Diversity & Inclusion

The Yale University School of Medicine has made a strong commitment to training underrepresented minority physicians and scientists. Over the past 30 years, over 300 African American students have graduated with MD's or with combined MD/PhD degrees; African American graduates comprised 9.5% of the MD's graduating from the School during this period.

Beginning in the mid-1980's, Hispanic/Latino and Asian American students began to comprise an increasing proportion of the classes admitted to YSM. In 1999, the minority student entering class included 24 Asian American, 13 African American, and 11 Hispanic/Latino student in a class of 104. These three ethnic/racial groups now comprise 40% of the Yale medical students: (Asian Americans 21%, African Americans 11% and Hispanic/Latino student 8%).

Approximately 20 students each year are accepted into Yale's MD/PhD program. Currently, 16 of the 134 MD/PhD students are African American or Hispanic/Latino students. Participants in the program are selected from already enrolled Yale medical students and from new applicants.

Yale minority medical students begin their first year with experiences and interests as varied as the career pathways they will pursue upon leaving. They develop a network of friends and colleagues built on a foundation of mutual support and respect. Together they create a spirit of community and camaraderie that makes Yale a very special place:

African American Experience at YSM

The School of Medicine was established by passage of a bill in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1810 granting a charter for "The Medical Institution of Yale College". The Institution was...

Latino Medical Student Association

Motivated by the growing need for underrepresented physicians of color and inspired by the missions of the Latino Medical Student Association and the Student National Medical Association,...

Pipeline Programs

Our Pipeline Programs include the following: Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP), Science Collaborative Hands on Learning and Research (SCHOLAR), Health Professions...

A Multicultural Perspective

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMCA) was established in the School of Medicine by the Dean in September 1995 to expand the mission of the former Office of Minority Affairs. The OMCA was charged with task of developing resources and programs in support of all minority students and faculty at the School of Medicine. The Office is headed by the Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs, and a full-time Director.

The OMCA works with all racial/ethnic minorities, including the those minorities historically underrepresented minorities in the field of medicine. The programs of the office encompass a wide range of programs and activities for medical students, faculty, housestaff at Yale Medical Center, college students and graduates pursuing careers in biomedical science, and high school students in New Haven's regional science magnet high school. The OMCA administers programs funded by a combination of resources from the School of Medicine and grant-support from the National Institutes of Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Gustavus and Marie Pfeiffer Foundation. The specific aims of our office are:

  • To strengthen the diversity of the medical school community by recruiting and supporting the admission of students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • To promote a standard of tolerance and responsible self-conduct among all students and faculty that reflects the highest standards of the medical profession in caring for all patients, irrespective of ethnicity, culture, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
  • To support the academic and professional development progression of minority students during medical school to ensure individual growth and development appropriate to chosen career goals.
  • To support groups and organizations whose interests and goals are consistent with those of the OMCA.
  • To provide means and supports for ensuring that medical students are trained in a culturally sensitive and competent manner.
  • To promote and support the advancement of minorities through faculty ranks at Yale School of Medicine.
  • To implement programs and support activities that encourage the entry of minority students into health and science careers at all stages of their academic development.

The Yale System of education emphasizes interactive, small group learning, a great deal of study time, and the close interaction of students and faculty as colleagues. In the first two years, students direct and individualize their learning experience without the daily pressure of intense competition and grading that characterize most pre-medical experiences. This amount of responsibility can be challenging for some, liberating for others, and invaluable to all future physicians.

Clinical medicine is introduced during the first and second years through the Doctor-Patient Course. Students form small groups and are assigned a Clinical Tutor. These groups meet during the first and second year to practice basic clinical skills; students learn to take a history, perform a complete physical, and present cases accurately and sensitively. Yale students are trained to be excellent clinicians and caring physicians. During the third and fourth years, students have the unique opportunity to perform their clerkships at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a facility which combines a tertiary care center, a community hospital, a University hospital, and an urban hospital under one roof.

Many students pursue training in community and primary care settings. They perform their rotations at New Haven area health clinics, HMO's or one of the 10 statewide private and public hospitals affiliated with Yale-New Haven. Other students elect to do their clerkships at other sites such as the Indian National Health Service, hospitals in their hometowns, or in foreign countries.

Have you dreamed of making a difference in health care or minority medical education? Of working with National Academy of Science members or renowned educational experts? Opportunities abound for Yale medical students. In fact, approximately 1/3 of the students in each class take a "fifth year" to make the most of these opportunities. Some fifth year projects our students have pursued: Some fifth year projects our students have pursued:

  • obtaining a law or management degree
  • pursuing a degree in epidemiology and public health
  • serving as national president of the SNMA
  • researching the role of parathyroid hormone related protein as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar

The Yale System truly ensures a noncompetitive, supportive environment. Students form study groups that emphasize learning and understanding not competing. Small groups, seminars, and clinical tutorials allow students to engage professors and peers in discussions ranging from hematology to health care administration. The size of the medical center lets every student interact closely with faculty, housestaff, and administrators.

New Haven is home to some of the nation's best theater, music, art, and food. Tony award winning plays at the Yale Repertory Theater; lectures by notables such as Spike Lee and Angela Davis, and musical events from jazz to the symphony happen every evening in New Haven. Add in nearby beaches, beautiful parks, and you have a great place to live.

The freedom inherent in the Yale System lets students pursue a variety of other interests during the first two years. Yale students serve on admissions and curriculum committees, teach teenagers about AIDS and organize first year camping trips, to name just a few extracurricular activities.

  • The Afro-American Cultural Center
  • The Black Graduate Network
  • Casa Cultural Julia de Burgos
  • Chicano Cultural Center
  • Asian-American Cultural Center
  • The Black Church at Yale

Yale's thesis requirement is a unique and essential part of a Yale education, designed to develop critical judgment and the habits of self-education. Many students begin their initial research during the summer after their first year, working closely with faculty. The Office of Student Research assists all students in finding topics, advisors, and funding for their projects. Some past topics have included:

  • African-Americans at the Yale University School of Medicine: 1810 - 1960
  • Cocaine: Media Coverage and Medical Opinion
  • Central Adiposity and its Metabolic Correlates in Obese Adolescent Girls
  • Astrocyte Gap Junctions and Their Contribution to Non-Synaptic Epileptogenesis
  • Reconsidering Trust in the Physician-Patient Relationship
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Addiction: Evidence for a Functional Role of Morphine
  • Regulation of CREB Expression in the Nucleus of Accumbens

For those students prepared to undertake the rigors of advanced graduate science training, the M.D./Ph.D. program offers superb resources and support for training the next generation of clinician-scientists and researchers.

Yale medical students participate in over 40 community service organizations. Here are a few:

  • HPREP (Health Professions Recruitment Exposure Program): Sponsored by SNMA, HPREP is a nation-wide high school science enrichment program aimed at recruiting minority high school students into careers in the sciences. Yale students teach high school students a variety of scientific topics every Saturday morning throughout the school year.
  • STATS (Students Teaching AIDS to Students): Medical and public health students educate New Haven teenagers about HIV transmission and treatment. Role-plays, condom demos and other activities are used to allow the students to become more comfortable discussing AIDS-related issues.
  • HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program for Enrichment): Project HOPE is an umbrella project encompassing educational and health services at three New Haven homeless shelters. The HOPE program brings together volunteers from the schools of medicine, nursing, and public health to teach the educational programs and staff the weekly clinics.

See the web page of the Committee Overseeing Volunteer Services for more information on these programs and many more.

The Dean's Advisory Council on LGBTQI+ Affairs

The Dean’s Advisory Council collaborates with other groups to cultivate visible supports and a vibrant, connected community of LGBTQI+ individuals and their allies at YSM. The Advisory Council helps guide the expansion of LGBTQI+ health research, and coordinates efforts to foster an inclusive, patient-centered environment in which tailored care is available for LGBTQI+ patients. Furthermore, the Advisory Council oversees initiatives that prepare our trainees to serve all of their patients with excellence, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

I was really surprised when I came to Yale to and how much the faculty and administration care about us not just as students, but simply as people.

LaLisa Anderson, Spelman College, YSM '00

People Listing

Forrester Lee, MD


Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)

Linda V Jackson

Program Coordinator Multicultural Affairs Yale School of Medicine Student Affairs

Yashika Williams

Program Coordinator, Yale School of Medicine. Diversity, Inclusion, Community Engagement & Equity