Organization achieves non-profit status
BaselineMed, founded and led by Brandeis students, works to provide support for BIPOC medical students.
BaselineMed, an organization founded and run by Brandeis students, recently achieved non-profit status in the state of New York.
BaselineMed is an organization whose mission is to provide a support system for BIPOC students pursuing a career in medicine. The organization was founded by Emma Ghalili ’22. Ghalil first came up with the idea for BaselineMed in June 2020. As Ghalili began reading sources for prospective medical students, she found there to be a lack of diversity in the authors, and most of them were white men. In a Jan. 28 BrandeisNow article, Ghalili explained that she felt left out of the narrative as a white woman and has stated that she could not even imagine what students of color likely felt. Ghalili thought that many more students would feel persuaded to pursue the field of medicine if they felt more supported by and connected to the already-existing medical community.
BaselineMed currently provides an online collection of resources and articles written by BIPOC college students, medical students, physicians, and medical professionals. The articles focus on the varying authors’ experiences in their respective fields. The organization gives a platform to those voices that are so frequently left out of the medical community, giving them a voice while also providing mentors, role models, and connections to BIPOC students interested in medicine.
BaselineMed additionally holds free educational workshops for students, which are constantly changing as they are tailored to the community’s needs. Previous workshops have included panels from doctors, how to manage stress, and learning to create a schedule in college. According to BaselineMed’s website, the purpose of their workshops is to “elaborate on any knowledge participants may have, introduce new ideas and concepts to support the academic journeys of participants, and clarify any misconceptions workshop participants might have.”
When Ghalili had the idea to start BaselineMed, she reached out to a number of fellow students and peers who she thought would be interested. They all worked together to build the organization from the ground up. Leah Naraine ’22, associate director of BaselineMed, spoke to the Justice on Feb. 3 for an interview. When asked what drew her to joining BaselineMed, she said, “I was particularly attracted to [the organization] because of the way that it highlighted the importance of diverse students and the importance of providing support for a diverse student body pursuing medicine.”
When asked about what the future of BaselineMed might look like, Naraine stated, “Serving a diverse community doesn’t have a singular solution. It requires a lot of different aspects of support. So for us, that looks like being able to continue to provide workshops for high school students, possibly college students in the future and to provide that layer of support. We want to maintain the articles and stories that we post because we think that having insight from those perspectives are incredibly important to hear, what it's like as a college student, as a medical student, as a physician, or all different stages in the journey.”
Naraine truly wanted to emphasize what is at the root of the organization: “[BaselineMed] was started by a diverse group of students and is still run by a diverse group of students, so we take that perspective and try our best to provide support based on the gaps that we saw.”
BaselineMed achieved non-profit status from the state of New York in November, an impressive accomplishment and something the leadership team had been discussing and working towards for a long time.
BaselineMed currently has nine members on their team, but Naraine said the organization is still building itself, and they would be happy to have Brandeis students “of any background who feel that they have something really important that they want to contribute and be part of a team of leaders in doing so.” Students interested in learning more about BaselineMed or getting involved can find them at baselinemed.com or @baseline_med on Instagram.
—Editor’s note: Emma Ghalili ’22 is a senior staff writer for the Justice. She did not contribute to or edit this article.
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