AMWA's Physicians Against Trafficking of Humans
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Interested in joining the PATH Leadership Team? Contact Us to join the Student Interest Group, apply to become a Physician Co-Chair, or train to become a LIFT Facilitator. 
AMWA PATH Newsletter
March 3, 2021

Table of Contents

  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Education Events
  • Trafficking and Media
  • Committee Updates
  • AMWA Membership
  • Student Spotlight
Updates can be forwarded to for inclusion in future newsletters. 

Leadership Opportunities
AMWA-PATH is currently looking for a new administrative assistant! Please find the role description, responsibilities, and application here.
Education Events
AMWA-PATH and Dr. Mollie Gordon will be hosting a virtual LIFT event at Rutgers Medical School on Saturday March 6 at 9:30a; registration is available at The team has welcomed Jen Stout and Rebecca Hayes as LIFT Coordinators, who will be working to reschedule 2020 events that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently in the process of scheduling dates for LIFT trainings at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine and the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. Please reach out to if you are interested in collaborating with AMWA-PATH on an event for your institution.

Trafficking and Media

Until about 1995, human trafficking has rarely been depicted in Hollywood, whether it be in movies or TV series. And, if it is, oftentimes it is inaccurately and even potentially harmfully portrayed to the public eye. Indeed, it seems there is more to criticize than compliment in the media’s newest portrayal of human trafficking, in the form of the popular series “Big Sky” from storyteller David E. Kelly. Following the story of two young girls kidnapped by a truck driver on a desolate highway in Montana, “Big Sky” reveals a deeper plot of human trafficking, and two private detectives are on the case. The villain and kidnapper of these innocent girls previously had trapped multiple other women, many of whom are sex workers, looking to traffic them across the border of the United States into Canada. This fails to address the more common types of trafficking and the nuances of human trafficking - especially familial and labor trafficking. 

It is also important to note that the main premise of how this villain is able to remain hidden and continue on his horrific path is that the women who he captures go unnoticed once missing. This is an enormous issue of current times, especially among indigenous people in Montana. The public outcry against the cultural insensitivity - “Big Sky” does not depict any indigenous people throughout the series - has gained traction in the last year. Viewers have commented on the show’s serious lack of consideration for trafficked indigenous women in Montana, as well as the considerable number of missing persons cases there that remain unsolved. Too little attention and energy is given to these missing indigenous individuals in Montana. In fact, 26% of missing persons in Montana are indigenous people, a staggering number.

Additionally, critics were upset about the fact that the villain in the show is a truck driver. These critics astutely point out that truck drivers are currently on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic daily. Nor was any praise or acknowledgment given to Truckers Against Trafficking, a group that works to educate truck drivers on the signs of human trafficking and how to report it while on the road.

The “Big Sky” series simplistically pits "good" vs "evil," while human trafficking is much more complex and rooted in poverty, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and otherism. In many films and TV shows that address human trafficking, these contributors are glossed over. Good story-telling, on the other hand, challenges us to consider, "What is good? What is evil?" It challenges us to take a good, long look at ourselves and ask ourselves, "How does this relate to me?" and "How have I contributed to this?" and most importantly, "What can I do to improve the lot of others?" The plays and films that do this - those are life-changing art rather than mere entertainment.

Committee Updates

The AMWA-PATH student interest group has four subcommittees: the Research Committee led by Emily Anderson and Sneha Aidasani, the Education Committee led by Rachel Anderson, the Advocacy Committee led by Alison Neely, the Public Relations Committee led by Rubaya Yeahia and Nicole Segaline, and the Fundraising Committee led by Angela Harbour and Rachel Geiser. 

The Fundraising Committee is currently working on creating a virtual raffle in order to support the work that AMWA-PATH does. If you would like to partner with this event or have any prizes that could be donated, please contact You can also purchase an AMWA PATH shirt or donate online to support AMWA-PATH.

To join any of the above committees, please email


AMWA Membership

AMWA-PATH is an initiative of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), and encourages it's members to support our initiative by becoming a member of AMWA! There are countless opportunities for leadership and involvement in initiatives on gender equity, women's health, and public health issues like the opioid epidemic and gun violence.  Students and residents are able to join for a one-time fee that lasts the entirety of medical school or residency, and is accompanied by valuable member discounts for board prep, scrubs and white coats, legal triage, and merchants that more than pay for your membership. Use the special discount code PATH to get 15% off first-time membership here.


Student Spotlight

Sneha Aidasani is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio, Texas. She has served as an executive board member at her medical school's inaugural chapter, organized the first Learn, Identify, and Fight Trafficking (LIFT) training in the San Antonio area, and works on a national level as co-chair of the inaugural Student Research Subcommittee. When asked about her time working with the AMWA-PATH student interest group, she said, "Transitioning from a local to national position has helped me hone in on how to shift from a disease/issue specific view to a broader health systems strengthening view.  As a future primary care physician, the goal remains identifying how community health education can help tackle the health disparities that exist locally and globally, in relation to gender, equity, and access to care."

About the Newsletter
This is a monthly series in research and advocacy news summaries created by the PATH residents and medical students. Newsletters will feature brief breakdowns on recent scholarly publications and policy changes as well as highlighting PATH member efforts and upcoming events.

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Newsletter Editor:
Sarah Hofer

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