Medical students Isabella Gomes, Alberto Sobrero, Jo Frempong, Miguel Hernandez Rovira, Aseeyah Islam, and Eric Lu gather in their white coats to pose for the Study of Medicine at the Farrell Learning and Teaching Center on May 19, 2022. MATT MILLER/WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Washington University MSTP: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are not simply words we say, it’s who we are, what we believe in, and what we do.

Rakiyah “Rocky” Talavedra, MSTP Coordinator, Diversity and Community Engagement

Our program believes that DEI enhances innovation by enriching the depth and variety of thought and perspectives which stimulate creativity and discovery.

By fostering a welcoming culture where everyone is valued and respected and working collaboratively within our strong, close-knit community, we encourage our trainees to bring their unique experiences and identities to their lab and clinical environments.

Professor Karey Lavine, MD, PhD, anesthesia clinical fellow Melissa Hector Greene, MD, PhD, cardiology instructor Jesus Jimenez , MD, PhD, and fellow Arick Park, MD, PhD, work in Lavine’s lab in the Clinical Sciences Research Building on July 8, 2022. MATT MILLER/WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Diversity and Equity

Washington University School of Medicine emphatically affirms our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts address factors including race, color, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ability, religion, and socioeconomic background.


In early 2021, the Executive Faculty of Washington University School of Medicine approved a “WUSM Leadership Commitment to Anti-Racism,” naming racism as a public health crisis and committing to address racism within our institution, policies, and educational frameworks.

The commitment includes a campus wide anti-racism curriculum aimed at building the capacity of our community to do the work of anti-racism as individuals and as an institution.

With this commitment to anti-racism, the Executive Faculty have also:

  • Engaged in an “Introduction to Systemic Racism” workshop led by Crossroads, an independent organization that provides anti-racism organizing and training.
    • A campus wide rollout of the Understanding Systemic Racism curriculum. This professional development program will be universal with language and concepts on systemic racism and equity issues with skills tailored to role and responsibilities.
    • The creation of an Equity Champions program creating intentional partnerships between the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and each department/division on campus with department-supported positions for staff and faculty to help facilitate the implementation of the Understanding Systemic Racism curriculum.

DIA (Diversity-In-Action): Faculty Diversity Scholars Program

Provides resources to departments and programs to facilitate hiring and retaining faculty from populations* that historically, have been excluded from medicine and biomedical science, and as a result are underrepresented in medicine (URiM) and/or underrepresented in research (URiR).  

Inclusion and Support

Physician-scientist trainees are encouraged to embrace their identities, creative pursuits, and meaningful endeavors. With over 60 student established groups ranging from community service to professional development, to pure fun, students are seen not as a number but a vital part of campus life.

Members of the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, their families and friends marched in the 2022 Grand Pride Parade at PrideFest with OUTmed in downtown St. Louis on June 26, 2022. MATT MILLER/WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) is designed to train the next generation of leaders in the biomedical sciences. The goal of the IMSD Scholars program at Washington University in St. Louis is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who complete their PhD degrees in the biomedical sciences and enter careers in relevant fields. The IMSD provides a community for its scholars and a supportive environment for open exchange with the program staff and other faculty and fellow students.


Founded in 2015 in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown only miles from campus, Connections is a graduate student-led initiative that promotes inclusion and encourages its members to explore their diverse identities at Washington University in St. Louis. The group continues to offer a space for education, dialogue, and community-building. Members learn critical skills such as engaging in difficult dialogues, recognizing and valuing diverse experiences, and sharing their own perspectives.

One of the many highlights of the group is its ability to bring together researchers and trainees from the WashU STEM community.

Resources for Students

Community and Student Engagement

Academic pathway programs are a critical part of our blueprint for diversity and inclusion. Some of the programs that trainees are currently involved with are the Young Scientist Program and the MSTP ACCESS Summer Research Program.

The Young Scientist Program exists to promote science literacy among students in grades K-12; it is a direct community engagement and diversity initiative that WashU MSTP students started over 30 years ago. The program encourages the pursuit of careers in STEM by introducing participants to areas of scientific study, and providing reliable personal and academic mentorship.


The MSTP ACCESS Research Scholars Program aims to increase and support the diversity of the physician-scientist workforce by providing exposure to physician-scientists career paths.

This program provides insight into the MSTP MD/PhD application process, and access to ongoing mentorship to students who identify as historically underrepresented in medicine, come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and/or have limited research opportunities at their home institutions.


Although humans share 99.9% of their genome, the visible trait of skin color has driven oppression for centuries, which manifests today in disparities of pay, wealth, housing, education, incarceration, and health. Structural racism and implicit bias remain deeply rooted in our country, affecting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Medical institutions have not been immune to these problems. Though uncomfortable, we admit our own program still faces these challenges, often in ways that we have n​ot realized, indicating that our prior efforts to address these issues were insufficient. For these reasons, we hereby pledge to re-dedicate our efforts and institute plans to achieve our overall goal of diagnosing and eliminating inequities affecting all BIPOC, in our program and medical scientist community.

Wayne M. Yokoyama, MD,
Director, Washington University in Saint Louis Medical Scientist Training Program