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Student Societies

The Osler Student Societies are a program of the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine. Although other health sciences universities have student societies, as far as we've been able to determine, this is the only one in which the focus is specifically promoting the ideals embodied by Sir William Osler.

The development of the Societies was a special project and passion of Dr. Mark Holden, an Osler Scholar. The Societies enrolled their first full class of entering freshman in August 2006. Faculty mentors are nominated by students based on their excellence at teaching and modeling Oslerian ideals. Each Student Society also has three or four student mentors. These include the Osler Student Scholars and select upperclassmen who are invited to continue to participate and to act as mentors to the first and second year students.

The Student Societies typically schedule 5-6 activities a year, but the faculty mentors are available for consultation with the students in their groups throughout the year. One of the first tasks for the Osler Student Societies was choosing names. They were told to pick an influential and inspiring historic figure in medicine. They came up with the following:

Student participation in societies is voluntary, and all undergraduate students in the UTMB School of Medicine are invited to participate. It is the hope that the availability of strong mentors will attract student participation and provide the opportunity for students to experience professional and personal growth through their encounters with their Society mentors.

The vision of the Osler Student Societies is to provide developing physicians insight into "A Way of Life", described by Sir William Osler, not through formal lecture, but through the guidance of mentors in contact with students within and outside their academic setting.

The goals of the Student Societies are:
  • To enhance Faculty-Student interaction,
  • To enhance mentoring and advising of students by faculty,
  • To promote professionalism and humanism,
  • To promote community service, and
  • To promote the development of mentoring skills and comradarie among students

Announcing UTMB’s Sixth Annual Bioethics Bowl and Post-Bowl Dinner and Discourse

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

UTMB’s Sixth Annual Bioethics Bowl will be held on Tuesday, August 26th, starting at 5 p.m. at Open Gates, 2nd floor, 2416 Sealy Avenue. The format of competition is similar to that which began with the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conferences and then was taken up with great success by the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

Teams will be formed by Osler Student Societies and teams will be composed of primarily second year students who will have just finished their POM2-Ethics course. Third and fourth year students, however, may also participate. Team size can vary from 2 or more students. Students interested in forming a team for their particular Osler Student Society should contact Dr. Cheryl Vaiani who will assign an Institute of Medical Humanities scholar to the team to act as consultant as the team practices their responses prior to the contest.

Depending on the number of teams competing, a pre-bowl competition will take place on Monday, 25 August at 5pm in the Primary Care Pavilion Room 2.268 to determine the finalists. Each team will be given a list of approximately 10 medical ethics cases to review in advance. At the time of the competition they will be told which case to discuss and what questions to answer. Teams will then be judged according to the quality and incisiveness of their reasoning about the case. Examples of the types of questions to be answered relative to the cases will be given in the POM2-Ethics Course that students will be taking in July and August. Bioethics Bowl is not a debate—opposing teams need not take opposing positions on a case to score points.

If your particular Student Society is not supporting a team you are welcome to work with another Society who does have a team. The goal is to have at least 3 teams participate in the Bowl. No team entries will be accepted after Friday, August 15th.

Winners will receive a prize such as gift certificates to local restaurants, and certificates of accomplishment suitable for citation in a Dean’s letter. The Osler Student Society sponsoring the winning team will receive a plaque.

Immediately following the Bioethics Bowl a dinner will be offered at Open Gates. And a guest speaker (to be announced) will provide opening remarks for a discussion on a current medical ethics problem.

All participants and guests attending the Bioethics Bowl are welcome to the dinner. Please RSVP for the dinner to Beverly Claussen in the Institute for the Medical Humanities by Thursday, August 21st.

For more information contact Dr. Cheryl Vaiani 409-747-1230 or by email at cevaiani@utmb.edu.

Halloween Carnival

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Osler Student Societies and Student Government Association teamed up with student organizations across the campus to host the 7th annual Halloween Carnival intended for children less than 10 years of age and their families. The carnival will be held on Friday, October 31st, 2014, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Moody Medical Library Plaza, between Moody Medical Library and the Galveston National Laboratory.

The Halloween carnival for children was created in 2008 in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. UTMB students and faculty wanted to provide a safe environment for children from the local community to trick-or-treat. Since then, the carnival has become an annual event. This year, they we will offer costume and pumpkin carving contests, face painting, balloon animals, fun games and prizes, a haunted bus, a dunking booth and of course, lots of candy.

Admission was free and open to the public. However, participants were asked to bring a canned food item for the benefit of the St. Vincent's Food Pantry.

Willie O's Dinner and Toast to the Class of 2018

Friday, October 10, 2014

All School of Medicine classes are invited to this formal dinner (professional attire and white coats) to honor the Class of 2018 and 3rd and 4th year student mentors. Spouses are also welcome. Seating will be by society tables and a representative(s) from each society will give a brief presentation on their respective namesake and introduce 3rd and 4th year student mentors. The invited guest speaker is Dr. Michael Attas III, founder of Baylor Medical Humanities Program, Cardiologist, Seminarian-Humanist, from Waco, Texas.

FAC WAC Competition

FAC WAC is an annual fundraising event sponsored by the R. Laennec Osler Student Society. It is an academic competition between two teams of faculty vs. faculty. Students ask the teams questions about anatomy, science, pop culture, and anything else! All proceeds benefit St. Vincent's clinic.

This year's event was held November 8th in the Old Red Amphitheatre. Admission was $5 each which included a pizza lunch a well as great door prizes from generous local businesses. Tickets were sold in Joe's and John Sealy Cafeterias the week before and at the door.

This year's event raised approximately $500.00!!

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