The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) learned late on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, that the petition submitted to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) requesting the addition of a Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) identifier on the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application was approved. “This is a great moment in the history of GHHS,” said GHHS Director Lynn White, MD. “An official and noticeable way to identify GHHS membership on the ERAS application will send a strong message that humanistic, caring physicians are both desired and needed in medical training programs.”
GHHS was created by the APGF in 2002 to identify students, residents, and faculty who embody the qualities of integrity, excellence, altruism, respect and empathy and who serve as role models, leaders and advocates for humanism in medicine. As of August 2014, GHHS has 113 medical student chapters, 15 resident chapters, and more than 20,000 members (see chart at bottom of post).
There are currently approximately 9,500 accredited residency programs in the US sponsored by teaching hospitals, academic medical centers, health care systems and other institutions. Almost all of these programs use ERAS.
With the placement of a GHHS identifier on the 2016 ERAS application, a number of vital opportunities for GHHS and its members will be actuated:
- Students will be evaluated in a more holistic review process that goes beyond evaluation of an applicant based primarily on grades and examination scores
- Residency Program Directors all over the county will be encouraged to learn more about the merits of GHHS
- GHHS members will have their membership status appropriately visible on the ERAS application
- Residency Program Directors will recognize that GHHS status is comparable to selection into other medical honor societies such as Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA)
- As Residency Program Directors learn more about GHHS, they will increasingly view GHHS membership as a positive selection criterion for entry into their programs
- Students, in time, will notice the favorable benefits of GHHS membership on the resident selection process and will be increasingly interested in selection to GHHS
- Residency Program Directors and medical students will recognize the importance and benefits of promoting humanism in medical school education and residency training
The APGF, GHHS, the GHHS Advisory Council and all GHHS supporters are celebrating this wonderful accomplishment. Richard Levin, MD, CEO and President of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation commented, “With healthcare facing revolutionary changes, this recognition by the AAMC and ERAS of the critical importance of the qualities of humanistic practice emphasizes the role of caring in a technological age. “ The next step for GHHS will be to educate students and Residency Program Directors about the significance of GHHS membership so that the new identifier can fulfill its ultimate purpose of promoting a more humanistic culture in medical education.