Society System

Each class is divided into 4 groups, named after 4 physicians of historic importance and renown. The societies are a central focus of small group learning and professional development throughout the four years of medical school.

Harvey Society

Office A-167 

William Harvey (1578-1657) English physician, best remembered for correctly describing the circulation of blood through the heart. In 1628, he published Exercitation Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (An Anatomical Exercise on the Heart and Living Beings), a review of his careful observations, measurements, and remarkable experiments. He subsequently was named physician to King Charles I.


Semmelweis Society

Office P-186 

Ignaz Semmelweis (1818 – 1865) Viennese obstetrician/gynecologist. Iconoclast and advocate for women’s health, he correctly described the infectious cause of Puerperal Fever (now known to be Streptococcal post-partum infection). Despite considerable scorn from his peers, he proved that hand washing saves lives; he is remembered as “The Saviour of Mothers.”

Lister Society

Office P-185

Joseph Lister (1827 – 1912) British surgeon. Deploring the high incidence of post-surgical wound infection and death from post-operative sepsis, Lister deduced that these diseases were preventable. A meticulous surgeon and scientist, he applied Semmelweis’ and Pasteur’s observations to clinical practice, and used carbolic acid solutions to clean wounds, clean surgical instruments, and to clean surgeon’s hands. A shy and unassuming man, his initial work was met with indifference; his persistence and eventual vindication resulted in the development of antiseptic surgery.

Osler Society

Office A-168 

Sir William Osler (1849 – 1919) Canadian physician. Brilliant clinician-scientist, Osler transformed the organization and curriculum of medical education, emphasizing the importance of clinical experience and applied science. Osler's textbook Textbook of Medicine was well written, comprehensive, scholarly, and set the standard for subsequent medical texts. Osler was famous for many aphorisms which are still as cogent today as when he first introduced them: “To study medicine without reading textbooks is like going to sea without charts, but to study medicine without dealing with patients is not going to sea at all.”

Last modified: 7/19/2017