Student Organizations

There are hundreds of student organizations on the University of Kentucky campus that are part of the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) or Student Government Association.  To explore UK offerings and find information about forming and registering student organizations, check the UK student organization website: .

The College of Medicine sponsors student organizations which are of special interest to medical students, and many are officially registered with the university.  For a listing of when each group meets during the month, please click here. For a list of medical student organization leaders, click here. Those medical organizations include:

Alpha Omega Alpha  (AOA) is the only national medical honor society in the world.  It was chartered in 1902 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago.  The purpose of AOA is to recognize and perpetuate excellence in the medical profession.   Students who are in their last two years of medical school and in the top academic quartile of their class may be nominated for membership.   Criteria for selection include integrity, capacity for leadership, compassion, and fairness in dealing with one’s colleagues.  The University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Beta Chapter was founded in 1964. The Chapter sponsors a Student Research Day, a Medical Humanities Lecture, and “The GoodPhysician Award” at graduation.

American Medical Association /Kentucky Medical Association/ -Medical Student Section (AMA/KMA-MSS) is open to all medical students to promote interest in the AMA and KMA to increase community involvement of medical students.  Students pay dues and part of the state dues are given back to the school chapter to assist with club activities.

American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is a national organization with over 150 medical school chapters.  Every AMSA medical school chapter has at least one vote at the National Convention each spring.  The UK chapter’s purpose is to involve its members in various aspects of health care and contribute to the students’ welfare. 

Business of Healthcare is open to any healthcare student interested in learning more about the business aspect of being a healthcare provider.  The group was established to provide a forum for presentations and discussion relating to the business of healthcare.

Christian Medical/Dental Society (CMDS) is open to any student or faculty in the medical or dental schools.  The group meets every month to enable health care professionals to encourage one another in their working together as Christian health care professionals.  They conduct Bible studies, hold social gatherings, and invite speakers to their monthly meetings.

Health Occupation Professionals for Equality (UK HOPE) is a new organization (2009) open to all health care students and interested faculty and staff.  The organization’s goal is to foster a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse working and learning environment within the health care colleges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.  To this end, the group promotes empowerment through mentorship and networking opportunities, advance curricular innovation to cultivate a better understanding of LGBT health issues, and advocate for the rights of LGBT health care students, faculty, and staff.

 International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) is affiliated with an international group of health care professionals and is determined to help medical students develop a culturally sensitive approach to the care of patients.  The UK chapter organizes lectures and programs addressing international health care issues and works to encourage and enable student exchanges abroad.  Typical programs include conferences, panel discussions, and charitable fundraisers.  The group sponsors an annual Art Auction to benefit a health clinic in Ecuador, affiliated with the Shoulder to Shoulder foundation.

 Medical Specialty Groups have organized because of their interest in a particular medical discipline.  They usually hold monthly meetings with speakers on topics pertinent to the specialty.  These groups currently include:

 Anesthesiology Interest Group, Cardiology/ CT Surgery, Dermatology Interest Group Association, Doane Fischer Pediatrics Society, Emergency Medicine Interest Group, Ephraim McDowell Ob/Gyn Society, Family Medicine Interest Group, Internal Medicine Interest Group, Ophthalmology Interest Group, Orthopedics Interest Group (Sawbones), Otolaryngology Interest Group, Patient Safety Interest Group, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Club, Plastic Surgery Interest Group, Psychiatry Student Interest Group, Radiology Interest Group, Student Interest Group in Neurology, Ultrasound Interest Group, Urology Interest Group, and the Ward O. Griffen Surgical Society.

 Medical Student Government Association (MSGA) is the governing entity for the medical student body.  It is comprised of an executive council, presidents or appointed members from each student organization and each class, as well as three elected representatives from each class.  MSGA acts as a liaison between administration and students, offers guidance and financial assistance to those medical student groups who meet the membership requirements, and sponsors special events of the college such as Caduceus Ball, medical instrument sales, pager rentals, and Lampoons. 

 Medical Spanish Interest Group (CONMIGO) was organized in 2009 to promote service and interaction with Hispanic communities both in Lexington and world-wide.  The group’s interests are split between organizing and volunteering in community outreach projects, and organizing events and opportunities for members to be exposed to both the language and culture of this community.  In addition to regular meetings, small conversation groups of all levels meet 2-4 times a month for lunch and to practice speaking Spanish.

 Medical Students for Choice was organized by students in 2006 to increase education, awareness, and open discussion regarding issues of reproductive health and to promote advocacy for those issues.  The UKCOM group is affiliated with the national Medical Students for Choice organization.

 Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) is a part of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and provides students with voting representation to the nation’s largest association dedicated solely to the advancement of academic medicine.  Most major OSR projects and initiatives fall under one of five standing committees: Communications; Diversity; Legislation; Medical Education; and Student Affairs.  The UK College of Medicine OSR has four members, one from each class.  The students are selected in their first year and serve for all four years of medical school.  A rotation schedule and budget is developed to allow these students to attend both regional and national AAMC meetings.

 Rhythm and Bones Dance Troupe was formed in response to the successful dance routines established  in the Humanities programs presented each year.  Students interested in learning about dance and performing at College of Medicine events join together regularly for practice in various dance forms.

 Salvation Army Clinic Leadership Organization (UKSA Clinic) was newly formed in 2004 to support the efforts of the Salvation Army Center free clinic located in downtown Lexington.  The clinic is administered and staffed by medical students with the oversight of volunteer physicians.  An elective is offered to students providing a full experience of the training and planning necessary to keep the clinic viable for the population the Salvation Army Family Center serves.  The vision of the clinic is to improve the health and well-being of the underserved population in Lexington, increase awareness of local health issues, and provide a setting for student community service and early clinical exposure. UKSA was formed to give students an opportunity to take on leadership roles beyond the elective which is offered for only one semester.  Opportunities and information can be found:

Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is the nation's oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.  Established in 1964 by medical students from Howard University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, SNMA boasts over 40 years of service to underserved communities and medical students.   SNMA is dedicated both to ensuring culturally sensitive medical education and services, as well as increasing the number of African-American, Latino and other students of color entering and completing medical school.

Wilderness Medicine Club is a newly formed (2006) student organization affiliated with the national organization, the Wilderness Medical Society.  Members share a common interest in wilderness medicine, and have the mission to encourage and support programs that improve the knowledge of the membership in matters related to human activities in wilderness environments, and to promote appreciation and stewardship in those areas.

 Women in Medicine (WIM) at the UK College of Medicine is affiliated with the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA).  The purpose of WIM is to provide a forum of discussion for medical students, residents, faculty and community physicians.  At regularly scheduled meetings, guest speakers address various topics of interest to women physicians and to those in medical training.