Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Medical Distinctions

Distinctions provide optional pathways for students to pursue their interests and passions alongside the regular curriculum. Each of the six distinctions offers M1 and M2 electives, along with seminars, activities, projects, and opportunities for focused engagement in the summer between students’ first and second years. 


Mentorship is an important aspect of each distinction. Each community functions as a collective of students and faculty with shared goals and interests. The mentorship process is tailored to the needs of each area, so this provides another excellent opportunity for students to pursue an area of special interest. 

Distinctions are offered for each of the following: 

Global Health  

Grounded in longitudinal service work with an underserved international population, students in the Global Health distinction may serve an overseas or local immigrant group.  Through lectures, small-group discussion, electives, outreach, and internationally focused projects across all four years of medical school, the Global Health Learning Community strives to connect our local community to the global community and to help students realize their potential, not just as providers in their home towns, but as students, teachers, and medical practitioners anywhere around the globe.  

Health Care Ethics  

Recognizing students' dedication to furthering their understanding of Health Care Ethics, this distinction provides avenues for students to further explore and deepen the integration of ethical consideration in their medical training and future practice

Medical Education  

Medical students of today are the medical faculty of tomorrow. Students pursuing a distinction in Medical Education are interested in developing as future educators and helping to improve the medical curriculum at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Students explore and invigorate medical education through such activities as tutoring, community education outreach, journal clubs and podcasts, curriculum content creation and research project.    


Providing opportunities to explore new ideas, challenge assumptions, and innovate, students in the Research distinction work to grow our understanding of medicine for the greater good. Research projects require commitment and can be very rewarding and broadly applicable. Basic science research involves working in a lab with expert Principal Investigators and other laboratory personnel while Clinical research involves working directly with physicians, either in the hospital or remotely.  

Urban Community Health

The goal of the Distinction in Urban Community Health is to enhance the skills of future physicians to care for patients in urban underserved areas. Upon completion of the Urban Community Health Track, students will be able to describe the healthcare safety net in St. Louis, and the experience of community members accessing healthcare services in the safety net; explain the influence of social determinants on the health of individuals, families, and communities; and demonstrate patient skills that address social determinants on the health of patients in urban underserved communities. 


Fostering a culture of self-care and wellness for students throughout their medical education in support of cura personalis, or care for the whole person, students in this distinction support wellness across multiple domains including academic, professional, mental, physical, and social/interpersonal. This involves educating themselves about holistic health opportunities, sharing wellness practices with the Saint Louis community, and improving their personal health so they have the energy to treat their future patients with compassion and wisdom. Activities include orchestrating wellness events, engaging in wellness-related outreach, supporting student wellness organizations, assessing student body mental health, and providing health-related resources.