Gino D., M2
WUSM’s chapter of the American Medical Association (AMA) seeks to involve WUSM students in local, state, and federal policymaking pertaining to health care. We work with the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society, Missouri State Medical Association, and the AMA Medical Student Section to write resolutions related to physician practice, public health, research, and other areas of medicine. We also fund students to attend the AMA Medical Student Section Annual and Interim meetings and help our members get involved on national AMA standing committees.
Rachel K., M2
If you are interested in gender equity in medicine, mentorship, professional development, or community engagement, American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is the group for you! As one of the longest-standing and largest student organizations at WUSM, AMWA provides programming year-round in all of these areas and more. We host events in collaboration with other student groups to support mutual goals, and we have multiple long-standing relationships with community organizations educating young women in the St. Louis area. Our AMWA chapter is only one of many in the organization’s national network; we encourage you to connect with us when you come to St. Louis!
Tim B., M1
The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) is an affinity group that brings together medical students who support the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) experience. We host holiday celebrations (Diwali, Lunar New Year) and social gatherings with food, drinks, and performances. They are a great way to connect with your peers while celebrating diversity at WashU. There are also regional and national conferences that feature speakers and poster board presentation opportunities! These events are a great way to travel and meet professionals who can provide great insight from their experiences navigating medicine. Locally, APAMSA offers great service opportunities like translational services for a Chinese language free clinic.
Nadia A., M1
CHOICES (Choosing Healthy Options In our Community, Environment, and Schools) for Youth in Detention is an innovative outreach effort dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of incarcerated teens. The program visits the St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center weekly to present health-related topics to the teens there. These sessions are unique because they are structured as conversations surrounding cases or scenarios, rather than formal lectures. I like volunteering through CHOICES because it is incredibly humbling to have the kids open up about their experiences to you. We currently have presentations on safe sex, mental health, toxic stress, healthy relationships, and addiction. Overall, CHOICES gives WUSM students the unique opportunity of working with this marginalized population and provides them with a powerful introduction to disparities in health literacy, obstacles in health education, and issues in correctional medicine.
Jingjing Z., M2
WUSM Global Health & Medicine (GH&M) is devoted to providing students with global health education and opportunities to work abroad conducting research or participating in clinical rotations. We organize mentorship talks with WashU faculty, topic-specific lecture series (e.g. lectures on antimicrobial resistance in spring 2022), annual symposia (e.g. human rights symposium), and share other global health opportunities hosted virtually or on-campus here at WashU. Our expanding network of international faculty, an array of different programs, and funding for student projects enables WUSM students to broaden their perspectives as future physicians by participating in research and health care in other parts of the U.S. and around the world.
Kourtney B., M2
The mission of the Health Career Collaborative (HCC) is to provide mentorship, engaging health curriculum, and exposure to health careers to URiM high school students in the St. Louis community. Our current primary partner is Innovation School at Cool Valley in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. We follow a cohort of students over the course of at least one year (ideally from 10th grade until graduation). Topics covered in our curriculum this last semester include sexual health, cardiovascular disease, the renal system, and general college prep. Our goal is to provide hands-on, experiential learning, and expose students to health care options they may not know about.
Kourtney B., M2
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is focused on quality improvement and patient safety in medicine. We hold lunch talks, brewery tours (focusing on system science), activities, and workshops to identify how errors in patient care occur and what can be done to minimize them. We also focus on improving the quality of patient care through symposia on how to care for the whole patient, listening to patient stories, and interprofessional collaboration.
Amanda M.H., M1
The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA), here at WUSM and nationwide, aims to support medical students that are working towards providing equitable care to the Latin population. This organization is open to all from any background; we have had the opportunity to connect with our local Latin community and across LMSA chapters at other nearby medical schools. This has personally helped me find mentorship and learn ways to continue staying connected with my culture after moving to a new city. We plan social events to provide a sense of community with each other and provide service opportunities in our local St. Louis community. LMSA also coordinates Medical Spanish, a popular elective course that allows medical students to learn Spanish in a clinical setting and eventually become certified as interpreters. We look forward to meeting and welcoming you soon!
Luke C., M1
As someone from Texas, it does say something that I was worried about moving to the Midwest and being part of the LGBTQ+ community. It makes me happy to say how wrong I was for thinking I’d be more isolated. LGBTQmed is an organization here that not only creates a tight-knit community but also has been around for a long time and has strong ties with the administration and OUTmed. Every year they host small parties with faculty to foster mentorship but also simply visibility. The community is not invisible here and this year alone has nearly doubled in size. From a professional standpoint, there are networking events, lunch talks, and teams of physicians dedicated to serving specific groups within the community from those who serve the gender-diverse population to those who just serve the community in general. St. Louis as a city has a present community located in the Grove (south of campus) and a robust community of people ranging in gender, sexual orientation, and expression. The group fosters that close supportive community within WashU in order to launch into the greater STL community with the comfort of knowing you already have one supporting you.
Jon I., M2
LouHealth was created as a policy and public health advocacy response to COVID-19. We partner with local organizations that work in three main areas: health access and equity, criminal justice reform, and intimate partner violence survivor advocacy. In addition to partnering with local organizations to create volunteer opportunities, we work on structural policy change and organize trainings (like trauma informed care when treating survivors of intimate partner violence or Narcan administration). Additionally, LouHealth includes students across graduate programs (MD, PT, OT, PharmD, etc.) and across different schools, including Saint Louis University and University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy, so it is a great way to connect and collaborate with peers outside of the MD program. Feel free to visit our website (louhealthstl.org) or social media platforms (@louhealthstl) to see some of our current work.
Caroline C., M1
Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) is an international organization dedicated to ensuring medical students are educated about abortion and reproductive health care at large. The MSFC chapter at WashU is involved in advocacy, community organizing, and outreach for reproductive justice here in St. Louis and on a national level. We coordinate lunch talks and panels with abortion providers and reproductive justice activists, canvas for pro-choice candidates, attend local protests and fundraisers, and advocate for abortion rights protections in state and federal legislation. MSFC also hosts an annual Conference on Family Planning, which includes workshops on IUD insertion and Manual Vacuum Aspiration.
John B., M1
Pediatric Lifesavers (PLS) is a great opportunity to make an impact on families receiving care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital! Parents of children in the neonatal intensive care unit often report that having basic infant CPR training would make them feel more comfortable going home with their babies. Volunteering with PLS, you have the opportunity to teach infant CPR classes to parents, improve peoples’ experiences in the hospital, and potentially save lives. Volunteers usually teach about one class per month and it can be a great way to change gears from studying. If you are interested in pediatrics or education, PLS is an excellent way to get involved and make a difference!
Peppar C., M2
Science and Healthcare Abilities Coalition (SHAC) has two main goals: it provides a supportive space for disabled/chronically ill/neurodivergent/Deaf students to share advice and experiences and works towards making science/healthcare and WUSM more accessible and inclusive for patients and providers. Some of our projects so far include updating the technical standards to be more inclusive, pushing for disability to be part of diversity efforts, and integrating more disability content into the MD curriculum. We are also affiliated with national organizations, such as Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness.
Quinn P., M1
Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students (SPOTS) educates children and teens about early detection and prevention of skin cancer. SPOTS was founded here in St. Louis as a collaboration between WashU and SLU, and it has expanded to many medical schools across the country. Over the years, students have put together a fun and engaging presentation that debunks common myths about skin cancer, summarizes key details and statistics, and highlights how sun protection can decrease the risk of developing skin cancer. We work with schools around St. Louis to schedule many of these presentations throughout the year. It is such a fun way to make a meaningful impact in the community.
Joshua P.C., M2
In 2015, the WHO named climate change the greatest threat to global health. U.S. health care contributes substantially to environmental perturbation, and, if considered a country, it would rank 13th in total carbon emissions. The goal of WUSM Sustainability Club is to educate students about the health impacts of climate change, climate change mitigation (e.g. reducing waste), and adaptation (e.g. resilience to weather-related disasters) in medicine. Currently our efforts include the development of climate change content for the medical curriculum, climate change and health lunch talks, and connecting students with sustainability-related volunteering and advocacy opportunities.
Nicolette P., M2
The Perinatal Project matches first-year medical students with pregnant patients in the Antepartum Unit. The goal of the program is to foster relationships where medical students can learn about the experience of pregnancy and expectant mothers can build longitudinal relationships with students, gaining an advocate throughout their pregnancy and delivery. We host lunch talks for students to learn more about prenatal care and women’s health. The Perinatal Project is a great opportunity for students who are interested in obstetrics/gynecology or women’s health, as well as for students interested in getting experience building relationships with patients and becoming a patient advocate.
Dani W., M1
The Saturday Scholars Program provides an annual forum for high school students, particularly from the St. Louis Public Schools and a number of county schools, to learn about human anatomy both in a lecture and lab environment, while interacting with WashU medical students. As a medical student, I help run lectures, instruct anatomy lab, or teach clinical skills on Saturdays with these high school students. One of my all-time favorite goals was to “aspire to inspire” and with this program I really get a firsthand opportunity to inspire, mentor, and foster interests in health care within our community.