The Office for Diversity Affairs supports VUSM student affinity groups with mentoring, funding, and other resources throughout the academic year. Below is a list of current organizations and brief descriptions of their activities.
The Asian-Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) hosts a variety of events throughout the year that are open to students of all ethnicities. They engage in a number of volunteer activities, and older students regularly mentor incoming students. Additionally, the group sends delegates to the annual APAMSA National Conference.
LGBT MD is a student organization that educates students and staff about sexual and gender minority health issues and disparities and provides a supportive community for LGBTQI students and allies. In the past few years, the leaders of LGBT MD have worked to integrate more LGBTQI-oriented lectures and discussion sessions into the 1st- and 2nd-year curriculum.
Annually they partnered with a local high school leadership group, Students of Stonewall, as well as the leaders of the second-year Pediatrics rotation, to host a question and answer session with a group of 10-12 high school students who identify as part of the LGBTQI community. They have also hosted small group discussions with transgender patients to give VUSM students a chance to learn about this unique community that has a long history of bias and discrimination in healthcare.
The Latino Medical Student Association was formed in response to the growing deficit in the provision of healthcare to the Latino community. By helping to train the next generation of physician-leaders to be culturally competent and sensitive to the health care needs of the Latino community, LMSA strives towards the following goals:
• Reducing overall health and treatment outcome disparities between the Latino community and the general population.
• Shape policies that can positively impact the health of the Latino community.
• Influence key areas of biomedical research of interest to the Latino community.
The Maimonides Society, the Jewish Medical Student Association at Vanderbilt Medical School, is a community of students, faculty and house staff dedicated to enriching the Jewish experience at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Through speaker programs, social programming, and culturally centered events, the group enhances Jewish community life throughout the medical center.
The Vanderbilt chapter of the Student National Medical Association is dedicated to the eradication of health disparities by bolstering the pipeline of diverse students, empowering through education on these disparities, and serving the community. The group supports current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent, and socially conscious physicians.
Committed to increasing the number of culturally capable and sensitive physicians, SNMA is also dedicated to the academic and clinical success of medical students and pre-medical students. At Vanderbilt, the SNMA chapter – in collaboration with the Office of Admissions – is heavily involved in the recruitment of minority students through dinners on interview days, Second Look Weekend, and ongoing communication with accepted and prospective students.
SNMA members also work with youth from elementary school to college to introduce them to the sciences and to serve as mentors. In this way, the SNMA strengthens the educational pipeline that leads from elementary school to medical school. Additionally, the group partners and collaborate with the MAPS chapter on the Vanderbilt campus to provide one-on-one mentoring to pre-medical students, various events for socializing between aspiring and current medical students, and community service.