Student Affinity Groups
The Office of Diversity Programs supports a variety of student affinity groups. For more information, select a group below.
- Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer MED (LGBTQ MED)
- Student National Medical Association (SNMA)
- Science and Healthcare Abilities Coalition (SHAC)
The position of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) liaison was created within the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) to cover an important and expanding field: Latino health.
The LMSA national organization seeks to:
- Unify all Latino medical students into one organization
- Provide a voice for underrepresented medical students
- Actively promote recruitment and retention of Latino students at all levels
- Educate medical students on Latino health issues
- Advocate for the rights of Latinos in health care
- Provide leadership opportunities for Latinos
- Promote volunteerism in the Latino community
The role of the LMSA representative is to coordinate volunteering opportunities at Casa de Salud (House of Health) and be the point person for any Latino health care events at WUSM.
Casa de Salud is a community health and wellness center for uninsured and underinsured Hispanic immigrants located on Saint Louis University’s medical campus. The medical clinic is staffed by volunteer physicians, nurses, and undergraduate and graduate volunteers from Saint Louis University and Washington University.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer MED (LGBTQ MED) student group aims to improve health care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer patients. They work to educate students on health disparities in this population and the many factors that affect LGBTQ+ access to care, as well as quality of care. The group also trains medical students in ways to make health care settings a safe zone and to build trust in the physician-patient relationship. By helping future physicians become more comfortable with LGBTQ+ patients and knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ health issues, we hope to eliminate the many health disparities facing these patients.
The group’s objectives include educating medical students on:
- Health disparities in the LGBTQ population
- Factors affecting LGBTQ access to and quality of care
- Importance of establishing safe zones in the health care setting
- Ways to build trust in the physician-patient relationship
View the video below: “It Gets Better” – A message of solidarity and hope from LGBTQ and allied students, faculty and staff of the medicine, physical therapy and PhD programs at Washington University School of Medicine and affiliated health clinics.
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the oldest and largest medical student organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. Established in 1964 by medical students from Howard University and Meharry medical schools, the SNMA has contributed to more than 40 years of service to communities.
The mission of SNMA is to promote an environment in which minority medical students can excel, to increase social consciousness within the medical community, and to improve health care delivery to the medically underserved.
At the School of Medicine, SNMA plans many events around racial and social justice including forums, wine and cheese discussions and panels. In addition to hosting these events, Washington University School of Medicine’s chapter of SNMA highlights the achievements of minority physicians during Black History Month and volunteer in St. Louis through the HPREP (Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program) for high school students. We also host community and social activities for underrepresented minorities at all levels at the School of Medicine, including students, house staff and faculty. These activities allow for mentoring and forming networks within the community.
In SNMA’s Minority Apprenticeship Program (MAPS), medical students serve as mentors, participate in panel discussions and provide information about the MCAT, medical school application processes and classes. This program is available to Washington University undergraduate students.
The WUSM Science and Healthcare Abilities Coalition (SHAC) was formed in fall 2020. This group aims to both improve healthcare for disabled people and create a community by and for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses and their allies across all programs at WUSM.
Some highlights of group activities include:
- Incorporating content on caring for disabled patients into all three Phases of the MD Gateway Curriculum, including a Keystone Integrated Science Course (KISC) focusing on living in the community with a disability.
- Secured three positions for students and faculty who are chronically ill/disabled on the Technical Standards Task Force to provide input in rewriting WUSM’s Technical Standards to be more inclusive, clear, and focused on addressing needs of chronically ill/disabled students.
- Advocated for a clearly outlined position focusing on students needing accommodations. In the near future, an Associate Director will be funded and appointed at the Disability Resources office to specifically handle Medical Campus students.
- Hosted a Paralympics Watch Party
- Increased our scope to include students and efforts across all programs at WUSM.
SHAC is looking forward to continuing to grow in the years to come! Some future goals include developing a student-faculty mentorship network, hosting a monthly event series, and facilitating service opportunities. For questions or more information, please contact Peppar Cyr (email@example.com).