Diversity, Equity & Health Initiatives

The Student Osteopathic Medical Association is a remarkable organization led by enthusiastic students. It is an organization that recognizes we all live in a diverse world where we will all encounter the global issues of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender. These topics will also impact our professional lives and the need for cultural diversity and awareness in medicine needs to start with us.

First our medical community needs to be diverse in order to satisfy the diverse population it needs to serve. Working with Pre-SOMA and chapter leaders we encourage people of all different backgrounds to join our medical community in efforts to make our medical population more representative of the world population.

Our osteopathic principles remind us to look at a person as a whole. The workings of ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender in society are all components impacting an individual’s health. As future physicians we need to be culturally competent in order to better understand our patients and serve them with best care possible. This can be accomplished by incorporating the cultural topics into programming and events.


Mission Statement: The task force seeks to eliminate healthcare disparities by providing strategies and programs that address discrimination, preventative action, health equity, and quality of health, while also educating osteopathic medical students and our members.


Mission Statement: Our mission is to alleviate the healthcare disparities and enhance positive clinical outcomes within the LGBTQ+ community through outreach and physician education.

Phuong Vo, OMS IV
Diversity, Equity & Health Initiatives Director
TouroCOM Harlem


Social Medicine Program (SMP)

SMP is a series of events that are hosted at your medical school that integrates the social sciences and humanities in order to expand the understanding of medicine and health care. This program will allow participants to ponder on important health topics that are not always integrated into didactic medical education.

National Outreach for Diversity (NOD)

NOD is a series of outreach events organized by SOMA as well as a coalition of numerous other medical organizations designed to encourage K-12 students from underrepresented in medicine (UIM) demographics to pursue degrees in science and medicine.

DOCARE International

DOCARE International is a medical outreach organization dedicated to providing much-needed healthcare to indigent and isolated people in remote areas around the world. The membership is comprised of professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines, and locations, and new members and volunteers are always welcome. To learn more about the organization and find out what upcoming mission trips you may join in on, please visit docareintl.org.

International Trip Scholarships from the SOMA Foundation

This scholarship is designed to meet the needs of those students who participate in international medical missions and relief trips. Each student selected for the scholarship will receive up to $500 to cover transportation, room, board and essential expenses related to an international medical mission/relief trips. The completion of this trip may take place during any part of the four years of study.

This scholarship comes at the request of so many of you who take international relief trips each year and are looking for another source of financial support. This scholarship can help fund trips discovered through religious organizations, volunteer groups, non-governmental organizations, etc. Recipients will be selected at the discretion of the scholarship selection committee. Any questions should be brought to the SOMA Foundation Director of Scholarships and Grants.

Requirements for consideration:

  • SOMA membership
  • Demonstrate a strong interest in international medicine
  • The trip does not have a length requirement but must take place in a country outside of the United States

The awards will be distributed each year at the annual spring SOMA convention in Washington D.C. Awards may be applied to rotations that have previously occurred or are yet to occur as long as the applicant is still a student at an accredited college of osteopathic medicine at the time the scholarship is awarded.

Public Health Awareness

JanuaryCervical Health Awareness Monthhttp://nccc-online.org
FebruaryAmerican Heart Monthhttp://www.americanheart.org
American Heart Association
Low Vision Awareness Monthhttps://www.visioncenter.org/eye-conditions/
MarchNational Colorectal Cancer Awareness Monthwww.preventcancer.org/colorectal
AprilAlcohol Awareness Monthncadi.samhsa.gov
MayNational Physical Fitness and Sports Month (“Fit For Life Campaign”)www.fitness.gov
JuneHome Safety Monthwww.homesafetycouncil.org/homesafetymonth
National LGBTQ+ Pride MonthCheck your local city calendar for events
SeptemberNational Sickle Cell Monthwww.sicklecelldisease.org
National Suicide Prevention Monthwww.suicidology.org
OctoberNational Breast Cancer Awareness Monthwww.nbcam.org
Domestic Violence Awareness Monthwww.ncadv.org
NovemberAmerican Diabetes Monthwww.diabetes.org
DecemberSafe Toys and Gifts MonthSafe Toys
World AIDS Daywww.unaids.org/en/default.asp

Yellow Ribbon Campaign

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine are physicians who treat the whole person, not just symptoms. We emphasize prevention and wellness in maintaining good health care and consider all aspects of a patient’s condition, history and lifestyle before making a diagnosis.

Because D.O.s emphasize prevention and wellness to maintain good health, we support the work of the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program in its effort to stop teen suicide. Teens and youth who appear to be happy can be screaming silently in the deepest emotional pain. The Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program can save lives. For more information on this program visit the website at www.yellowribbon.org.