Integrated Holistic Student Affairs: A Personalized, Equitable, Student-Centered Approach to Student Affairs

C. Alexander Grieco, Princess Currence, Daniel H. Teraguchi, Alicia Monroe, Ann Gel S. Palermo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Medical education has reached a critical juncture - the structural racism that has permeated the fabric of its systems and institutions for centuries can no longer be ignored. The destructive, disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and unabated violence targeting individuals who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) exact an incalculable toll on BIPOC students and students from other groups that are historically underrepresented in medicine (UIM). Failing to recognize and act on the well-documented differential experience of BIPOC medical students impedes medical educators' ability to cultivate learning environments where all learners have an equitable opportunity to thrive. Holistic review admission processes, now widely accepted, have challenged admissions committees to consider the "whole applicant" to diversify matriculating classes. While gaining admission is critical, it is merely the first step for BIPOC students, who may face marginalization within what the authors have termed a "sink-or-swim" culture in medical education. For the tremendous potential afforded by holistic review to be realized, the medical education community must extend the holistic approach throughout the medical education continuum, beginning with student affairs practices and support. The authors propose the use of Integrated Holistic Student Affairs (IHSA), a systems-based model that fosters the reexamining and reengineering of existing student affairs structures, policies, and processes to promote a personalized, equitable student-centered approach. The IHSA Model consists of 4 strategic actions - establish vertical and horizontal collaboration, conduct systems thinking analysis, target leverage points for change, and operationalize the change process - and 4 areas of priority for collaboration with student diversity affairs staff and faculty. The IHSA Model provides student affairs staff and faculty with a framework for shifting from reactive, deficit-oriented practices to proactive, empowering, equitable practices, with the goal of allowing BIPOC and all other UIM students to thrive during their journey from matriculation to graduation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1446
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


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