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Humanism Honor Society - Plan


As part of the Professionalism initiative, there needs to be a process of identification and recognition of exemplary individuals. Many medical schools have founded honor societies that have recognized exemplary students, who together with exemplary house staff and faculty, have served as a core resource for teaching, role-modeling, mentoring and initiation of professionalism activities.


Students will be selected based on their demonstration of the highest qualities of professionalism and humanism to their peers as well as faculty and staff. The criteria suggested include:

  1. Integrity and sound moral reasoning
  2. Respect for others from all walks of life
  3. The ability to establish good communicative relationships
  4. A willingness to engage in supportive patient interaction/advocacy
  5. An ability to learn from life experiences (in the face of adversity maintaining a commitment to the humanistic goals of compassion, altruism, respect, empathy and service)


  1. Appointment of an Humanism Honor Society Selection Committee to finalize the criteria and process for selection. (Now) It is suggested that we appoint:
    • 6 Clerkship Directors
    • 6 Clerkship Coordinators
    • 4 Associate Deans (OSA, OME, FD/SD, CME/GME)
    • 2 Basic Science Course Directors
    • The only Former Faculty Awardee (for the first year, then add more)
    • The Professionalism Project Director
  2. The committee solicits nominations (ASAP) that consist of a short statement of why the nominee is being nominated and a release form given the student's authorization to be considered:
    1. from student peers via email (consider using questionnaire attached)
    2. from faculty via email
  3. The committee leadership collates nominations (ASAP) and pre-selects 25% for review.
  4. The committee selects 10% of the class for the honor (Fall) and also one person for the Humanism Award to be presented at Commencement. In addition to the criteria listed above, the committee takes into consideration:
    1. The number of peer/faculty nominations.
    2. Written comments re: humanistic qualities from nominations, LOR's, clerkship evaluations, letters from patients, etc.
    3. Verbal communication from committee members.
    4. Other activities (leadership, community service).
    5. Pertinent negative information.
  5. The committee notifies the awardees, student body, faculty and OSA if possible in time for inclusion in the "Dean's letter." (Fall)  
  6. Humanism Honor Society Awardees meet with faculty mentors/advisors to chose their leadership and awards ceremony (speaker, type of event, budget). (Fall)  
  7. HHS works with the OSA to plan the event and any projects (eg community service.) (Fall-Mar)  
  8. Ceremony is held for honorees:
    1. Students
    2. Faculty
    3. House staff
    4. Speaker
    5. Honored guests - Dean & President
    6. Press releases, pictures, publicity, etc.
  9. Process begins earlier next year (Aug) with a letter welcoming the incoming senior class stating that in 2 weeks they will get a letter asking them to suggest nominees.
  10. Consider in future having students sign an Honor code or Charter at the White Coat and Student Clinician Ceremonies and Graduation.