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Student Organizations

Latino Student Medical Association (LMSA)

The Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) unites and empowers medical students through service, mentorship and education to advocate for the health of the Latino community. The objectives of LMSA include:

  • actively promoting recruitment and retention of Latino students at all levels 
  • educating medical students on Latino health issues
  • advocating for the rights of Latinos in health care
  • providing leadership opportunities for Latinos
  • promoting volunteerism in the Latino community

In 2018, LMSA and the Office of Diversity Education and Research sponsored a Hispanic Heritage luncheon featuring a film called  
“Latino Americans: Prejudice and Pride”, the story of Chicano activists who pushed for labor rights,political empowerment, and better
education and opportunities for all Latinos. The film was followed by an engaging discussion related to current day events affecting the Latino community while attendees enjoyed Latin cuisine. LMSA continued the celebration of Hispanic Heritage month by sponsoring salsa dance lessons in the Student Center Main Lounge.

Photos of members of the Latino Student Medical Association dancing

Daniel Hale Williams Society (DHWS)

Photo of Daniel Hale WilliamsThe Daniel Hale Williams Society (DHWS) is SUNY Downstate's chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA); an organization dedicated to healthcare education, leadership development, networking, and community outreach. Our chapter is part of Region IX, which is one of the largest regions in the SNMA, encompassing all the medical schools in New Jersey and New York. DHWS was created with the understanding that medical students, despite their diverse backgrounds, have common needs. It is a democratic organization of underrepresented medical students charged with providing resources and mentorship to its members, and science–related programs and seminars for youth and pre-medical students. DHWS is more than just an organization, they are a family. Members support each other emotionally, as well as, educationally. Prominent physicians and professional guest speakers are often invited to Downstate by DHWS to share their experiences. Each year DHWS hosts a senior reception. This celebration serves as a special opportunity to highlight the experiences and accomplishments of our graduating seniors over the last four years.

PRIDE Club

Photos of members of the PRIDE Club

In November of 2017, Downstate’s PRIDE club hosted a Queer Peer Panel discussion during the annual Sex In Medicine Week. Four students of different identities on the gender and sexuality spectra answered questions that were submitted anonymously from those attending the event. Topics included the individual instances of subjective, conscious LGBT experience and how these identities impact healthcare professions.

PRIDE club has also been working with their faculty advisor, Dr. Merlino, to plan a Lavender graduation ceremony in the Spring of 2018 as well as the continuation of Dr. Merlino's LGBT mentoring group — which is open to the entire Downstate community. The PRIDE club continues to work with faculty to create an environment of support and open celebration of diversity of identity. Just recently, an initiative was started to create gender neutral restrooms throughout the medical center.