Womxn in Medicine fosters sense of community for members

Gauri Raje, News Editor

Womxn in Medicine, also referred to as WIM, is an on-campus organization “for pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-physician assistant, and other pre-health profession students, who identify as a womxn, to promote a collaborative, inclusive environment for success as well as provide a safe space about gender, social, and racial issues that exist in the space of healthcare.” 

Analisa Hernandez, vice president for Womxn in Medicine, explained how the organization differs from other medical organizations.

One of the things that I noticed is that the other organizations … were more focused on how to get to medical school, so there was no more information past that. Womxn in Medicine is so different from that. We’re an organization different from the others because we focus on not only why you want to study this specific medical career, but what are you going to gain from it — what kind of impact are you going to create on your future patients? Again, we’re the next-generation of future healthcare professionals — what are we going to do to be better and to do better and to listen to our patients and to create an atmosphere where they feel safe and they can come to us and we can meet their needs,” Hernandez said.

It was this unique nature of the organization that appealed to Hernandez, who joined Womxn in Medicine in 2020 and has been with the organization for five semesters — including three as vice president. 

“I wanted something where I felt like I was in a community, so I found Womxn in Medicine … and then I joined and I found something entirely different from what I thought it was about. So, going to the events, I saw [that] not only [are we] focusing on the healthcare field, but I noticed that we were also focusing on issues in the healthcare field and some of those issues I was also experiencing,” Hernandez said. “So hearing some people talk about what was going on, like the reality of it, really [interested] me and Womxn in Medicine is all about exploring your ‘why.’ So why are we focusing on this career, why are we focusing on these issues … through that I [really] found what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to change since I’m the next generation of future healthcare professionals.”

Womxn in Medicine hosts a wide range of events that focus on issues concerning the medical field as well as meetings centered on mental health and wellbeing. Hernandez explained that, through these meetings, the organization is able to foster a sense of community and allow individuals to express their struggles without fear of judgment. The organization also hosts socials, where members and officers have the chance to get to know each other, as well as experiential learning sessions that serve as a way to learn more about issues concerning healthcare.

“We have so many events each semester and we always start with our first general meeting [where] we discuss that our number one purpose that we want people to know is that we want to create a safe space, and a trustworthy space, so that you can talk about your experiences freely and you won’t be judged, and you won’t be ignored,” Hernandez said. 

“[We] had an event on self-care where we were talking about mental health issues, and we wanted this event to be more special this semester because we were bringing our own experiences [as officers] with these mental health issues so that other people can know that they are not alone,” Hernandez added.

While Womxn in Medicine does not require membership dues, becoming an active or paid member of the organization is encouraged. Active and paid members get access to a broader range of resources the organization has to offer. Hernandez further emphasized that the organization is open to students of all majors.

Every semester, the organization also hosts fundraisers to donate to local causes and organizations. Hernandez explained that, through these fundraisers and membership dues for the Spring 2022 semester, Womxn in Medicine will donate proceeds to the Rape Crisis Center.

Hernandez concluded by explaining the impact of WIM.

“I found out why I love medicine so much and what I want to do to make that change … and it’s been such an incredible journey because you learn so much about why [we] should continue to educate ourselves, why [we] are talking about these important issues … you live your life in this entirely small circle, but you have to open your eyes to reality and see what you can do to make a bigger impact in someone’s life.” 

More information about Womxn in Medicine can be found on the organization’s RowdyLink. Instagram: @womxninmedicineutsa