SOM Health Justice Center

Opportunities for students and residents

OHSU School of Medicine provides many opportunities to support and connect diverse learners including student organizations, mentoring programs, events, as well as the Health Justice Co-op and opportunities through the OHSU the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

Our commitment to learners

The School of Medicine is committed to increasing the diversity of our student body for learners from rural backgrounds, underrepresented racial groups and those who have faced significant disadvantage or adversity. Learn more.

We partner to support diversity in recruiting and sustaining learners across our academic programs because we believe a diverse learning community helps us move closer to a future in which our community of health care providers mirrors the diversity of our patients.

It Takes a Community: A Medical Student Guide To Diversity & Inclusion

This guide was developed and published by MD program student leaders to help learners find information, learn new skills, and connect with other students and faculty to support diversity at OHSU.

Download it here

Student Interest Groups

Student interest groups are a great way to get involved and connect with a community of learners and faculty. OHSU is home to local chapters of distinguished national student organizations and other diverse student interest groups including: 

  • The Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science (AVDS), which aims to increase visible diversity within graduate programs at OHSU. Read the AVDS newsletter.
  • Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) 
  • Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAM)
  • Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA)
  • Middle Eastern and South Asian Association (MESAA)
  • Students for LGBTQ Health
  • Student National Medical Association (SNMA)
  • Graduate Student Organization Peer Mentoring Committee (contact gsopeer@ohsu.edu)

A full list of student interest groups is maintained by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.  Learn more.

Support services for students

The School of Medicine provides a range of retention and enrichment support services for students across its academic programs including mentoring opportunities and a leadership committee. 

Faculty members  Alex Domingo, Sherie Gause, Dekey Lhewa, and Anya Solotskaya serve as the SOM’s diversity navigators. SOM M.D. program students who self-identify as belonging to diverse or underrepresented groups can reach out to them for support and mentorship.

Go to REDI System to  set an appointment.

The SOM Undergraduate Medical Education program launched a partnership in the spring of 2019 with Northwest Permanente (NWP) to expand the pool of physicians who can mentor diverse M.D. students. NWP is the largest independent, multispecialty medical group practicing in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Medical students who belong to various interest groups are eligible to participate in the program.  Physicians and students are paired up and receive guidance on how to build professional relationships. The program also provides a valuable outlet for physicians to connect with diverse and URM students. Dr. George Mejicano and Leslie Garcia, Assistant Chief Diversity Officer, lead this program.

The HOADC and the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Office implement the SOM Diversity Mentorship Dinners. These gatherings take place quarterly to support our diverse medical school students, residents, fellows, and faculty. They offer a venue to network and discuss topics of interest in a casual environment. The primary purpose of the program is to address inclusion and retain diverse learners at OHSU. Each dinner features a panel, which is usually a mix of faculty, fellows, researchers, and residents. The HOADC leadership and medical students select the topics to discuss.

The SOM Dean’s Office host quarterly meetings where students across programs can inquire about SOM status reports and data related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. SOM students can share concerns, successes, and updates on diverse interest groups.

Health Justice Co-op

Opened in December 2019, the Health Justice Co-op provides a safe space for students. It was developed by students of color and of the LGBTQ community and faculty out of a clear response to students' experiences of racism and marginalization on campus and a need for a place designed to support community and collaboration. It is open daily to all OHSU learners.

The space prioritizes diversity and justice-related programming and includes a health justice resources library, a projector set up to display health justice films and documentaries, and an event calendar for students to stay connected to the community. 

This space represents the future of health sciences that we are collectively shaping, one where we redefine the margins, where we draw strength from our cultures, where we see our power reflected in each other and where we carry on the work of those who planted these seeds of change. Gather and get connected here, study here, borrow from the health justice library, learn and unlearn in this space and know that we all got you.

Location: Robertson Life Sciences Building 4A005

Resources for learners

A Medical Spanish course was proposed and implemented by the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA). The LMSA Medical Spanish Elective increases Spanish medical fluency and cultural competency among medical students providing a foundation for success as residents and attending physicians. Likewise, learning about Latino/Hispanic cultures offer a forum to enhance interprofessional education and clinical effectiveness.

Contact: somdei@ohsu.edu