Glossary: Medical School Terms


The Association of American Medical Colleges serves and leads the academic medicine community to improve the health of all.  The association is dedicated to transforming health care in four primary mission areas: innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, groundbreaking medical research, and building a culture of diversity and inclusion.   

AAMC Website

Academic Affairs provides oversight for the curriculum and related policy decisions and may initiate discussion of curricular issues or respond to issues raised by students and faculty.  

Adverse Childhood Experiences Interest Group which seeks to raise awareness by incorporating ACEs education into medical school curriculum and providing community outreach opportunities (ACEs do not include racism or “isms” – a glaring critique, particularly from marginalized populations).  

The Addiction Medicine Interest Group is a medical student led organization. The goal of group is to increase cultural competency amongst healthcare professionals on issues of drug use and abuse, increase understanding of the science behind addiction, and develop strategies and approaches for safely prescribing medications to patients that also use recreational drugs. The interest group will also have a broad, interdisciplinary lens, discussing the epidemiology and public health impacts of addiction as well as exploring the impact of laws and local policies and the ways in which physicians can shape policies. 

AFERM is a group of students and faculty at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) dedicated to increasing diversity in medical education with the purpose of graduating representative physicians for all patients and communities. They coordinate 2 distinct programs: 1) Mock Interview Program provides mock interviews and coaching for underrepresented or disadvantaged applicants invited to interview at UWSOM. 2) Mentorship Program provides longitudinal mentorship for premedical or post-baccalaureate students in the greater Seattle area by pairing them with medical student mentors and offering networking events and workshops.

The American Medical Student Association is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Today, AMSA represents the concerns of physicians-in-training with a membership of more than 41,000 medical students, premedical students, interns, residents, and practicing physicians. The UW chapter of AMSA’s goal is to connect pre-med students with each other, local resources, research and service opportunities, and current medical students in order to make the pre-med track at UW easier to navigate. 

“UW ANAMS” will provide support, community, and a resource network for all Native American/American Indians currently enrolled with the University of Washington School of Medicine, and is dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and graduation of all Native American/American Indian students in graduate health professions fields.

The Anesthesiology Interest Group is a student led organization which seeks to give medical students the opportunity to learn about anesthesiology. Current faculty and residents will introduce the students to this exciting specialty, and we will have hands-on events that allow the students to experience what anesthesiologists do on a daily basis.

APAMSA is a national organization that aims to address the unique health challenges of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities through education, outreach, advocacy and service. At UW, their goals are to educate fellow health sciences students on health issues affecting the AAPI community in Seattle and nationwide, so we can better care for AAPI patients in the future; provide opportunities for students to connect with the underserved AAPI community through service, partnership and outreach; and promote mentorship and networking among students and API physicians in the community.

The Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), founded in 1981, is a not-for-profit educational and professional organization. With approximately 3,000 members of all genders, AWS is one of the largest organizations dedicated to enhancing the interaction and exchange of information between women surgeons. Truly an international organization, AWS has members in over 40 countries. The UW Chapter of AWS is a student led organization which seeks to provide spaces to discuss and provide support regarding many challenges facing women in surgery today: pay equity, ergonomics, family leave, healthcare reform, changes in academic medicine, resident education, and work-life balance. The UW Chapter also provides match panels and mentorship from surgical residents at UW.


A Pathway supported by the Office of Healthcare Equity created by four E19 medical students. BHJP’s mission is to provide a curriculum that highlights the systemic oppression of Black people and its resulting socioeconomic and health sequelae. Provide medical students with the foundational knowledge to assess health inequities through a critical lens. Provide medical students with tools to advocate for health equity within the UWSOM, in Black communities throughout WWAMI, and in their future practices as physicians.

UWSOM curriculum is organized in short periods of time with each time period consisting of related integrated topics.  


This organization is responsible for hosting a 1-week summer day camp for high school students interested in medicine. With a focus on both education and real world experience, Camp Cardiac provides students with a unique opportunity to learn directly from experts in the medical field. In addition, this camp provides a foundation for heart healthy living with an emphasis on both diet and exercise.

This organization will host a 1-week summer day camp running each day from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm for high school students interested in medicine or psychology. Campers will participate in a variety of workshops, learn a variety of skills, and learn about careers directly from professionals in a given field. 

Online learning platform for course websites. Canvas course websites are used to distribute syllabi, reading lists, class meeting calendars, and other course materials. 

The Child & Adolescent Student Psychiatry Interest Group is a medical student led organization that seeks to educate students about the discipline of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry through educational and social activities.

Career Advisors at UWSOM support student career planning throughout their time in medical school. Career Advisors offer advice on ways to explore specialty and career interests, approaches to specialty decision making, and preparing residency applications. They provide resources and data for specialty exploration and planning and refer students to Specialty Career Advisors for specialty-specific advice. Career Advisors support students who are undecided on their specialty and provide advice on dual applying and couples matching. They support students throughout residency application season by reviewing CVs and personal statements and advising on interview preparation and ranking.

NBME self-assessment provided by UWSOM to help guide Step 1 studying. The exam is given in both the Spring and Fall during Foundations

CiM is an online platform that provides tools and information to help you align your interests and preferences with specialty and career options to make effective career decisions.

A course of clinical medical training in a specialty (as pediatrics, internal medicine, or psychiatry) that usually lasts a minimum of several weeks and takes place during the third or fourth year of medical school.

A clinical faculty member who meets regularly with a small group of students from their College as part of the Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) course. During these weekly tutorials, mentors work with the students at the bedside, teaching them clinical skills and talking with them about patient-centered care and professionalism. College Mentors are assigned to students during orientation and each mentors 4-6 students, depending on the foundation site. They serve as a sounding board, providing support and coaching for early career exploration. They connect students to resources and provide referrals to other physicians and senior students for career conversations. Mentors will not offer advice in specialty-specific areas, such as level of competitiveness or applying to residencies. They will refer to a Career Advisor for general career planning and or to a Specialty Career Advisor for specialty-specific advising. 

Each foundation site divides entering students into individual colleges that oversee a four-year integrated curriculum of clinical skills and professionalism, teach the Foundations of Clinical Medicine course, and provide students with consistent faculty mentoring. The curriculum emphasizes proficiency in the basic clinical skills of physical examination and diagnosis, clinical reasoning and interpretation, and the use of informatics.  

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group is a medical student led organization that seeks to educate students about the discipline of Cardiothoracic Surgery through educational and social activities.

Community-focused Urban Scholars Program (CUSP) is a comprehensive approach to diversifying the UWSOM student population and addressing WWAMI’s urban underserved physician workforce shortage through community-based medical school training. CUSP’s goals are to recruit BI&PoC students into the program and develop a workforce of diverse physician leaders in under-resourced urban communities in the WWAMI region through a full circle program that fosters and supports qualified students through mentorship and professional development, population health training, service learning, and urban clinical experiences.