The American Medical Association Foundation awarded Michael G. Knight, a fourth-year medical student at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, its 2012 Leadership Award. This award provides medical students, residents/fellows and early career physicians from around the country with special training to develop their skills as future leaders in organized medicine and community affairs.

The AMA Foundation honored 30 individuals with Leadership Awards at its annual Excellence in Medicine Awards ceremony in February in Washington D.C. Recipients of the award are recognized for demonstrating outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service and education.

As an aspiring academician and future clinician, Knight hopes to encourage data-driven results, not only to treat chronic diseases, but also to advance community-based participatory research and eliminate racial and ethnic healthcare disparities. He has been instrumental in increasing the number of opportunities for medical students to impact the holistic health needs of underserved communities in Cleveland through the organization of various programs, including the Journey to the Medical Profession and Passport to Manhood youth mentoring initiatives. As National President of the Student National Medical Association, he also has led national efforts focused on increasing the pipeline of underrepresented minority physicians, increasing cultural competency in medical education and increasing HIV/AIDS awareness in minority communities through the Greater Than AIDS initiative.