One of the newest organizations on campus, NEOMED’s Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) chapter is ready to kick off the 2018-2019 academic year. Carmen Javier and Andres Diaz Castillo, both rising second-year College of Medicine students, along with Aviva Aguilar, an incoming first-year College of Medicine student, shared their excitement about their new chapter.
Tell us about LMSA.
The LMSA board is working to organize an exciting and never-before-seen, vibrant, Hispanic interest group and experience for the NEOMED community. We each share a unique background and passion for service and leadership in the Hispanic community and healthcare setting. It's certainly an exciting time to be a part of the NEOMED community and I hope our organization will set a new and improved legacy of service, outreach, and recruitment of students and communities underrepresented in medicine at NEOMED.
Our goal is to give Latino and NEOMED medical students the opportunity to learn and utilize the Spanish language towards better serving and advocating for Latino Health and to connect with underserved Latino communities to provide basic health screenings and community resource referrals.
What does LMSA have planned for the upcoming academic year?
LMSA plans to host Medical Spanish teaching and programming, as well as service and mentorship opportunities for the Latino community. We are here to give the NEOMED community an opportunity to learn more about Latino culture and important issues affecting Latino communities across the U.S. From medical Spanish sessions and community service opportunities to a Latino health summit and leadership conference, LMSA has a year full of activities planned. We can’t forget our fundraisers and events at Taqueria La Loma, which is arguably one of the best taco places in the Cleveland-Akron area. (Coming from a Latina from Los Angeles, you know that means a lot, says Javier)
Why should students consider joining LMSA?
Our chapter is one of the few medically related organizations that involves the opportunity to learn a new language.
Current and incoming students should join LMSA if they are seeking academic support, mentorship, networking and service opportunities, as well as better understanding of the Latino community and health.
There has never been a national, professional, Latino-interest group on campus. We are literally making history! Our national membership is completely optional, but as a nationally registered member, students will substantially benefit from member-only scholarships, interview housing, discounts on regional and national conferences, and discounts on study materials and online medical Spanish programs. We are interprofessional; College of Pharmacy and College of Graduate Studies students are welcome.