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School of Medicine student selected for American Medical Association Council on Medical Service

Hussein Antar to participate in decision making regarding health policy and healthcare economics

By Kylee Denesha

UMass Medical School Communications

March 23, 2021

Hussein Antar, SOM ’22, was chosen out of a competitive applicant pool to fill the medical student seat on the American Medical Association Council on Medical Service. The 12-person council advises the AMA on the social and economic aspects of medical care and recommends policies to the AMA House of Delegates related to socioeconomic factors influencing medical practices. Antar will begin his year-long term in June.

Hussein Antar

“I’m incredibly honored to serve on the council. I look forward to learning from my colleagues and making a difference in the next year,” he said. “I’ve participated in meetings and conferences with the AMA for a few years now, and it’s exciting knowing I’ll be able to continue my involvement and offer my unique perspective as an immigrant and a first-generation college graduate at a national level.”

Antar became involved with the AMA when he started medical school, attending its annual Medical Student Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., in 2018, sitting in on discussions covering medical student debt, the opioid pandemic and more. Already a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, he knew his participation in the AMA would be an opportunity to continue medical student advocacy efforts for patient care.

“I wanted to do something where I could push for change and make sure our patients’ voices are heard. I’m a firm believer that physicians have immense influence on a variety of issues, and I think working through the AMA can unify and amplify our voices” he said.

As a member, Antar will contribute his ideas and outlook on topics including health care delivery reform, drug coverage and health insurance. He is particularly interested in working on health insurance accessibility for patients.

“My goal this year is to make a difference in helping shape new policies and advocate for increased access to care. It’s important to ensure that patients not only have proper health insurance, but also have access to nearby hospitals and doctors, especially in rural areas,” he said.

Prior to beginning his fourth year of medical school, Antar is completing an MPH degree in health policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He will begin his final year of medical school this summer. While working on his MPH, he has worked as a health policy analyst at the office of Massachusetts State Sen. Cindy Friedman on the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. In this role, he has studied ways to expand pediatric mental health services in the state and reduce emergency department boarding times.

“I was able to perform independent research and meet with stakeholders from various organizations in the state,” he said. “I’m planning to apply into neurology for residency next year, but through all of my experiences so far in health policy, I see a future for myself doing this work. I hope to be able to work in both public health and clinical settings.”