Over the course of Stanford Medicine’s history, the relative presence or absence of Asian students, faculty, and staff has partly been the result of changes in US immigration policy.
The Naturalization Act of 1790 restricted US citizenship to “free white persons.” Consequently, Asian residents were designated “aliens ineligible for citizenship.” Furthermore, a series of federal policies banned many Asian immigrants from even entering the US, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Immigration Act of 1924—restrictions that were not overturned until the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965.
Asian students, faculty, and staff have nevertheless made a significant impact at Stanford Medicine. Today, students run a Stanford chapter of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association and participate in the Asian-American Culture and Medicine project. In research, Stanford’s Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE) and the Asian Liver Center promote Asian health and well-being. And programs and projects such as the Diversity Center of Representation and Empowerment (D-CORE) in Lane Library, the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, the Minority Faculty Networking Group, the Stanford Medicine Diversity Cabinet, and the Annual Diversity & Inclusion Forum are among the initiatives aimed at realizing Stanford Medicine’s goals of increased equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association is the largest organization of Asian Pacific Islander American medical students in the US. Stanford Medicine is home to one of the roughly ninety chapters across the country.