To coordinate and partner with broadly diverse and inclusive well-being programs and groups for medical students to foster a wide range of personal health, wellness, and professional needs within the UMMSM student community.
WAC Leadership Structure
The WAC is governed by a Leadership Team made up of student leaders from Student Government (SG), Academic Societies (AS), OSR, DOCS as well as Medical Education (MedEd) Faculty (Dr. Chamorro-Dauer and Dr. Allespach) and Staff (Ms. Cristina Garcia). Leaders from SG and AS are vital as any wellness strategy for the school is sure to involve their organizations. Their input in creating a strategy and support in executing it will be invaluable. Similarly, the MedEd Deans’ and Staff support will allow for implementing wellness strategies in cooperation with school administration.
Student wellness and resiliency development is a large and broad topic. To ensure that all areas of student well-being are addressed by the WAC, domains of wellness have been identified by the WAC and will each have a chairperson take leadership in each domain. The Chair will examine the state of UM’s wellness offering in that domain and develop and implement a strategy to improve it.
Although each Domain Chair will have a focus, all chairs will participate in the discussion and strategy of wellness at UM as a whole. The relationship between the Domain Chairs and the Leadership Team is akin to that of an organization's Administration and Board. The Domain Chairs will develop the WAC’s approach and strategy with the Leadership Team providing input and approving the WAC’s work. The Domain Chairs will then lead the implementation of WAC projects and initiative with help and support from WAC Chairs.
The Domains and Their Leaders
Academic and Professional Development
Co-Chairs: Obianuju Akaniru & Emily Cannon
Medical school presents extreme academic challenges which can cause significant stress. The prospect of selecting and preparing for a specialty and career path can similarly be a heavy burden for students. This domain focuses on helping students mitigate that stress by equipping them to succeed in these areas and includes services such as mentoring, career development and learning support structures.
Co-Chairs: Nedi Ferekides & Julia GreenIt is well known that exercise and health nutrition are critical to mental health, resiliency, and overall well being. This domain will focus on ways students are supported in their physical health.
Co-Chairs: Katherine Raffensperger & Dylan TregerThis domain will focus on interventions, curriculum, and culture around mental health. Interventions will aim to break the cycle of stress, anxiety, and depression that takes root during medical school. Curriculum will enhance equity for all who want to pursue mental health. Culture will reduce the barriers and stigma impeding students from achieving mental health.
Service and Community
Co-Chairs: Roshni Singh & Kiki Dowell-EsquivelOur school is in a unique community that offers both an opportunity for service as well as an opportunity for learning. Strong integration and ties with the local community, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and UHealth could both offer a chance for the medical school to be an asset and support the community as well as give students a strong sense of place at the school, fostering an environment for better well-being.
Co-Chairs: MJ Bekhas & Sonia Patel
Strong social networks are critical to student wellness. In addition to considering the general social culture and opportunities at the school, this domain will also pay particular attention to groups that have a history of being marginalized in medicine and ensure they are represented and incorporated into the school’s wellness strategy.
What We Do
The day-to-day work and initiatives of the WAC is led by the Domain Chairs, with assistance and support from the WAC Chair.
As defined in the student government constitution, the SG Representatives from each class are members of the WAC. They assist domain chairs in implementing projects of the WAC.
The WAC is governed by a leadership team made up of student leaders from Student Government (SG) and Academic Societies (AS) as well as Medical Education Deans (Dr. Hilit Mechaber and Dr. Amy Zito). Leaders from SG and AS are vital as any wellness strategy for the school is sure to involve their organizations. Their input in creating a strategy and support in executing it is invaluable. Similarly, the Dean’s support allows for implementing wellness strategy in cooperation with school administration.
The relationship between the Domain Chairs and the Leadership Team is akin to that of an organization’s Administration and Board. The Domain Chairs develop the WAC’s approach and strategy, with the leadership team providing input and approving the WAC’s work. The Domain Chairs then lead the implementation of WAC projects and initiatives.
The Chair of the WAC is an OSR representative. While all other roles in the WAC are on a year-by-year basis, students who are OSR reps remain so for their entire medical student career. By filling the chair role, the OSR rep bring year-to-year continuity to the WAC.
- Wellness Week
- Ongoing Events
- Upcoming Events
- Peer Support Network
- UMMSM Behavioral Health Resources
- AAMC Medical Student Well-Being
Obliterants is a journal published by students, faculty, and staff of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Its mission is to publish writings and artwork that promote the humanities and social sciences in medicine and public health. Obliterants is not an official publication of the Miller School of Medicine. Expressed written opinions are solely those of the authors and artists and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Miami, the School of Medicine, or the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
in-Training is the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students, founded in April 2012 by Aleena Paul and Ajay Major, medical students at Albany Medical College. All content on in-Training is contributed by medical students worldwide. As a peer-reviewed publication, the in-Training Editorial Board consists entirely of volunteer medical students and is editorially independent, with all content reviewed solely by the medical student editors and the editors-in-chief prior to publication. Their mission: in-Training is the agora of the medical student community, the intellectual center for news, commentary, and the free expression of the medical student voice. They seek to: enrich the medical education experience through self-reflection, foster discourse among medical students, and cultivate collaborative relationships between medical students on the global stage.