Georgetown University School of Medicine fosters first-generation student community

First-generation students at Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSOM) have launched a club that offers members mentorship opportunities and a safe space for discussing challenges unique to first-generation students. The group, called GUSOM Generation I, defines “first-generation” broadly, welcoming all students who identify as such, including students who are the first in their families to attend college and those who are the first in their families to attend medical school.

Recognizing that first-generation students often have different academic and social experiences than their peers, the group seeks to provide a sense of community and acceptance. Members of GUSOM Generation I say they bond over common challenges such as a lack of personal connections to medical professionals or questions from family about their ambitions.

Mentorship is another key component. The club connects members with mentors—often physicians or fourth-year medical students who are first-generation students themselves—in hopes of fostering relationships that can extend beyond graduation.

GUSOM Generation I also will provide all graduating first-generation medical students with a special pin. “That way, whenever a physician walks by and sees it…they’ll recognize our backgrounds and be aware of the diversity we bring here,” said Francis Navarra (M’21), a first-generation Filipino-American medical student.   

Topics in this story

Next Up

Colleges in 20 states sign on to re-engage ‘stopped-out’ students

More than 150 colleges in 20 states across the country have pledged to re-engage students who have some college experience but “stopped-out” before they could complete their degree.