An integral part of the new curriculum involves our Society System. There are four Societies (named after four historic physicians) with four experienced clinician-educators (Small Group Advisors) in each Society; thus, each medical school class has 16 practicing physicians who are dedicated clinical teachers. At Orientation, every student is assigned to a Society and a Small Group Advisor who stays with the student throughout their medical education; it is the Small Group Advisor who eventually hoods the student at Commencement exercises.
Meeting twice a week with their Small Group, students quickly form close relationships with classmates and faculty. The Small Group Advisor instructs students in professionalism and the art of patient care, patient-physician communication skills, and the principles of physical examination and diagnostic thinking. Small group instruction also covers many other critical topics, including peer-to-peer communication, medical ethics, preventive medicine, and personal wellness. Problem-based learning is also conducted in the Small Group format, encouraging students to work together and teach each other.