Diversity & Inclusion

Students standing together

SNMA with guest speaker Dr. Melissa Gilliam at the 2018 Helen O. Dickens Lecture

Cultural Affinity Groups

In addition to academic life, an important aspect of the medical school experience should be participation in campus and/or medically related organizations. There are numerous activities here at Perelman – ranging from membership in the American Medical Association to participation in the annual medical school production Spoof. As part of its mission, PDI supports student-led cultural affinity groups.

Please click on each group's name to expand and find out more details.

Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)

APAMSA is dedicated to promoting awareness and service for Asian/Pacific Islander (API) health care issues. We organize events and talks to educate students on health challenges specific to API communities, and provide opportunities to get involved with service in often overlooked API communities in Philadelphia through participation in flu clinics, hepatitis B screenings, and Unity Clinic, a free clinic serving Indonesian immigrants in South Philadelphia. We hope that through our efforts, our classmates will be better equipped to understand, serve, and advocate for API patients and communities.

Our secondary focus is to support API medical students by providing contacts and sessions dedicated to the experience of APIs in the medical profession, opportunities to network with API medical students from other medical schools, and events to promote API culture for the medical school. It is our goal to support the development of API doctors and leaders in medicine.

For more information, please contact:
Casey Lee and Tristan Lim

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Caritas

Caritas is Perelman’s Catholic student group. Our mission is to offer fellowship within the school while exploring how Catholic thought influences our lives and our practices as budding physicians. To this end, we host events including lunch and dinner talks and get together regularly for Sunday dinners after mass. Caritas is building a network of students and Catholic physicians who are available to offer guidance and mentorship. We encourage interested students of all creeds to reach out to us for more information and to see how they may get involved.

For more information, please contact:
Jeanne Farnan and Sammy Tadros.

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Elizabeth Blackwell Society (EBS)

EBS seeks to inspire, empower, and connect women in medicine. EBS is a student-run group dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments of women in medicine, providing tools and support for women to address the unique challenges they face in medicine and challenges that disproportionately affect women, and fostering relationships between faculty and students. We also seek to build a relationship with our surrounding communities to empower young women to pursue careers in medicine and STEM.

For more information, please contact:
Emily Lawrence

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Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)

The Latino Medical Student Association is a national student-run organization founded to represent, support, educate, and unify Latino medical students. Like the national organization, our local our Penn Med chapter has the following mission to:

  • Recruit Latinos into higher education
  • Develop a Latino high school mentoring program pairing Latino high school students with Penn Med Latino medical students
  • Serve as a support network for Latino students
  • Advocate for increased Latino representation in health professions
  • Participate in the recruitment of underrepresented minority students to Penn Med
  • Work closely with the Student National Medical Association to foster a community of color at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Educate the public and one another about Latino heath issues which we do, in part, by assisting in health care delivery at a free clinic for Latino immigrants, Puentes de Salud
  • Promote awareness of social, political and economic issues as they relate to Latino health which we do during Latino Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)
  • Assist in the organization of the Medical Spanish courses designed for Perelman medical students wanting to learn Spanish

For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Baron and Patricia Hernandez

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LIFT US UP

As Low Income and First Time Undergraduate & Medical Students of the University of Pennsylvania, we work to:

  • Create a community of first generation and/or low income college students to support each other through the personal challenges we face during medical school
  • Provide a safe space to connect each other with school resources to overcome academic and non-academic challenges
  • Provide opportunities for a group of students to build their professional network with leaders in medicine at Penn
  • Educate this community to succeed financially after graduating from medical school
  • Educate our colleagues on the social determinants influencing an individual’s health
  • Advocate for more educational support for first generation college students while in college

For more information, please contact:
Anitra Persaud and Shannon Shipley

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Maimonides Society

The mission of “Maimo” is to provide a framework for Jewish life at Perelman. We collaborate with other graduate schools, the Lubavitch House, and Hillel at Penn to host social events. We also host educational events that cover topics at the intersection of Judaism and medicine. We’re happy to answer all your questions about kosher food options, religious services, and the Philly Jewish social scene. We welcome students of all levels of religious observance!

For more information, please contact:
Hannah Connor

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Muslims in Medicine

Muslims in Medicine aims to build a network of Muslims and friends in all stages of their careers and training. Together we can navigate the challenges and joys of practicing medicine while Muslim, and give back to the surrounding community. We work closely with the Penn Muslim Student Association, as well as other graduate schools to cultivate our students' Muslim life at Perelman.

Muslims in Medicine is also an educational resource for the wider Penn Medicine community to learn about Muslims and Islam. Look out for events such as interfaith panels, mentoring mixers with residents and attending physicians, and community gatherings, such as our Ramadan Iftar where we share Ramadan traditions with our classmates.

For more information, please contact:
Hanna Elmongy

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Penn Med Pride

Penn Med Pride is Penn Med’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer student and student allies organization. Our group of LGBTQ students and allies is committed to increasing visibility of LGBTQ people at Penn Med; educating the Penn Med community about LGBTQ health best practices through speaker series and curriculum development; promoting LGBTQ-health related community outreach; providing opportunities for professional development; and cultivating our vibrant community of LGBTQ students, faculty, staff and allies at Penn Med.

Check out the Penn Med Outlist!

For more information, please contact:
Jimmy Ding

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Penn Med Christian Fellowship (PMCF)

PMCF is a student-run organization at Penn for Christians of ALL backgrounds and for those interested in Christianity. We have weekly meetings and organize opportunities for community service and mentorship with Christian doctors and healthcare professionals.

For more information, please contact:
Adjoa Mante, Grace Ng and Seiji Suda

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Penn Med Veterans

Penn Med Veterans is an opportunity for fellowship for veterans in Penn Medicine. This group works to: inform all medical students of veterans' perspectives and challenges within the VA health system and within society in general; engage in community service aimed at local veterams in need; assist potential student veterans with transitioning to medical school and understand the government and other resources available to them to support their education; and network with veterans in the Penn Med alumni network and medical community at large.

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South Asian Medical Student Association (SAMoSA)

SAMoSA strives to strengthen the South Asian community amongst medical students, undergraduates, residents, and physicians at Perelman, increase awareness of South Asian health issues in the Penn community and Philadelphia, and strengthen South Asian collaboration across multiple Penn graduate programs.

For more information, please contact:
Neil Menon

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Student National Medical Association (SNMA)

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the nation's oldest and largest national student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color. SNMA programs are designed to serve the health needs of underserved communities and communities of color. SNMA is also dedicated to ensuring that medical education and services are culturally sensitive to the needs of diverse populations, and to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities succeeding in medical school.

The goals of the University of Pennsylvania chapter of SNMA are:

  • To conduct heath fairs and health screenings in underserved minority communities in Philadelphia and suburbs
  • To sponsor informational programs which educate minority youth about the medical school application and admissions process
  • To serve as mentors to younger students who aspire to go to medical school
  • To participate in the recruitment of underrepresented minority applicants to the Perelman School of Medicine
  • To serve as informal peer academic advisors to other enrolled Penn Med students
  • To sponsor Black History Month activities and presentations for our medical school
  • To promote residency training programs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Follow SNMA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/upennsnma

For more information, please contact:
Danielle Boateng and Naomi Fields

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Students Opposing Racism in Medicine (StORM)

StORM's mission is to eliminate racial bias in the practice of medicine by increasing awareness of racism as a threat to the health and well-being of people of color and providing tools for students and professionals.

StORM collaborates with other student groups to offer the education and tools for fighting systemic racism in health by hosting physicians who have worked to counter the effects of systemic racism in their practices and institutions, and planning cross-school events with other Philadelphia-area health professional schools, including the annual Racism in Medicine Conference.

For more information, please contact:
Canada Montgomery

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