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Medical students plunge into health disparities in underserved communities

Orientation program helps 1st-year students understand how inequities impact patients

September 7, 2017

Huy Mach, Gaia Remerowski

Before each new crop of medical students begins classes, the students participate in the Washington University Medical Plunge (WUMP). This week-long orientation program provides first-year students with an overview of the health-care and public-health landscape in St. Louis through lectures, site visits and service projects.

Students also take part in a bus tour of underserved communities, home to many patients these future doctors soon will see and help. The experience aims to expose students to health inequities and foster a better understanding of the social issues that affect many patients’ health and health-care access.

For more information about WUMP, visit the Office of Diversity Programs’ website.

Huy uses visual storytelling in his coverage of medical education, patient care, and research. He was part of a team of photographers at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2015. He has a bachelor's degree in photojournalism from Western Kentucky University.