Every student navigates twists and turns on the road to becoming a physician, eventually forging a unique path in pursuit of this dream. One common thread linking many of these students is the challenging, lengthy journey: four years of undergraduate studies, followed by four years of medical school education, and then several years as a resident before officially entering the workforce.
Christine Ament, AB ’97, MD ’02, knows firsthand from her days as an HMS student and in her current role of teaching residents and medical students at Boston Medical Center that “the length of training is daunting, and it can be really frustrating and demoralizing to have financial needs during training that you are not able to meet.”
We are so lucky that these students - accomplished enough to do anything in the world - choose to spend 10-plus years training as doctors.
Fortunately, HMS students are not alone on their journeys, thanks to support from donors like Christine and her husband, Dave Ament, AB ’96. The Aments recently gave $1 million to establish the Christine and Dave Ament HMS Student Experience Fund, which will support activities that have a positive impact on HMS students’ daily experiences, under the direction of HMS Dean for Students Fidencio Saldaña, MD ’01, MPH ’05. “This generous gift from Christine and Dave will allow us to address issues immediately and be enormously helpful to our students,” Saldaña says. “These funds will be used to continue to build the community and provide our students with the resources needed to do their most significant work.”
Christine Ament says that, through this fund, she and her husband are hoping to show HMS students their support and appreciation. “We are so lucky that these students—accomplished enough to do anything in the world—choose to spend 10-plus years training as doctors,” she says. “They work nights and weekends and holidays for years to acquire the advanced and intricate skills that we all expect to be able to call upon.”
For more than two years now, the world has had a front row seat to the heroism and dedication of health care workers on the front lines fighting a global pandemic. “We all owe a massive debt of gratitude to health care professionals, now more than ever,” says Dave Ament. “Medicine is a wonderful career path, but one that comes with numerous daily challenges, stressors, and sacrifices that can really add up. Christine and I try to express our thanks and support by finding ways to alleviate those daily stressors and financial obstacles,” he says.
Research has shown that 50 percent of medical students experience symptoms of burnout and that medical students are more susceptible to burnout than their non-medical peers.