Nkiru Osude, MS 4, already has a head start on her upcoming role with the Student National Medical Association.
Osude has spent a good portion of the past year working with the organization’s International Missions Committee to plan a medical mission trip to Haiti for this summer. She has also been selected to join the organization’s board of directors as chairperson for the International Affairs Committee at the association’s national meeting this April in New Orleans.
“This is my first big position in a national organization. I’m really excited,” Osude said. “I really hope it’s not my last.”
The organization is the oldest and largest minority student medical organization in the United States with nearly 8,000 members nationwide. Osude said about 20 students are members of the UMKC School of Medicine chapter.
Osude became a member of the local chapter during her first year of medical school and has served in various chapter roles including treasurer and co-president. During the past year, Osude taken part in the national organization’s Future Leadership Project Fellowship, a program designed to develop future leaders for regional and national posts as well as prepare students for future leadership roles in other areas of medicine. That’s where she became involved with the International Missions Committee and began planning the medical mission project that will take place in July.
The organization has partnered with the Haiti Orphan Project to work with Haitian physicians and nurses for three days in medical clinics that care for an otherwise under-served population. Osude said the project may have the largest group from the Student National Medical Association to take part in a missions trip together with as many as 15 medical students from across the country participating, including one or two students as well as herself from UMKC.
Osude said she went on a similar mission trip with her church in the summer of 2013. “So now I’m planning it and bringing it to SNMA,” Osude said. “I just liked it so much, I said, ‘Hey guys, let’s do this this year.’ My goal for the International Affairs Committee is to do another trip like this because it is the newest committee in the SNMA and there’s a lot growth to be done in the committee.”
Osude said she also would like to work on developing a partnership between a local organization and the SNMA that would help create programs that would prepare members for mission trips abroad.
“I want to be a missionary in the future, so this is kind of an extension of what I want to do,” Osude said. “I’m hoping this will prepare me to be able to create more national trips abroad.”