Medical Student Section

Please visit our other web pages to learn more about how the Medical Students of New York State work toward preserving and supporting the medical profession in the current changing healthcare environment.

The mission of the MSS is to encourage and support the active participation of medical students in the Medical Society of the State of New York and the American Medical Association; provide a forum for medical student opinions and ideas; promote health care in the local community; and promote and develop leaders in the medical community.

No where else will you have the opportunities to interact with physicians in settings that allow exchange of ideas and information. Whether at a county medical society event, at MSSNY or an AMA meeting, you will learn things you will never learn in medical school. You’ll gain an understanding of issues like SGR, ACA, single payer proposals and how they will affect you as a physician. You will meet people and come to understand things that may affect the career specialty you choose. You will make friends all over the country — and that is a nice feeling as you transition into residency training and perhaps move to another State.

The MSSNY MSS is a proactive body within the field of community service. Programs undertaken by each of the schools have included outreach and education regarding organ donation, blood and bone marrow drives, 10,000 Steps, March for Babies, “News over Brews” and “Are You Smarter Than a Neurosurgeon?” events.

The MSSNY MSS is also actively represented at the State and National levels. The annual House of Delegates meeting of the Medical Society of the State of New York has three delegates and three alternate delegates elected to represent medical students around New York State. These students are important leaders within the State, participating in reference committee hearings, and speaking on behalf of students on the floor of the House.

The Medical Student Councilor is elected by the MSS and sits on the Governing Council of the MSSNY which meets every 6 weeks. The MSS Councilor represents the medical students of the State but also acts as a conduit for information between these two groups. The Councilor is also a voting member of the MSSNY House of Delegates, thus making New York one of the only states with such large numbers of voting delegates who are medical students.

The MSSNY MSS is also a participant at the Annual and Interim meetings of the American Medical Association House of Delegates. The Medical Society of the State of New York is unique in that it is one of very few States which has a dedicated seat for a medical student on its delegation to the AMA.

If you would like more information, please contact the MSS staff office:
Michael Reyes ext 368


Chair Scott Kivitz, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine
Vice Chair Naomi Isaac, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Middletown
Secretary Elana Sitnik, SUNY Upstate Medical University
Counsilor Leanna Knight, University of Rochester Medical Center
Chair Jess Hubert , University of Rochester Medical Center
Vice Chair Parth Trivedi, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Secretary Divya Seth, TOUROCOM- Harlem, NY Campus
Student Counsilor Shireen Saxena , University of Rochester Medical Center


Call 800-523-4405 ext 368 or 404 to join by phone.

Professional membership for medical students through your school chapter means three things:

  • Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY, state level)
  • County Medical Society
  • American Medical Association (AMA, national level of membership)

An application, available at or provided by your chapter recruiter, will afford you membership in all three organizations. Most applications allow you to sign up for all four years of medical school at one time so you don’t have to renew each year AND, if you sign up for all four years when you start school, you get:

  • a discount on your dues
  • the chance to help your chapter earn funds to support local activities
  • all the member benefits a full dues paying member may use
  • a gift from the AMA (Netters, First Aid study guide, etc)

Dues for membership in the Medical Society of the State of New York, AMA, and your county medical society for the full four years of school total $68. This represents a discount of 98% for medical students compared to physician dues. You may join for less than four years of course. Those who join for one year at a time will be billed each year so that they can renew their membership.

Medical student membership is available only to students enrolled in a medical or osteopathic school in the United States and either attend school in New York State or have a permanent New York address.

You may apply for membership by clicking here , through your school recruiter or over the telephone by calling 800-523-4405, extension 404 or 368. A credit card must be used if joining over the phone or through the website, but any information which is required on the application can be given over the telephone in complete confidentiality. Information which is provided on our applications is never released or sold to any outside source. For those who prefer to give their application to their chapter recruiter or apply by mail, checks may also be used.

What are some benefits of joining your professional associations?

  • Build your professional and personal networks with nearly 20,000 New York State physicians.
  • Webinars and other learning opportunities
  • Legislative and public health involvement
  • Leadership opportunities
  • MSSNY Pulse, an industry newsletter with the latest news
  • MSSNY Insider and MSSNY Buzz member only newsletters
  • MSSNY Daily News
  • Legal Services

What does the MSS do for you?

  • Provides you a voice in decisions affecting your career
  • Supports local activism and community service
  • Protects your patients by providing education
  • Builds your network of medical colleagues
  • Hones your leadership skills
  • Provides opportunities for fun!

Some accomplishments:

  • Defeated a proposal to require SUNY med students to years of public service
  • Halted differential tuition at SUNY medical schools
  • Protected your ability to get low cost educational loans
  • Worked to establish a fair residency selection process
  • Preserved in-school interest exemptions for federal student loans
  • Initiated policy which led to cigarette smoking ban on aircraft



Educating appropriate elected or appointed officials about legislation affecting medical students and health care in general is one of our top activities in the MSSNY MSS. Legislators from the district where you vote and/or go to school value your well-reasoned input. The legislative process can seem intimidating at first, so we have provided a couple of great places to get started. The MSSNY Grassroots Action Center is a continuously updated site where you can contact legislators directly regarding current health care issues. MSSNY supports pro-medicine candidates through its MSSNYPAC arm. Students can join the MSSNY PAC for only $10.

Every year MSSNY sponsors Physician Advocacy Day (previously Legislative Day) in Albany: a chance to meet with MSSNY physicians and leadership and lobby our state lawmakers. Every medical student is welcome and urged to attend. If you would like to attend the next Advocacy Day event, please contact the MSSNY office or the Legislative Awareness chairs noted above.

The MSSNY MSS monitors the following issues closely:

Student debt: The impact of residency cuts on your ability to move forward with your career. Do you know what you would do if you graduated but could not find a residency position? How will you begin to pay your loans if you cannot complete your education? With MSSNY’s help we stalled plans to require commitments to work in underserved areas in order to qualify for in-state tuition rates at SUNY schools. We have successfully lobbied for legislation to increase the income limits for which student loan interest payments are tax deductible from $55,000 to $65,000 and to maintain low interest rates on loans. Medical students, with the help of our professional associations, have repealed the single lender rule.

Resident Work Hours: The MSSNY MSS continues to work closely with the Resident and Fellow Section to address the continuing problem of excessive resident work hours. An issue first brought to light here in New York State, resident work hours and their effect on the quality of graduate medical education and patient care continue to require monitoring.

The issue of medical liability reform affects all of us – even medical students. This issue continues to heat up as more and more physicians are forced to leave for a career in another state or leave the practice of medicine altogether. The weekly issue of MSSNY eNews addresses the liability situation and keeps us all up to date on the increasing burden of medical liability. As a physician of the future, you need to be familiar with this issue NOW!

If you have an issue that you would like more information on or you feel needs attention, contact us.


Albion O. Bernstein Award
The late Morris J. Bernstein established this national award in 1962, in memory of his son, a physician who died while on a hospital call in 1940 in New York City. This award is presented to either “a physician or scientist, who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee of the Medical Society of the State of New York shall have made the most widely beneficial discovery or developed the most useful method in medicine, surgery or the prevention of disease.”

The award includes $2000 and a scroll. The deadline for nominations has traditionally been January, and the award was traditionally given at the HOD, but this may have changed. (LLA 10/22/2010)

List of Previous Bernstein Award Winners

Henry I. Fineberg Award
In 1980, MSSNY established the Henry I. Fineberg Award for Distinguished Service to MSSNY, to honor Dr. Henry Irwin Fineberg, for his many years of service to the society. Dr. Fineberg served as MSSNY Executive Vice-President from 1961 to 1982, and had served as president from 1959 to 1960. In 1974 and 1975, Dr. Fineberg saw the Society through its first modern liability insurance crisis, and helped found the physician-owned MLMIC. Dr. Fineberg died in 1987. 

President’s Citizenship Award
The President’s Citizenship Award was created in 1961 and originally named the President’s Citation. This award is presented to a physician who engages in long-term pro bono community service beyond the responsibilities related medical practice.  Presentation of the award helps public attention to the good works carried out by physicians throughout the state.

Young at Heart Award
The Young at Heart Award was established in 1994 by the Young Physician Section to honor MSSNY leaders who have given special support and guidance to young physicians during the formative years of the Young Physician Section, and to show the Section’s appreciation of the efforts made on its behalf.

The Charles D. Sherman Award
– for support of medical students

Student Membership Award
The Student Membership Award, first presented in 1992, recognizes outstanding efforts in membership recruitment for the Medical Student Section. The award is presented annually to the student responsible for the largest percentage increase in medical student membership at his or her school.