Mary M. S., M2
It’s true that St. Louis has a bad reputation around the country as being one of the more dangerous cities. When moving here, I was a little concerned about what it would be like and if I would feel safe. The Central West End (CWE), the area occupied by WUSM and Barnes-Jewish, is a very nice neighborhood filled with restaurants, bars, shops, and apartment buildings (mostly occupied by students and doctors at Washington University). I feel perfectly safe walking around the CWE during the day and for most of the early evening. I avoid walking by myself later at night, but it’s not because I’ve ever experienced a situation where I felt particularly unsafe. I just lean pretty heavily towards caution. WUSM has a great security service called 2-HELP that will pick you up at school (or anywhere on the medical campus) and drop you off right at your door if you ever don’t want to walk home at night. Unfortunately, this service is not yet available for getting to the hospital early in the morning during clinical rotations. WashU provides an app called SafeTrek for free to students that lets you hold down a button on your phone until you feel safe. I’ve used this for walking in the mornings before daylight. Even though the CWE is a nice area, there is still a decent amount of crime, mostly robberies and car break-ins. WashU Protective Services is working on ways to keep students better informed about crime in the area. In general, I’d say that you just need to be aware. I definitely take more precautions here than I would in my hometown, but overall I feel very safe.