Memphis mayor advocates connection between city and Utah Health Science Center during campus visit
Memphis mayor advocates connection between city and Utah Health Science Center during campus visit

Memphis Mayor Paul Young spoke to students Monday at an event hosted by the UT Health Science Center chapter of the American Medical Association Student Section (AMA-MSS).

Students in the College of Medicine received an encouraging message and opportunity from newly elected Memphis Mayor Paul Young during his recent visit to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Memphis campus, where he emphasized the importance of the institution’s ties to the city.

Hosted by the UT Health Sciences Center Chapter of the American Medical Association Student Section (AMA-MSS), Mayor Young engaged with College of Medicine students, drawing on his previous experience as president and CEO of the Memphis Downtown Commission and as Memphis’ director of housing and community development, highlighting the transformative impact that individuals can have on shaping the city’s future.

“I’m excited to be here because all of you are important in your own right and an important part of the Memphis economy. I want you all to know that I know how important you are to the future of our city,” Mayor Young told the students. “There’s a national global competition for your talent, but we want you here in Memphis.”

In addition to highlighting the critical role of students in the health sector and Memphis’ economy, Mayor Young highlighted his connection to the UT Health Science Center, as his wife, Jamila Smith-Young, DNP, MPH, CPNP-AC, is a valued alumna and faculty member in the College of Nursing.

The event included a question-and-answer session moderated by first-year medical student and AMA-MSS leader Tyler Bruno, who emphasized the importance of Mayor Young’s visit in fostering discourse around local health policy and understanding the direction of the city under his leadership. “As an organization, our goal is to promote discourse and engagement around topics related to health care and health policy,” Bruno said. “With Mayor Paul Young as our newly inaugurated mayor, we saw his visit to campus as a unique opportunity to engage with local health policy and understand the direction the city is taking.”

Students at AMA-MSS were inspired by the mayor’s words about their future impact on the communities wherever they live.

Mayor Young provided valuable advice on how to become an engaged citizen and servant leader in the community. Drawing on his extensive experience in leadership roles in the city, he shared insight on how students can create a better Memphis and become influential leaders.

“My advice in terms of what you can do as you grow as a leader is to find the void. There is always a void in every space we work in every organization, things that can’t be done, that no one is doing. And if you go in and do it and own it, you’re the leader. You lead this thing, whatever it is, whatever this initiative is, and you just own it. And I promise you, what will happen is that people will start calling you. So, find the void and make it your thing,” said Mayor Young.

Mayor Young’s remarks resonated deeply with the student body, inspiring them to consider Memphis as a place to pursue their medical careers and a community where they can make a meaningful impact.

“Mayor Young’s comments about the needs of the Memphis community and the potential for great impact that comes with being a Memphis community leader inspired us as medical students,” said Bruno. “His emphasis on young leadership in Memphis as the future of the city gives us the opportunity as medical students to make a difference in the Memphis community during our time in the city. Hearing about his plans for urban development and their impact on the physical, psychological and economic well-being of Memphis and its citizens was very informative. It provided invaluable context for us medical students as we learn to help and heal others in the city.”

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