3.02 Academic Societies
- Walter Bradford Cannon Society
- William Bosworth Castle Society
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Society
- Irving M. London Society
- Francis Weld Peabody Society
The Academic Societies serve to support HMS’s 230-year tradition of fostering and enhancing the interaction between students and faculty. All MD students at Harvard Medical School are members of one of five Academic Societies and remain a member of their society throughout the duration of their HMS experience. While students in the Irving London Society of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) have applied to and been accepted into the HST Program, which has a separate curriculum for Years I and II (See Sections 1.02 and 1.03), students are assigned randomly to the remaining four societies and pursue a common curriculum (See Sections 1.01, 1.03). Students in the DMD program at Harvard School of Dental Medicine are also members of an Academic Society.
The Academic Societies are educational social units that serve as the organizational framework for each student’s experience in general medical education. The Societies monitor the academic progress and professional growth of each individual student; serve as the School’s advising and mentoring system; and nurture social interchange and contact between students and faculty.
Under the leadership of the Dean for Medical Education, five senior faculty members serve as Masters of the five Academic Societies. Each Society also includes faculty Associate Masters, advisors and mentors, students from all classes, and a program coordinator. Each Society serves as the central locus for an extensive student advising system. Each student is assigned a principal advisor in his or her society, who also serves as a liaison to curricular, extra-curricular and career advisors as the student progresses through the MD program. The core of the Academic Societies program is a longitudinal relationship throughout the student’s enrollment at HMS between student and advisors to foster goals of self-assessment and professional development. The Societies maintain ties to students during the Principal Clinical Experience (PCE) through hospital-based faculty advisors involved in the PCE. The Societies also plan paracurricular and social functions that bring faculty and students together.
To create and nurture a diverse community of the best people committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease