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Social Mission

As any med student will tell you, medicine is about far more than memorizing anatomy diagrams and identifying the symptoms of a disease. Being an excellent physician means attending to the holistic needs of your patients—including needs that arise from social factors.

That’s exactly what three second-year med students had in mind when they created the Social Mission Task Force in 2016 and drafted the following mission statement:

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine empowers students, faculty, and staff to actively partner with individuals and communities to achieve health equity.

Our philosophy is to educate diverse, socially and culturally accountable future physician leaders who understand systems of care and social determinants of health.

By advocating to meet the needs of all persons within the context of their care and working for larger systemic changes, our physicians will promote equity and justice within their local and global communities.

Four years later, the Social Mission Committee (SMC) stands as one of the four pillar student organizations at VUSM. Nine executive directors lead in areas such as mentoring and research, while countless other med students participate in SMC events and service opportunities.

Ongoing Initiatives from the SMC

  • The Student Advocacy Guide
    A helpful document full of logistical advice on how to advocate for your patients in a clinical setting
  • Evening Mentorship Series
    Engaging discussions on a variety of topics hosted by a panel of faculty mentors
  • A New Community Engagement Platform
    A novel system for coordinating service opportunities and logging service hours

The SMC also hosts events in partnership with other student organizations like the student-run Shade Tree Clinic, the Student National Medical Association, and the Global Health Organization.