Fear not, ye faithless! Despite its geographical location, WashU is a bastion of rationalism, progressive social values and our demi-god, the scientific method. You may be lacking in theos or gnosis, but we all know you have as much empathy and compassion as the most pious person among us. Religion, or lack thereof, is never an issue in the very welcoming and inclusive community here. So come to WashU for your evolution into a physician; students here are predestined to succeed. Just don’t depend too much on pass/fail. Even though the curriculum has been intelligently designed to make difficult subjects like anatomy and histology as straightforward as possible, you’ll need to use your free will to set consistent study habits for second year.
— Lucas T., M1
St. Louis has a vast and rich Hindu community. There is a beautiful Hindu temple in Chesterfield, about 25 minutes away from WUSM by car. The temple website (www.hindutemplestlouis.org) includes schedules for upcoming Pujas and religious events. The temple also offers a delicious lunch menu whenever the kitchen is open. Our temple also features a Jain prayer room inside the main temple. Just across from the temple is the Mahatma Gandhi Center, where community functions are held all year long. Whether you are Punjabi, Gururati, Tamil, Telegu, Bengali, or any other South Asian background, you will have no issue finding a community in this city that will welcome you and invite you to join their festivities at the Gandhi Center.
— Shamaita M., M1
You will be challenged in medical school, there’s no doubt about that. You will have so much to do, more that you want to do, and only so much time in every day. Yet this can be a time for your faith in God to grow and for you to continue maturing as a follower of Christ. Here in St. Louis, there are many churches and it’s not difficult to find a ride if you don’t have a car. In the medical school community itself, we have the Christian Medical Association. As you progress in your medical education, why not commit to devote yourself to also growing in God at this stage in your life? Don’t underestimate the God you follow, because the living God is at work even in the craziness of med school. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me any time!
— Stephanie T., M2
Hello, fellow Pope Francis fans! Put down that GK Chesterton or Tolkien book and let me lay down some knowledge. If you’re worried about being Catholic at WashU or med school in general, don’t be. Sure, you’ll be busy shadowing, hanging out and wasting your time with studying. Fortunately, the Cathedral Basilica is an awesome church just down the street from where the majority of students live, where daily masses and the sacraments are readily available. Also, the Catholic Student Center, located at the Danforth campus, has 9 p.m. Sunday mass along with monthly mixers for students in the various graduate schools with free food and beverages. I think you’ll find that St. Louis is a surprisingly Catholic city with a strong community (and a killer Mardi Gras festival).
— Doug H., M1
So you’re a Jew coming to WashU School of Medicine. Mazal tov! We’re sure your mother is kvelling over you and your sibling, the aspiring lawyer. While not the bustling metropolis of that second Promised Land known as Manhattan, St. Louis has the second-largest Jewish population in the Midwest, so there’s a Jewish community for everyone. The Danforth Campus has a Chabad and Hillel with which many medical students are active. For those students keeping kosher, two of the med school cafeterias serve kosher chow. (But we do have to say that if you’re keeping kosher, you have to know how to cook, as only a couple of restaurants in the area serve kosher food.) It can be a bit difficult to keep Shabbos around here, but the medical school will do its best to make sure you’re accommodated when you have to miss class for Shabbat and other holidays. There are two graduate student Jewish groups, one for all St. Louis grads (JGrads) and another for med students (JMSA). Some favorite JMSA events have included Challah-ween, an autumnal challah-baking event, and Latkes and Vodka (we think the name speaks for itself). Overall, the Jewish community here is very warm and welcoming. Being fully observant is definitely doable; feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
— Seren G. & Caroline W., M1
Although you may be one of the few Muslim students in your class, St. Louis has a very large and vibrant Muslim community. There are several mosques around the city including the West Pine Masjid, which is only a few blocks away on SLU’s campus! Moreover, the Danforth campus has a great Muslim Student Association that is always willing to organize rides to the Masjid, host Iftar and Eid parties, and even conducts its own Friday Jummah prayers. And if you ever feel like you need some advice or guidance, there’s no shortage of Muslim attendings at BJC who would be willing to mentor you through your time here!
— Nowrin H., M1