UCís chapter of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) will now be able to represent the College of Medicine throughout the Midwest and on the national stage.
Ten students from the UC chapter traveled to the LMSA Midwest 23rd annual conference, held Jan. 19-21 in Chicago at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. During the meeting, three students were elected to the regional board.
Second-year student Alex Cortez was elected LMSA co-president, a role that will enable him to sit on the national board as a voting member, and second-year Mark Nicolas was elected vice president of budget and finance.
Michelle Estrada, also a second-year medical student, will serve as vice president of networking and communications, in charge of providing support to new LMSA chapters.
Cortez says the regional roles will enable the UC chapter, relatively new to the College of Medicine, to work more closely with other LMSA chapters and to get a better understanding of what they are doing.
"The Latino population in our community is growing very quickly, but in Cincinnati this isnít always extremely apparentĒ he says. "We have a group of first-year medical students who are excited and ready to take over the leadershipóby having us, as second-year students, at the regional level, weíll be able to support them and continue to grow the chapter within the region.Ē
UCís LMSA chapter formed in 2011 with the goals of increasing awareness of Latino issues in medical education and working with the collegeís diversity office to attract more Latino medical students.
Chapter co-president Aynara Chavez-Wulsin says the chapterís expansion will be another opportunity to help the College of Medicine increase its diversity and attract more Latino students and faculty.
"We are really excited to be able to collaborate with other medical schools at a regional level,Ē says Chavez-Wulsin. "I am particularly excited about the opportunity to grow our network in order to provide role models and mentors to our current Latino student body, while at the same time become more involved and aware of our growing Latino community here in Cincinnati and across the region.Ē