October 31, 2018Allison Montgomery, a University of Alabama School of Medicine student completing her clinical education years at the College, was selected as one of 10 students nationwide for the inaugural class of the AMA Leadership Development Institute. Montgomery is a fourth-year medical student and a Rural Medical Scholar at the College, which also functions as the School of Medicine’s Tuscaloosa Regional Campus. The Rural Medical Scholars Program, operated by the College, is exclusively for rural Alabama students who want to become physicians and practice in rural communities and includes a year of study, after students receive their undergraduate degree, that leads to a master’s degree and early admission to the School of Medicine. The AMA Leadership Development Institute offers medical students in their final year of school an opportunity to gain individualized insight into the skills needed to foster their careers and the future of medicine. Through quarterly group web conferences and a retreat at AMA offices, participants interact with professionals who are leaders in their fields and who offer advice on topics beyond the classroom and clinic, such as communications techniques and networking strategies. Throughout the year-long program, participants are paired with a nearby mentor in their field, who is an experience and practicing physician and leader. Through monthly meetings and conversations, participants receive career consultation and guidance while expanding their professional networks. Montgomery is pursuing a career in obstetrics and gynecology and has an interest in rural and international health care initiatives and gynecologic oncology research. As a medical student, she serves as president of her class, and as a student representative on the Group on Regional Medical Campuses Steering Committee. “I hope that this program will give me concrete advice on how to seek out valuable opportunities and how to be successful in creating change as a physician leader throughout my career,” Montgomery said.