Medical Student Accepted into Prestigious AMA Foundation Leadership Development Institute
Neva Lundy, a class of 2024 M.D./M.P.H. student, has been accepted into the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation’s Leadership Development Institute, one of only ten medical students nationwide to receive the honor.
The institute seeks aspiring physician leaders who are on a mission to improve public health. Lundy will receive mentoring and other professional development opportunities and will be honored at the AMA Annual Meeting.
“The program connects students with physician mentors who help them with specific projects and generally accelerate their careers,” said Lundy. “I would like to hone in on how to implement change. There are so many different layers in health care: policy, leadership, public health, research. We need to work in all of these realms to get this big ship to turn.”
Path to Medicine
Lundy has been interested in medicine for as long as she can remember. At five, she was bandaging cuts and bruises. When she entered college, she fully expected to go to medical school but found a happy detour.
“I fell in love with medical anthropology because it was looking at our environment and our culture and studying how it affects health,” said Lundy. “I ended up doing my undergraduate degree in medical anthropology, and then I had an opportunity to do a master’s in England.”
She pursued her master’s in evolutionary medicine, which applies evolutionary biology to clinical medicine. Humans are constantly evolving and the discipline investigates how these changes, and other factors, influence patient care.
After so many years in school, Lundy was eager to put her knowledge to the test. She first found a job with a company that integrates patient health records with operating room scheduling to give clinicians real-time views of where patients are in the hospital. Later, she worked for a company that provides medical supplies for military bases around San Diego, California. Lundy had numerous conversations with military personnel, both in her job and helping a friend produce a documentary on PTSD, and one day it hit her.
“I was sitting in a meeting, and it dawned on me that I needed to be on the other side,” said Lundy. “I don’t just want to be in advocacy or business or administration. I want to treat patients but still keep the other things and do what I can to make systems better.”
Life at the Miller School
Lundy’s desire to understand, organize and implement change was a great fit for the Miller School’s dual degree M.D. and Master of Public Health program, the No. 1 dual degree program in the nation. She saw it as an opportunity to bring all the pieces together.
In addition to her medical training, Lundy is also senior advisor for the medical school’s student government body and president of the Miami Miller AMA School Chapter, where she is prioritizing advocacy.
“We’ve partnered with Vote ER to conduct voter registration at different health fairs,” said Lundy. “It’s important because we’re coming into a big election year and there’s a lot of evidence that the more engaged people are, the better their health.”
After much thought, Lundy decided to specialize in neurology. Her experiences with veterans and PTSD influenced that decision, as well as her personal fascination with brain mechanics and the field’s stunning growth.
For Lundy, the AMA Foundation’s Leadership Development Institute is another priceless experience she can integrate into her work. And while she’s not entirely sure where she’s going to end up, she does know that supporting change will always be an underlying goal.
“I want to understand the ways society, culture, infrastructure and other factors affect patient outcomes,” she said. “I’m currently working on a stroke project that’s looking at the distance EMS teams have to travel. If we change policy to go from always taking patients to the closest hospital to always going to a primary stroke center, how will that affect care? These are the types of questions we need to answer.”