Students who attend racially and ethnically diverse medical schools are better prepared to care for patients in a diverse society. With that in mind, our admissions office looks at more than test scores and GPAs. We use a holistic review process that looks at the whole person and what they'll add to the Drexel community and beyond. Our commitment to diversity has enabled us to create an academic environment that mirrors the world we live in.
With over 65 recognized student groups and a vast network of support programs and mentors, we encourage students to connect with those who share similar interests and backgrounds while embracing and learning from the differences of others. The College of Medicine provides an opportunity for all students to grow and learn from the differences found in each other, but more importantly, we provide a way to connect through our similarities and common interests.
The Office of Diversity in Medicine supports several student groups including:
- Student National Medical Association
- Latino Medical Student Association
- Drexel Black Doctors Network
- LGBT Medical Student Group
- Drexel Mentoring and Pipeline Program (DMAPP)
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies provides additional support for its students through several Graduate School Resources.
All College of Medicine students can also take advantage of University-wide initiatives including:
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On May 30, the College of Medicine announced that a town hall would be held that week to focus on the needs of the community in a time of national unrest and pandemic. The original agenda called for the Offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Student Counseling to respond to these events and discuss available resources for the Drexel community, and did not include time for student voices to be heard. Drexel's Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter asked to have students speak at the meeting, so they could discuss their experiences of racism at Drexel and ask for change within the organization. Two of those students were Brett Mitchell and Ayomide Igun. We asked them to reflect on their experiences, both as Black Drexel medical students in general and as two of the four student speakers at the town hall. Read more.
"I was drawn to Drexel because of the community service initiatives and location in a diverse city because I really wanted a chance to serve minorities in medical school. The excellent public health program here led me to pursue the MD/MPH dual degree to fulfill my desire to assess and treat underserved populations of people."
A desire to help others, a love of learning, and skills like self-reliance and adaptability have gotten Daniyal Dar where he is today. Dar said he gained those skills along the path to medical school, navigating secondary education as a first-generation college student.
Earlier this semester, Drexel University College of Medicine hosted the 4th annual Racism in Medicine Conference (RiMC). Three College of Medicine students, Dominique Jones, Urooj Khalid and Lillien Socorro served as the Executive Planning Coordinators, overseeing all planning operations of the conference.
"As a student driven event, RiMC was an opportunity to highlight the stories and goals that we feel are crucial to the social justice movement," explains Khalid, a second-year medical student. "Too often discussions of race and racism are conducted in spaces that are created by the more privileged and by those of large institutions, and it is these individuals who assume control of the narrative."
"I was lucky to live in an interesting time," says distinguished pediatric oncologist and researcher Anna Meadows '69, referring to the opportunities she created for herself in an era when women doctors were rare.
Life revolves around family for Rene Felix Perez Ramirez Jr. and Veronica Araujo Ramirez, both MDs, Class of 2009 — whether it's their three children, their extended families near Fresno or their Drexel College of Medicine family.
"The [Drexel Pathway to Medical School] faculty were amazing. I found I could go to a professor's office whenever I needed support. The professors here really care about you and want to see you succeed. They really want to see us—people of color, women, other minorities—become doctors, and they will go to great lengths to help."
Read Bettie's Story.
"Diversity encompasses numerous layers — ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and language, just to name a few examples. Language, both verbal and nonverbal, is fundamental in how we communicate, emote, learn from one another and ultimately better serve our patients."
Read more about Breaking Down Language Barriers.
Third-year College of Medicine student Allison Gutierrez wasn't long into her first experiences with patients when she came up with the germ of the idea that became the Mothers and Baby Dragons program. "I came home from my first night at clinic and was still feeling the high of interacting with my first patients," explained Gutierrez. She loved interacting with OB-GYN patients and wanted to do something more. That "something more" ended up being Mothers and Baby Dragons, a unique Drexel-based program that aims to help local underserved expecting mothers by connecting them with Drexel medical students for the course of their pregnancy.
Read more about Allison Gutierrez and the Mothers and Baby Dragons program.
Two second-year medical students at the College of Medicine, Dexter Graves and Bisola Egbe, noticed a lack of opportunity for students to interact with African-American physicians in the Philadelphia area. Recognizing that shadowing and research opportunities can be very difficult for underrepresented minority students to obtain, they proposed a new program specifically designed to connect the African-American students at Drexel with local African-American physicians. Their ultimate goal is to pair each student with a physician to provide mentoring and support through the medical school process.
Read more about the Drexel Black Doctors Network.
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The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion works with Drexel University College of Medicine's Office of Admissions in identifying and recruiting students from diverse backgrounds to explore the College of Medicine for their future career goals.
"Holistic review is a flexible, individualized way of assessing an applicant's capabilities by which balanced consideration is given to experiences, attributes, and academic metrics and, when considered in combination, how the individual might contribute value as a medical student and physician."
"The Advancing Holistic Review Initiative endeavors to enable the implementation of holistic review in member institutions, and to illustrate the connection of holistic admissions to larger diversity and inclusion efforts."
"To do this, the Initiative is offering an integrated suite of flexible, customized tools and resources that link the holistic admissions process to diversity and inclusion efforts across the medical education continuum."
Learn more at the AAMC website.
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The American Medical Women's Association is an organization, which functions at the local, national and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women's health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring and strategic alliances. The College of Medicine chapter of AMWA executes several events each year to meet these goals and allows female students to connect with faculty members and each other.
APAMSA is a national organization that aims to address issues important to Asian-American medical students. Developed in 1993 by students concerned with problems that were largely ignored by existing organizations, APAMSA chapters were established at local schools to help students understand the unique challenges they faced as Asian Americans in medicine. The goal of the College of Medicine APAMSA is to provide community service in ongoing educational/outreach events for Hep B, cancer, diabetes (and more) within the Asian communities of Philadelphia as well as bring them closer to these communities.
The Catholic Medical Association provides community to Drexel Med's Catholic medical students and works within the community to promote the common good.
The purpose of the Chabad Student Group is to provide an outlet for experiencing Judaism to the students at the College of Medicine within the framework of traditional Judaism. Our objectives include but are not limited to educational, ritual and social activities.
According to AAMC, only 4% of practicing physicians are African American. As a minority, shadowing and research opportunities can be very difficult to obtain. The goal of the Drexel Black Doctors Network is to have African American physicians from various specialties of medicine speak with students about their career path. Once a month a different physician would come to our school and share their perspective of the journey from education and research to clerkships and fellowships. In addition, we would like to provide an outlet for students to shadow practicing physicians from all over the Philadelphia area in different specialties.
The ultimate goal is to be able to pair each student with a physician in the field of their interest to provide mentoring and support throughout the medical school process. We would like for this program to specifically encourage first- and second-year students to become proactive in networking and further their involvement in the Philadelphia community. Our vision is for this program to build relationships between African American students and physicians that will last bound the four years at Drexel University College of Medicine.
The Drexel Black Graduate Student Union (DBGSU) provides an environment of intellectual, political, cultural and social growth for those who want to connect with Black graduate and professional degree–seeking students. Through social events and community service, the DBGSU seeks to unite Black graduate students at Drexel in order to provide a channel for the sharing of the Black culture, traditions and beliefs with the Drexel community.
Drexel CMA is a group that seeks to share the light and love of Jesus with all, and to encourage one another in our Christian faith. We work in partnership with MCO and CMDA, which are organizations that disciple health care students and seek to incorporate biblical principles into health care. We welcome all who are seeking to find out more about Christianity and how to live out one's faith in the medical field.
The Drexel University Cultural Exchange aims to broaden medical students' cultural awareness and give students an opportunity to experience cultures that are very different from their own. This club is open to students of any background who are eager to learn and experience a variety of different cultural practices. The College of Medicine community includes students with an array of cultural experiences that help contribute to its unparalleled diversity. DUCE hopes to harness that diversity and use it as a means to educate medical students about different cultures that they might encounter in the medical field. We hope to plan fun and educational events throughout the year to engage students in multicultural exploration and deepen a sense of understanding and collaboration that reaches far beyond an academic setting.
Drexel University College of Medicine has a very active Latino Medical Student Association chapter. Throughout the academic year, the College of Medicine LMSA chapter meets regularly to discuss academic issues, planning for residency, study skills, social outreach, plans for their chapter, as well as for social support. See the diversity calendar for upcoming events as well as information about previous events.
Learn more about LMSA.
Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) 2018 Latino Health Fair - For the third year, the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) hosted a Latino health fair on October 13, 2018. The fair took place at the Antonia Pantoja Charter School in North Philadelphia. Attendees had the opportunity to get their height, weight, pulse, blood pressure, eyes and glucose checked. View photo gallery.
Drexel University College of Medicine has an active student group that networks with other medical schools in the Philadelphia region. The College of Medicine group also does local and regional outreach for the student body community, plans Coming Out Day events, conducts residency selection advice panels, and organizes other projects.
The College of Medicine was one of the founding schools in 2010 and hosting schools in 2011 for the North East Region LGBT Student Health Symposium, which gathered medical students, residents and faculty from the region to a three day meeting.
The purpose of our group is to collaborate, unify and strengthen the bonds between those of the LGBTQ community and our allies within the field of medicine and the community. We will accomplish this by educating members in new and innovative avenues such as our annual Safe Zone training, and having speakers discuss relevant topics within the LGBTQ community related to medicine. Lastly, we hope to enrich fellow students and faculty within our culture by explaining how our history has shaped our present and future accomplishments.
The goal of the society is to welcome and support students by providing them with a sense of Jewish community. We organize lunch and dinner events to discuss relevant medical ethical issues from Jewish perspectives, as well as social and Jewish holiday programs. The society will discuss issues exploring medical ethics, practice, health care and social issues in the context of Jewish culture and laws. The Maimonides student group is under the umbrella of Hillel International. The Maimonides Student group is open to all Drexel students and faculty.
Celebrate and raise awareness about Persian culture among the Drexel and local community. We strive to orchestrate diverse activities (regular tea nights, soccer leagues, picnics, cultural celebrations, etc.) that unify the Persian community at and around Drexel. We will hopefully expand to local community service outreach as well.
The purpose of the South Asian Medical Student Association is to foster a sense of community within the South Asian student body, as well as to increase awareness about the South Asian culture throughout the College of Medicine campus. We organize cultural shows, service events, movie nights and more, in order to accomplish this goal. All our events are open to all College of Medicine students, faculty and staff so that everyone can better understand and appreciate the South Asian culture. We also hope to use our platform as a means to encourage dialogue and communication between people of all cultures.
On November 7, 2018, the College of Medicine's South Asian Medical Students Association celebrated Diwali. They invited the College of Medicine community to come and learn about what Diwali symbolizes. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn, symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Members of the South Asian Medical Students Association provided free samosas, invited students to color mandalas and decorate their own cookies, and gave henna tattoos. View Photos
SNMA is built on the core values of academic excellence, community service, and advocacy. We work to give back to the community and mentor students who are underrepresented in medicine.
We support members of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) chapters at Drexel University and Cheyney University, encouraging them to pursue medicine and attend the Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC).
Participating in SNMA gives DUCOM students an opportunity to network with peers who share their interest in increasing the number of culturally competent, socially conscious, and clinically excellent physicians in the medical field.
SNMA strives to:
- Take a proactive role in the recruitment and retention of students from diverse backgrounds,
- Increase awareness and address the needs of underrepresented medical and pre-medical students,
- Increase awareness and address the needs of underserved communities in Philadelphia and around the U.S.
Upcoming Events: diversity calendar
SNMA Website: snma.org
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Women in Surgery celebrates the history of women surgeons and supports women who wish to pursue surgery by organizing mentorship and shadowing opportunities with surgical faculty members. We aim to be a resource for medical students as they explore surgical specialties, offering panel discussions with women surgeons and opportunities to talk one-on-one about challenges, advice, and lifestyle considerations. The group is open to all who are either interested in surgery or would like to learn more about women surgeons and their histories.
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Support and Counseling
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion provides services and programs for students at all levels of undergraduate medical education. We work very closely as a team in Student Affairs, interacting with the career development center and other units, to counsel students on many issues that may affect them during their medical education. In addition to an open door policy, we have a number of activities and clubs to support students from diverse backgrounds.
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion actively organizes study groups, assists with obtaining study resources, assists with the tutorial program, arranges for special assistance for exams, and provides mentoring. Through the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, students can find many opportunities for social fellowship.
The Student Academic Support Office offers a variety of resources to help MD Program students learn more efficiently and effectively. The academic load in medical school can be a difficult and demanding. Students may seek academic assistance for a variety of reasons. Our goal is to support all students as they adapt their study skills, test taking strategies and personal habits to the demands of the medical curriculum.
Learn more about mentors and advising.
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Diversity Programs for Students
The Drexel Minority Achievement Program's mission is to create a positive collegiate experience for minority students so that they may achieve excellence as well as to increase the retention rate of minority students on the campus of Drexel University through academic support, financial aid guidance and through social interaction. Membership is extended to those full-time undergraduate students who are actively enrolled in Drexel University, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or ability.
The Student Center for Inclusion and Culture promotes an inclusive and culturally sensitive community through:
- Comprehensive cultural month programming
- A wide range of multicultural and social equality education
- Training opportunities on a variety of topics including gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, and economic class
The Women's Health Education Program (WHEP) is committed to integrating women's health issues into every aspect of our curriculum. Women's health includes topics related to public health, community outreach, health education, patient care and many others. WHEP has ongoing activities throughout the year that highlight these issues. We strive to bring focus to health concerns and education for female patients and medical professionals, as well as the medical community at large. Learn more about WHEP.
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The Drexel Pathway to Medical School (DPMS) is a one-year master's degree program with early assurance into the College of Medicine. The program provides students who have taken pre-med classes the opportunity to further enhance their academic background in preparation for medical school studies. Drexel Pathway to Medical School students who meet the GPA and MCAT score requirements matriculate into the MD program.
The early assurance is a conditional acceptance for matriculation into Drexel University College of Medicine following successful completion of the program with achievement of the academic and professional benchmarks outlined in the DPMS program policies.
The purpose of the Drexel Pathway to Medical School program is to promote diversity at Drexel University College of Medicine by providing opportunities to individuals who come from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
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Diversity Events for Students
The Drexel University College of Medicine Student National Medical Association hosts an annual Big Brother/Sister Picnic for Drexel's Graduate Studies students in the Drexel Pathway to Medical School Program (DPMS) in September on the Queen Lane campus.
The Diversity Welcome Breakfast is held annually for the incoming underrepresented in medicine students during orientation week. The breakfast allows students from the upper classes to welcome first-year students who self-identify as underrepresented in medicine. With the breakfast taking place during orientation week, the event serves as a nice icebreaker for the new students, letting them know that, while they may identify as under-represented, they are not alone at Drexel.
At the start of the academic year, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion hosts a reception to welcome all students and their families who have self-identified as underrepresented in medicine.
During the fall, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion hosts a community and family gathering reception to welcome all first-year students and their families who have self-identified as part of the LGBTQ community.
Each year, there is a holiday event where students from diverse backgrounds can come and socialize together in a relaxed atmosphere.
Drexel University College of Medicine faculty, staff and students participate in a number of service events throughout the city for MLK Day of Service. Some students visit neighborhood schools where they paint classrooms. Some students participate in the MLK Dare Coalition for Power, Resistance and Empowerment Walk in Center City, distributing information helping organize marchers and then marching themselves. Philadelphia prominently hosts the MLK Day of Service each year, and the College of Medicine participates each year in this and other civic engagements.
In honor of Dr. James Batts, an annual dinner is held during the spring for underrepresented graduating seniors, alumni and faculty. The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will continue this tradition by holding our Diversity Senior Celebration (formerly known as the Batts Dinner).
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Community Outreach Opportunities
Many of our student organizations serve the local and global community. These organizations help provide health care and education to underserved populations in Philadelphia and other regions throughout the world. Some of our community outreach clubs include:
The main mission of the Medical Chapter of Drexel CHAMPS is to utilize interdisciplinary collaboration for the aid of the local Philadelphia community. The current site, for which we focus our efforts, is at the Eliza Shirley House. At this site, we work with the Public Health and Law School Chapters to serve the residents. We help host "Circle Discussions" with the mothers and "Kids Zone" with the children. Both events provide stress relief and educational focused discussions/talks for the health of the residents. Additionally, we help provide resident advocacy services.
Drexel Mentoring and Pipeline Program (DMAPP) recognizes the need for mentors, volunteering at local high schools in the Mt. Airy and North Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia.
The purpose of the program is to foster the development of future leaders through academic excellence, professionalism, community service and integrity. DMAPP offers free tutoring and mentor-mentee relationships with Drexel University College of Medicine students. The high school students participate in monthly professional development workshops that include topics such as personal essay writing and interviewing etiquette.
The ultimate goal is to expose the high school students to careers in health and medicine, while assisting them in developing the critical skills needed for the professional world and community involvement.
Together the high schools and College of Medicine students engage civic and volunteer events including feeding the homeless at Chosen 300, distributing food and clothing to families in need during the holidays, fundraising efforts, reading to children at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, and interactive role play at The Independence Blue Cross Medical Simulation Center at Drexel University College of Medicine in a realistic patient care environment.
DMAPP is fostering development of future diversity leaders through academic excellence, professionalism, community service and integrity.
The Healing Arts group does arts and crafts with children at the Ronald McDonald house in West Philadelphia/University City, to work to improve mental health and wellness in the community.
We are dedicated to the encouragement and education of pre-health, high school students. We work to educate students on common disease processes, healthy living, and awareness of a healthy lifestyle. We encourage students to become active in their own community through assisting them to plan and host their own health fair.
The Health Outreach Project clinics aim to prepare medical students to be excellent physicians while providing medical care to underserved populations in the Philadelphia area. Through our efforts at the Eliza Shirley, Salvation Army, StreetSide, and Arc clinics, as well as pop-up community events, underserved Philadelphia residents receive free, high quality medical care and other services from 1st and 2nd year medical students.
Jump Into Reading provides Drexel medical students the chance to read to young children once a week throughout the course of the year. The program takes place at the Eliza Shirley House, which is a women's shelter located in Philadelphia. Because these kids are going through a difficult period in their lives, we hope to provide a safe and fun environment for them and hopefully instill in them a lifelong love of reading.
The Mothers and Baby Dragons program connects underserved pregnant women with Drexel medical students throughout their pregnancy. These women may require additional resources to overcome the realities and dilemmas that they face during their pregnancy - be it physical, emotional, financial, cultural, etc. Drexel students will act as a health navigator for these women by attending prenatal visits, providing needed information and resources to help the mothers, being present for labor and delivery, and continued support postpartum. Students will help mothers work towards a healthy pregnancy by promoting appropriate weight gain, encouraging them to remain active, helping to explain the changes their bodies go through during pregnancy, and creating a plan to deal with things that may be making their pregnancy tougher.
During this program, students will experience longitudinal primary care and gain first-hand insight to the daily struggles patients face while having a positive impact on the experience these women have during their pregnancy.
This program for graduate students is designed to expand critical thinking and promote global awareness for inner city middle school youth by exploring the scientific realm of the world. Through hands-on, scientific-based laboratory sessions and classroom sessions, Philadelphia youth will gain an understanding of the world-at-large. Elements of health and medicine are integrated in order to provide an understanding of the relationship between the human body and the world.
The Pediatric AIDS Benefit raises money for the Dorothy Mann Center for Pediatric and Adolescent HIV at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children throughout the year with several smaller events, culminating in a large concert in February of each year. Within the past 20 years, we have raised an estimated $500,000 to provide services, including emergency financial support, child-life specialists, dieticians, etc., to children affected by this devastating disease.
Surgicorps International is a medical mission organization with a purpose to provide medical and surgical care to disadvantaged individuals in underdeveloped countries. Having performed over 3,000 surgeries in 16 countries, and cared for even more patients with non-surgical needs, Surgicorps has changed lives all over the world. The purpose of the interest group is to raise awareness about international mission opportunities in medicine and link students to opportunities to get involved with Surgicorps International.
Women's Initiative in Medicine (WIM) is a female mentorship/health care program where women from the College of Medicine mentor high school girls at North Light community center in Manayunk who have a desire to go into medicine or science. We lead fun health and science activities like teaching CPR and first aid, touring the College of Medicine anatomy lab, taking a trip to the SIM center, visiting the Mutter museum and hosting networking nights.
Drexel University is an institutional partner of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). AWIS is an organization that is dedicated to helping women in STEM achieve their career objectives. AWIS reaches more than 20,000 professionals in STEM around the country and can help you improve networking among women in the scientific community.
A benefit of the Drexel-AWIS partnership is that any undergraduate or graduate student may sign up for a complimentary membership in AWIS National (known as a Collegiate Representative membership).
Once you have created a user name and entered the requested information, accept and then continue to complete the membership page. Under institution, select Drexel University and then indicate if you are a graduate or undergraduate student. If given the opportunity (this feature may not be available at this time) select AWIS-PHL (Philadelphia Chapter) as your local chapter affiliation.
For questions, please contact: Ellie Cantor, PhD, email@example.com.
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