St. Louis offers residents both a high quality of life and a lower cost of living than the national average. While a resident enjoys the amenities of a large metropolitan area, his or her salary goes much further than in many other cities. For example, the cost of housing in St. Louis is low, and many residents can buy comfortable homes close to the Medical Center (map of where residents live).

The Washington University Medical Center Housestaff Auxiliary (WUMCHA) provides a large network of support for the resident and his/her family who relocate to St. Louis. WUMCHA is a group of female residents, fellows, medical students and attendings affiliated with the Medical Center, and female spouses and significant others of the same. The Auxiliary was formed to address the special needs and life stresses encountered by the resident when adjusting to the St. Louis community. WUMCHA offers support and friendship to its members through a variety of social activities for both children and adults. Important information on such subjects as housing, job hunting, babysitting and schools is also compiled and provided to the resident. Please visit for more information.

Several years ago, options for child care expanded as the Washington University Family Learning Center opened in University City – near the medical school – to serve the children of faculty, residents, fellows, students and staff.

Central West End 2
The Central West End is a stable and attractive area next to the medical center.

Another significant advantage to living in St. Louis is the location of the Medical Center in a stable and attractive area of the city. Barnes-Jewish Hospital sits at the edge of Forest Park in the Central West End (CWE). At the turn of the century, the CWE was the fashionable section of town, featuring many private streets lined with mansions. In the 1920s, high-rise apartment buildings and more houses for middle-class residents were constructed. The atmosphere changed in the 1970s, when the CWE suffered from urban decay and suburban flight. Over the last 20 years, Washington University Medical Center has leveraged $430 million to improve the CWE. Today, the CWE is home to loft-style apartments, diverse restaurants and a thriving nightlife, all within walking distance of the medical center. Many residents live in the CWE and walk to work from affordable apartments in the vicinity of the Medical Center.

Learn more about living in St. Louis: