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)
- Alliance of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Medicine (ADACIM)
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 chapter of the Alliance of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Medicine (ADACIM) was formed in fall 2020 as part of the national ADACIM organization. This group aims to create a community by and for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses and their allies and has focused on a variety of initiatives to improve accessibility and disability inclusion in medical education at WUSM and nationally.
Some highlights of group achievements in the past year include:
- 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 Danforth Campus Disability Resources office to specifically handle medical campus students.
- Participation in curriculum meetings to incorporate disability related content into each medical school module. Examples include asking students to ask patients about “access needs” while taking a medical history, including disability in discussions about populations who experience barriers to healthcare access, and approval for a Keystone Integrated Science Course (KISC) focusing on living in the community with a disability.
- Submitted an anonymous student perspective for the Dis-O Guide describing what it is like to be a student with chronic illnesses/disability at WUSM.
- Presence at Second Look activities and Diversity Week.
ADACIM is looking forward to continuing to grow in the years to come! Some future goals include developing a student-physician network to allow students with chronic diseases/disabilities be mentored by chronically ill/disabled faculty and hosting a monthly event series. For questions or more information, please contact Hannah Lynn (email@example.com).