Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Anti-Oppression Programs
Creating a learning environment for the world's best 21st century physicians requires a commitment to diversity, equity, belonging, and anti-oppression.
UCSF School of Medicine is committed to achieving the goal of advancing health worldwide which requires continual work to ensure that the environments in which medical students learn, care, and discover are not only diverse but open, equitable, and anti-oppressive. UCSF School of Medicine believes that equitable and anti-oppressive environments are essential to our students' experiences and produce physicians that become leaders in high-quality patient care, effective learning, and cutting-edge discovery.
Collaborative work at UCSF is underway to address both structural oppression and interpersonal biases that contribute to inequities in health care for patients and education for students. In 2022, the School developed a new Accelerating Anti-Oppression Work in Medical Education Charter in response to calls from students to change the way racial equity is taught and incorporated into our curriculum. The Charter outlines the issues raised by our students and our collective goals to make UCSF the anti-racism institution we strive to be. The Charter is a comprehensive plan that will influence the entire ecosystem of medical education, including admissions, student experience, faculty and faculty development, curriculum, assessment (grading and honors), education continuous quality improvement, community partnerships, and communication.
Are you interested in getting involved in Differences Matter, learning how to communicate across difference, or looking for UIM mentorship? Our UIM Faculty Advisor is here to support you.
Denise Davis, MD, FACH
School of Medicine, General Internal Medicine
Academy on Communication in Healthcare Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Associate Director, Anti-Oppression Curriculum Initiative, Student Support
UCSF School of Medicine Longitudinal Culturally Affirming Mentoring Groups for UIM Students
The UCSF School of Medicine’s Anti-Oppression Curriculum Initiative has developed small (six-eight person) longitudinal mentoring groups to affirm and support medical students from Underrepresented in Medicine (UIM) groups.
Facilitated by School of Medicine faculty who identify as UIM, the mentoring groups for MS1 and MS2 students who identify as UIM* are designed to co-create a warm climate, identify professional and peer mentors, and provide mentorship and career development opportunities.
The needs of students who do not fall into the definition of UIM are also important. Students whose identities and social/economic circumstances are impacted by interpersonal, institutional, and structural oppression need and deserve individualized support and mentoring offered by faculty, the Student Experience Team, and Cultural Registered Campus Organizations. The School of Medicine is committed to providing this support and to approaching ongoing efforts with the aim of continuous improvement.
* Including BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Trans/Nonbinary, first-generation to college, low-income, ability difference, and caregivers. We recognize that there may be other identities and groups that are underrepresented in medicine who are not mentioned here and are always interested to hear your input.
Since 2015, communication and understanding and addressing racial bias has been incorporated into new student orientation for first-year medical students. During this orientation, students discuss microagressions, unconscious bias, and what diversity, equity, belonging, and anti-oppression mean as future physicians.
The UCSF School of Medicine has an active community of cultural registered campus organizations including the Association of Native American Medical Students, White Coats for Black Lives, LatinX Medical Student Association, Pride in Medicine, and the Student National Medical Association. Browse our student groups below and learn more about their missions, programs, and how you can get involved.
Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
Mission/Purpose: We are an organization of Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) medical students committed to addressing the unique health challenges of APIA communities through education, outreach, advocacy, and service.
Annual Programs: Faculty/student dinners, elective around APIA issues, undergrad mentorship with Mabuhay Health Center, API Heritage Month, Chinatown community health workshops, and more!
Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS)
Mission/Purpose: ANAMS at UCSF is an organization of health professions students who self-identify as Native American, or allies, who are working together to advance representation of Native Americans on campus. ANAMS at UCSF also promotes cultural understanding and an awareness of the health disparities affecting Native American/Alaskan Native peoples through educational programs and campus events.
Annual Programs: Native Health Elective (fall), Native American Heritage Month programming (November), Native@UCSF Retreat, NABARI Youth Decolonization Camp
Latinx Medical Student Association (LMSA)
Mission/Purpose: To recruit and support individuals in the health care professions who strive to improve the access and delivery of health care to Latinx and medically underserved populations. The LMSA chapter at UCSF seeks to promote this mission as well as to provide a network of support to its members.
- Latinx Heritage Month
- ASW UIM Welcome Event
Pride in Medicine (PrideMed)
Mission/Purpose: PrideMed invites queer medical students and allies to come together as a community. Our mission is to provide a welcoming and open environment for all queer medical students and to validate the unique challenges that our community members face in our current health care system as both patients and trainees.
Programs and Initiatives:
- PrideMed Welcome Mixer: Annual welcome event for the newly accepted students. This is a great chance for the new class to mingle with the old! (October/November)
- Drag Show at UCSF: PrideMed's annual Drag Show is a longstanding tradition, featuring amazing performers from the community. It is truly the event of the season! (November/December)
- Curriculum Advocacy: We work closely with UCSF administrators to ensure inclusive and accurate representation of queer and trans health topics in the Bridges Curriculum.
- Outreach: Events for queer high school and undergraduate students interested in medicine, as well as partnerships with community organizations that serve the LGBTQ community.
- Many other events such as socials, movie screenings, collaborations with other affinity groups, and more!
Student National Medical Association
Mission/Purpose: The Student National Medical Association at UCSF is a collection of Black medical students committed to engaging with local Black communities, providing mentorship to Black students, and challenging health inequities that exist in our society. By providing support and mentorship to current and future Black medical students, we hope to rectify the current lack of Black physicians and help cultivate physicians who will be dedicated to addressing the needs of underserved communities. We will focus on establishing educational pipeline programs to increase the representation of Black students in both higher education and the medical field. We will also work with and learn from our local Black communities, both at UCSF and in the greater San Francisco region, to engage in meaningful service and community building opportunities.
- Black History Month Programming Series
- Participation in the Annual Medical Education Conference
White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL)
Mission/Purpose: WC4BL’s mission is to “eliminate racial bias in the practice of medicine and recognize racism as a threat to the health and well-being of people of color.” We work to actualize this mission through organizing nationally, engaging with local communities, and participating in efforts to move UCSF School of Medicine to anti-racist curricula and student support services.
The goals of WC4BL include eliminating racial discrimination in health care and preparing future physicians to be advocates for racial justice.
- Racial Justice Report Card
- Work with WISE Health SF to facilitate a series of sexual wellness and lifestyle classes for older adults at the George Davis Senior Center in the Bayview
- Curriculum improvement project(s)
- Annual die-in anniversary
Anti-Oppression Curriculum (AOC) Initiative
The UCSF School of Medicine’s Anti-Oppression Curriculum (AOC) Initiative is a three-year process of evaluation, reflection, and redesign to move the entire four-year Bridges Curriculum towards an anti-oppressive approach. This initiative is being led by Denise Connor, MD and is a foundational element of the broader Anti-Oppression Charter, overseen by Associate Dean for Curriculum, John Davis, PhD, MD.
The mission of the AOC Initiative is to prepare all UCSF medical students to assume their critical role in partnering with patients and communities to combat oppression and advance health equity. If you are interested in participating in the AOC Initiative or the AOCI Student-Collaborative, please explore the AOCI webpage and the Getting Involved page.