The mission of the Office of Diversity Programs is to enhance the educational environment through the recruitment of a culturally diverse academic workforce while preparing a diverse student body to become leaders in a vibrant global society. By enhancing the diversity of the medical workforce and improving culturally competent or cross-cultural communication and practice, we can more effectively reduce health inequities.

Our office provides students and medical trainees with an overview of health care and public health in St. Louis through the Washington University Medical Plunge (WUMP). In addition, we facilitate opportunities for students to volunteer in clinics in underserved neighborhoods and to engage in service in the community, thereby further enhancing their understanding of culturally sensitive health care. We sponsor and promote a number of community service outreach programs throughout the educational pipeline to introduce students from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups to careers in science and medicine. We believe that this pipeline approach is the most successful way to develop students who will assume leadership roles in medicine and public health on the local, national and international levels. In addition, our office supports underrepresented residents and fellows through the Washington University Minority Medical Association (WUMMA) and the Barnes-Jewish and Children’s Hospitals Residents and Fellows Diversity Initiative.

The Office of Diversity Programs also administers the newly established Consortium for Community Partnerships. The Consortium works in conjunction with the Institute of Public Health, the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences, Siteman Cancer Center, the Gephardt Institute, BJC Healthcare, and other key stakeholders to enhance programs and strategies that address the health needs of our community. The Consortium for Community Partnerships offers a unique opportunity to coordinate and strengthen community-based initiatives that improve health, particularly in our underresourced communities.

For more information about diversity at the School of Medicine, please visit the Office of Diversity Programs website.