Commitment to Diversity

Committed to a diverse, inclusive community.

The medical field is in critical need of diversity in people, ideas and skill sets if we are to address the health disparities within the WWAMI region and beyond. The University of Washington School of Medicine serves a culturally, racially, and socio-economically diverse region of western states and Alaska. We consider diversity of students, staff, and faculty to be a fundamental element of our success, and we promote diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our mission and practice. Admissions’ goal is to select a regionally representative, inclusive student body from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse identities to enrich classroom discussions, foster creative thinking, and prepare our graduates to serve the health needs of all communities in our region. Each applicant is evaluated considering our mission, and we encourage students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine to apply. 

Our intention is to create a community that encourages participation and connection, and values each individual's unique contributions regardless of socioeconomic status, race, culture, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, spiritual practice, geography, mental and physical status or age.

Read our policy for promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive school of medicine.

Committed to a collaborative learning culture.

Both the UW School of Medicine and the UW as an institution are committed to fostering a collaborative, diverse learning community. To this end, UW President Ana Mari Cauce launched The Race and Equity Initiative in 2015 to challenge the UW administration and student body to take personal responsibility for individual bias and institutional racism present with the University. In May 2016, the former Dean of the UW School of Medicine, and former CEO of UW Medicine, Dr. Paul G. Ramsey, agreed to launch a concurrent Race, Equity and Justice Initiative specific to the School of Medicine: a movement framed in the historical injustices committed against marginalized peoples and grounded in accountability moving forward. The goal of the initiative is to create a culture at the UW School of Medicine that acknowledges the histories and experiences of people of color, teaches about health inequities and social determinants of health, and, most of all, enables marginalized groups to thrive at the institution. Current programs within this initiative include:

  • Sponsorship of faculty communities established through the Committee on Minority Faculty Advancement, and NURF: the UW Network of Underrepresented Residents and Fellows. The UW Medicine Office of Healthcare Equity (OHCE) also sponsors and facilitates a number of programs for pre-health students as well as medical students, including the UW Health Professions Recruitment Collaborative, an undergraduate pipeline program designed to increase the pool from which we can draw talented, prepared, disadvantaged applicants underrepresented in medicine
  • Mandatory anti-racism training for all faculty and staff at the UW School of Medicine
  • The garnering of additional funds to enhance the amount of financial aid available for disadvantaged and underrepresented minority students
  • Mandatory training on unconscious bias for all Admissions Committee members

Important academic objectives are furthered by classes made up of students with talents and skills derived from varying backgrounds, including but not limited to:

  • Racial or ethnic communities underrepresented in medicine (URiM)
  • The LGBTQIA+ community, which is URiM
  • Those persevering against economic disadvantage, or personal or social hardships
  • Students who have lived in a foreign country and/or have spoken a language other than English at home
  • Those with certain career goals (with particular attention paid to the applicant's commitment to public service), employment history and educational background (including graduate study)
  • Students with evidence of and potential for leadership (demonstrated by extracurricular activities, broad interests and life experiences)
  • School, civic or community service achievements
  • Special talents (Ex: performance artist)
  • Geographic diversity
  • Students with unique life experience

Curriculum, service learning and minority student support.

As part of the medical student curriculum, there are optional educational pathways concerned with underserved communities, including Black Justice, Global, Hispanic, Indian, LGBTQIA+, and Underserved Health. Our medical students also engage in numerous service learning opportunities and student-run clinics as well as working with many of the undergraduate diversity programs on the UW campus. Additional student support groups include:

Office of Healthcare Equity


VISION: To deliver on the UWM mission to improve the health of the public by ensuring that policies and practices focus on equity, social and health justice as we strive to become an anti-racist academic medical school and healthcare delivery system.

  1. To reduce inequities in healthcare by training UW Medicine’s workforce in the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  2. To make UW Medicine and UW Medicine Centers a more equitable place to learn, work, provide and receive care by the critical examination of our policy and practices.
  3. To provide local and national leadership in healthcare equity and be a national model for healthcare equity.

Pre-medical programs