History of LMSA

Rise of Regions

In the 1970s and 1980s, Hispanic/Latino medical students recognized the need for mutual support to increase their representation and success within medical school. Over the span of ten years, five regional organizations were founded: 

  • Latino Midwest Medical Student Association (LMMSA; Midwest)
  • Boricua Health Organization (BHO; Northeast)
    • This became the National Boricua Latino Health Organization (NBLHO).
  • Hispanic American Medical Student Association (HAMSA; Southeast)
  • Texas Association of Latino American Medical Students (TALAMS; Southwest)
  • Chicano Medical Student Association (CMSA; West)
    • This became the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA).

A National Consortium

The aforementioned regional organizations sought to partner with each other while retaining regional autonomy. In 1998, the five organizations formed a consortium named the National Network of Latin American Students (NNLAMS). As the regions became more developed, the complexity of the network demanded further sophistication. Thus, national officer and board member positions were created. NNLAMS became incorporated a national non-profit organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) in 2003.

An Unprecedented Feat

In 2006, NNLAMS hosted its first National Conference in conjunction with the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA). NNLAMS developed a two-day conference attracting over 200 medical and health professional students from all over the country. This marked the first instance in which trainees were given a forum to network with each other and bond over a shared commitment to improving the health of Hispanic communities in the U.S.

A Unified Medical Student Voice

In an effort to unify all the Latino medical students from different regions under the same title, the name of the national organization was officially changed to the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) during the 2009-2010 academic year. As the West region was already named LMSA, all regions assumed the same name in the years that followed.

In 2010, LMSA hosted the organization’s first independent National Conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The LMSA Logo

In 2011, LMSA National and its five regions modified the LMSA logo that was in place to assume the symbol that represents the organization to this day. Important considerations were the following:

  • Replacing the caduceus with the rod of Aesculapiu;
  • Adding five stars at the top for each region;
  • Continuing the tradition of eagle wings, originally from the Farm Workers Movement in the West.

NNLAMS & LMSA Conferences

National Conferences:

2006Washington, DC (with NHMA)Somos Unidos: United to Eliminate Health Disparities for Hispanics
2007San Antonio, TX (with NHMA)Celebrando La Diversidad: Bicultural Health Care is a National Priority.
2008Washington, DC (with NHMA)La Leyenda Continua
2009Brooklyn, NY (with NHMA)Tomorrow’s Doctors: Leading Advocacy and Activism in Medicine
2010Chicago, IL
University of Illinois at Chicago
Latino Medical Student Association: A United Voice
First Independent Conference & First Conference as LMSA
2011Irvine, California
University of California – Irvine 
Uniting Our Voices for Justice in Healthcare
2012Boston, MA
Harvard Medical School
Nuestro Futuro en Nuestras Manos: Empowering the Next Generation
2013Miami, FL
Miami-Dade College
Tomando Acción: Ensuring Health Equity for All
2014Houston TX
Baylor and UT Houston
Creciendo Juntos: Improving Health for and by Latinos
2015Cleveland, OH
Case Western Reserve 
Llegamos, Seguimos: Celebrating a Decade of Progress
2016Pomona, CA
Western University of Health Sciences
Prevenir es Curar: Addressing New Obstacles and Improving Healthcare in Our Communities
2017Hempstead, NY
Zucker School of Medicine (Hofstra)
¡Aquí Estamos! Our Journey and the Climb to Greater Heights
2018Miami, FL
Miami-Dade College
Siempre Unidos: Celebrating Diversity and Bridging the Gap
2019Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech University
Todos Tenemos Valor: Building Solidarity Through Healthcare
2020Saint Louis, MO
Washington University
Unidos por Medicina y Más: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Latinx Health
UC-Irvine SOM & OHSU
Potenciar El Cambio: Creating Interconnection in Healthcare to Create Change
2022Philadelphia, PACincuenta Años de Comunidad: Fostering Service, Health Equity, and Leadership
Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Organization’s First Chapter
2023Atlanta, GASalud y Justicia: Fighting for Safety, Equity & Human Rights

Garcia Leadership & Advocacy Summit (GLAS) & The Annual Policy Summit


2000, 2001 – University of Texas Galveston

2002 – University of California Los Angeles

2003 – University of Texas Galveston

2004, 2005 – Duke University

2006 – Mount Sinai School of Medicine

2007 – GLAS cancelled

2008 – University of California San Diego

2009 – University of Illinois at Chicago

2010 – Boston, Massachusetts

2011 – Duke University

2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 – Doctors Hospital Renaissance (Edinburg, TX)

LMSA National Policy Summit

2014. 2015 – Washington, DC, in conjunction with NHMA National Conference

2016 – George Washington University

2017, 2018, 2019 – Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC, Washington, DC)

2020, 2021, 2022 – Virtual

2023 – Georgetown University School of Medicine