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
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.
Annual Activities of the Osler Student Societies include:
Willie O’s Dinner & Toast - Each year
all School of Medicine classes are invited to this formal dinner to
honor the incoming class of first-year medical students and 3rd &
4th year student mentors. The Osler Student Society Medallion Awards are presented annually at this dinner in recognition of service to a first, second and third year student, as well as an Osler Student Society faculty mentor.
Halloween Fall Festival and Carnival - The
Osler Student Societies and Student Government Association team up every
year to host the carnival intended for children 12 years of age &
under and their families.
The Bioethics Bowl - Teams formed by first
and second year Osler Student Society medical students are presented
with medical ethics cases and are judged according to the quality and
incisiveness of their reasoning about the cases.
FAC WAC - Sponsored by the René Laënnec
Osler Student Society, this academic competition is between two teams of
faculty vs. faculty answering questions about anatomy, science, pop
culture, and anything else! All proceeds benefit St. Vincent's Clinic.