The University of Virginia School of Medicine seeks strong applicants from diverse backgrounds without regard to age, color, disability, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information. We are committed to the recruitment of a diverse student body that will make a variety of contributions to their class, the school, and to medicine as a whole. Currently, approximately 46% of the student body is women, and approximately 16% (20% of the first year class) are from groups that are underrepresented in medicine. We encourage applicants to be themselves throughout the application process. UVA also has an active Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center, and the SOM has an organization for LGBT and ally medical students known as qMD.
We have organizations that provide student-run activities. These include the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the National Network of Latin American Medical Students (NNLAMS). Specific questions can be answered by contacting Dr. Michael Moxley at the School of Medicine: (434) 924-1867.
Appreciative Inquiry and Diversity at the School of Medicine:
Appreciative Inquiry is a process which uses a type of interview and method of questioning to explore, change, develop and build on organizational strengths.
In 2008, using the process of Appreciative Inquiry, medical students, residents and faculty, traditionally under-represented in medicine (URM) were interviewed about their experiences within the School of Medicine and the greater community in regard to issues of diversity. Below are some of their quotes:
“It makes you seem like you are a part of something and its makes it seem like you have a family here where you can basically talk to them about anything, for support, when it comes to academics, or if it personal life, anything, and so basically it makes it easier to thrive here because the environment is happy”.
“In an environment like UVA it’s not competitive at all so a student can feel comfortable asking another student a question or helping other students out because our environment here is just so non competitive partly because we have a pass/fail system so it helps students feel more, I don’t know, willing to help others out because all we are trying to do is pass, we are all in the same boat”.
“I didn’t anticipate how close the medical student classes are. One example of this is actually during some rough times, like exam time, where a lot of students will send our their notes to each other, really supporting each other during rough study hours and I really felt like I was supported and people wanted me to thrive.”
“… Everyone was hard working but it was not a cut throat environment. Everyone is really helpful… In meeting most of the students, I did not see the same sort of stress level that I see at many of the other schools that I interviewed at so that was a plus”.
On the faculty:
“They were read and willing to teach us anything that we didn’t understand. When we needed clarification they would definitely have time to sit down and talk… they just had some down time and they would take the time and do that with us. They went above and beyond what was expected of them as residents…making power points for us or facilitating a way of learning that was great like we did, in preparation for our shelf exam we did jeopardy with one of the senior residents and she definitely didn’t have to take the time out to do all that just for us”.
“I think I would have to say that one of the best features at UVA is the faculty. They are great, not only are they just top notch but they are just always going out of their way to help you”.