College of Medicine student Jim Littlejohn was elected as one of five national delegates to the Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) at the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)’s annual meeting in November 2004. Littlejohn, a second-year student from California, feels honored to be part of the OSR’s Administrative Board.
“I am lucky to be given the opportunity to participate in this group,” Littlejohn said. “It is a lot of work, but I’m learning a lot.”
Littlejohn was selected as the OSR representative for the class of 2007 last year, but will be taking his involvement in the organization to a much higher level this year. The Administrative Board convenes quarterly in Washington, D.C. and conducts business between meetings by conference call. Littlejohn went to the group’s first meeting at the end of November to set an agenda for the year and initiate an action plan.
The Administrative Board’s two main objectives for the year are to evaluate the growing problem of medical student indebtedness and its impact on the profession’s workforce, and the concept of student health and well-being. The group believes curriculum changes are needed to help future doctors give practical health and wellness advice and convince patients to do the right thing.
“We need to think about ways to increase students’ ability to handle health and well-being issues,” Littlejohn said. “What is it that makes people change? Medical students know how to live healthy lives, but we don’t even do it for the most part. We should increase medical students’ awareness and understanding by changes in the curriculum.”
One thing is for sure. Littlejohn and his colleagues have a busy and exciting year ahead of them.
“This is definitely a unique experience to see how the OSR can make an impact,” Littlejohn said. “People are motivated to change the medical education system for the better.”

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