for health sciences and Jacobs School dean at the University at Buffalo, and Aron Sousa, MD, dean of the MSU College of Human Medicine, found themselves discussing the tragic events and how their two groups of medical school students now share the unique challenge of healing while simultaneously completing their degrees. 

"Dean Sousa and I have been colleagues for a long time," Dr. Brashear told UBNow, the University at Buffalo's campus news. "We were attending a talk at the AAMC meeting by Michael Dowling, the CEO of Northwell Health. He was talking about the need to address the nation's gun violence problem. Michigan State had just had a shooting on campus. We realized that students and faculty at both our institutions were in this very difficult position. We felt that they could learn from, and support, each other."

That led the University at Buffalo to extend invitations to MSU medical students nearly one year after a shooting that took place at a local supermarket less than two miles from the university's campus as part of its remembrance events, UBNow reported.

During the lunch, the medical students bonded over deep discussions of their horror from the events, the response to each incident from their schools and communities and how the issue of gun violence continues to be a "uniquely American problem," according to the outlet.

"We want to address how both of our schools are working to combat racism and the public health crisis of gun violence. …" Dr. Brashear told UBNow. "Our goal is to build a coalition of schools of medicine that are working to address this public health crisis."

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