MD students at putting on an arm cast

Student Groups

What is the difference between a Student Interest Group (SIG) and Registered Student Organization (RSO)?

Student Interest Group (SIG)

A student interest group is informal and meets with a faculty advisor about a particular topic on WSU campuses. There is no established structure or additional organized events. SIGs must be registered with the College of Medicine Student Affairs.

Registered Student Organization (RSO)

If your group wants to organize events such as inviting speakers, holding a dinner at a faculty’s home, community service activity, or request funding, the group must become a registered student organization, which is a formal process that includes training and additional requirements. RSOs must be registered with both College of Medicine Student Affairs and Spokane Health Sciences Campus Student Affairs.

  • American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
  • Anesthesia Student IG
  • Asian & Pacific Islander Medical Student Association (APAMSA)
  • Association for Women Surgeons
  • Bioethics IG
  • Board Game Club at WSU Spokane
  • Camp Stix
  • Cardiology & Preventative Medicine
  • Christian Medical & Dental Assoc (CMDA)
  • Complimentary & Alternative Medicine
  • Crafty Cougars
  • Dermatology IG
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Environmental Justice
  • Family Medicine IG
  • Financial Medicine
  • General Surgery IG
  • Global Health
  • Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS)
  • Graduate Education Academic Research Society (GEARS)
  • Health & Environment Action Coalition
  • Health Advocacy & Policy (HPAC)
  • Health Equity Circle
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Humanities in Medicine
  • Internal Medicine IG
  • Latinx Medical Student Association (LMSA)
  • Medical Chinese IG
  • Medical Music Video IG
  • Medical Spanish IG
  • Medical Student Council
  • Medical Students for Choice
  • Medical Technology (Med Tech)
  • Medical Vietnamese IG
  • Military Medicine
  • Neuro & Neurosurgery
  • Non-Traditional Student Group
  • NORD – Cougs for Rare Disease
  • Ophthalmology IG
  • Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine IG
  • Otolaryngology IG
  • Pathology IG
  • Pediatric Diabetes IG
  • Pediatrics IG
  • Peer Mentorship Organization
  • PFD – Parents Following Dreams at WSU Spokane
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Pride Alliance
  • Psychiatry IG
  • Radiology IG
  • Rural Medicine
  • SCOPE (Student Content Overview Peer Education)
  • Student National Medical Assoc. (SNMA)
  • Ultrasound IG
  • Urology IG
  • White Coats for Black Lives at WSU
  • Wilderness Medicine
  • WSU Students for Community Health (WSCH)

Interested in Starting Your Own Student Interest Group?

Please review the forms below and submit your online registration. Limited funding is available to “officially recognized” student interest groups through the Office of Student Affairs approval basis. Student interest groups may also charter as Registered Student Organization through the Office of Student Leadership & Involvement. As an RSO, you are eligible for funding through the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement.

To keep the most up-to-date contact information, all student interest group leaders are required to update primary, secondary and faculty advisor names with Tina Sowl at or 509-368-6930.

Overview for Faculty Advisors to a Student Interest Group

If you are interested in becoming a faculty advisor of a medical student interest group (SIG), we ask that you follow these guidelines. Whether you are experienced or new to being a faculty advisor, you are about to engage in a rewarding experience with medical students, and the Office of Student Affairs looks forward to assisting you. We have published these guidelines to provide you with information about resources available to you and your students’ organization.

The services we provide advisors and student interest groups are continually changing and developing to support your efforts. We will inform you of changes via email and post them on the College of Medicine Student Affairs website. If you have suggestions or comments about the guidelines or other services that are provided to the SIGs, please forward them to Tina Sowl at Should you have additional questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our office via phone at 509-368-6827 or email .

Why Become an Advisor to a Student Interest Group?

Student interest groups provide a unique opportunity for students to learn from a faculty’s perspective to enhance their co-curricular experience, as well as to interact with other students outside of the classroom setting. Most students find their participation in SIGs very rewarding – and you are a key part of that. As mentors to the groups, advisors serve as a guide for the students and can tangibly enhance students’ experiences with the group.

Advisors help to carry on traditions, relay information from year-to-year for continuity, and provide valuable knowledge; as well as share insights about your professional and personal journey in health care and medicine. Your willingness to volunteer in this role will make the students’ experience a worthwhile one. Your commitment to providing this leadership to students will be rewarding for them and for you. If the students desire more than an informal group meeting with a faculty advisor such as organized events, you must become a Registered Student Organization.

Who Can Become an Advisor?

Advisors to student interest groups must be a WSU faculty member.

Role of Advisors to Student Interest Groups

  • Attend SIG meetings and be available to members of the group;
  • Promote interaction between SIGs;
  • Serve as a liaison/communication link between the SIG and Office of Student Affairs;
  • Counsel the SIG on effective guidelines for having effective and sometimes, difficult conversations;
  • Assist with connecting SIGs to campus resources.

For questions, please contact Tina Sowl at or 509-368-6930.