Gold Humanism Honor Society

The Gold Humanism Honor Society is the heart of our Community of Caring. Founded in 2002, through the generous support of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Berrie Foundation, and an anonymous donor, GHHS now has more than 175 chapters in medical schools and residency programs. More than 40,000 medical students, physicians, and other leaders have been inducted and serve as role models of the human connection in healthcare.

Suicide Prevention Month

In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation will be dedicating the month of September to the issue of clinician burnout. Did you know that 15%-30% of medical students and residents screen positive for depressive symptoms?[i] Did you know that physicians are at risk of suicide at approximately twice the rate of the general population?[ii]
We at the Gold Foundation are committed to ensuring a humanistic healthcare experience, not just for patients but for the entire healthcare team. Our programs are designed to support you throughout your careers, so the humanistic passion that inspired you at the beginning of your education is sustained throughout their practice. We know that professional satisfaction among caregivers is linked to their improved health outcomes. And empathy, training and support from organizations like the Gold Foundation have been identified as ways to protect against burnout.[iii]
To learn more about the Gold Foundation’s recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month, click here.
[i] Goldman ML, Shah RN, Bernstein CA. Depression and suicide among physician trainees: recommendations for a national response. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015 May. 72 (5):411-2.
[ii] Schernhammer ES, Colditz GA. Suicide rates among physicians: a quantitative and gender assessment (meta-analysis). Am J Psychiatry. 2004 Dec. 161(12):2295-302.
[iii] Yu H, Jiang A, Shen J. Prevalence and predictors of compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction among oncology nurses: A cross-sectional survey. Int J Nurs Stud. 2016;57:28-38.

Creative Expression

The theme for Golden Glimmer #9 is Tanka Poems that focus on the theme of clinician wellness and expression.
Tanka Rules: a Tanka must be exactly 5 lines.
The lines must follow the 5-7-5-7-7 format: The first & third lines must have 5 syllables. All other lines must have 7 syllables.
Submit your Tanka Golden Glimmer HERE

2021-22 National Initiative

Each year, the Gold Humanism Honor Society announces a National Initiative to spotlight an important issue around humanism in healthcare and encourage each chapter (as well as members who have graduated or are not connected to a medical school/residency chapter) to create events and activities around this topic.
The 2021-22 National Initiative will launch on September 13, 2021.

Annual National Initiatives

Mark your calendar for our recurring national initiatives for 2021:

Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care – February 15-19, 2021
Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care is a week-long recognition event. GHHS chapters, medical schools, and patient care institutions from across the country promote activities to celebrate their dedication to ensuring compassionate, patient-centered care. Share your chapter’s plans HERE


Thank a Resident Day – February 26, 2021
Residency is a key component of graduate medical training, offering an in-depth exposure to medical practice. It can often lead to long working hours matched with many responsibilities. Residents serve as the “house staff” of the hospital and are an integral part to the healthcare team, often serving as indispensable resources for medical students, especially during a clinical clerkship. Join the Gold Humanism Honor Society in bringing to light the importance of the residence staff and encourage medical students at chapters throughout the nation to show our gratitude and appreciation on February 26, 2021! 

Please visit us on our website and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates.

GHHS Virtual Induction Ceremonies

Now is a time to acknowledge those who care for their patients with great humanity.

Many Institutions have nominated and selected their GHHS members for this year, and those students, residents, and faculty members deeply deserve to be recognized for their outstanding qualities and care.

GHHS staff has assembled tools to help you facilitate a virtual induction for your newest members. You can access the GHHS Virtual Induction Ceremony kit here.


International Chapter Pilot

Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) is pleased to announce that three chapters from around the world have joined the over 160 existing GHHS chapters. These schools were chosen in 2019 as part of a three-year pilot project to expand GHHS internationally.

We are now beginning the rigorous pre-application phase of our search for THREE additional international chapters to be approved in 2020.

To learn more about this pilot, please click here.

To complete a pre-application, please click here.

A designation of compassion

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) recognizes students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine. GHHS members are peer nominated and are the ones that others say they want taking care of their own family.

The Society currently has over 40,000 members in training and practice.

Spreading empathy

Membership in GHHS goes beyond selection and induction into an honor society. Its members have a responsibility to model, support, and advocate for compassionate, patient-centered care throughout their careers. The creation of a GHHS chapter signifies to the medical community that an institution places high value on the interpersonal skills and attitudes that are essential for the highest level of patient care.

“The state of healthcare is quite challenging out there. GHHS is a reminder that despite the obstacles, this is all about treating people and all about the patient care. GHHS and the Gold Foundation inoculates you against a lot of those obstacles and provides you with some strength to confront all of that.” — Dr. Scott Shaffer, Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University

Benefits of GHHS membership

With the support of the Gold Foundation and GHHS Supporters, GHHS funds educational events, supports research, promotes professional growth and creates opportunities for GHHS members to network with others who share their values and beliefs.

Benefits include:

History & early support

Inspiration for GHHS came from medical educators and residency program directors who expressed a need for a way to identify applicants to residency training programs who had outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Berrie Foundation, and an anonymous donor gave generously to launch GHHS. We are grateful for their crucial support.

Since its inception in 2002, GHHS has grown in influence to become a vital part of medical school and residency training program cultures throughout the US.

In 2012, we celebrated 10 years of GHHS:

In 2016, a GHHS identifier was placed on the Electronic Residency application making it clear that GHHS membership was something institutions advisors looked for in residency applicants. The power of GHHS lies in bringing together like-minded individuals to sustain their own humanism and to inspire and nurture humanism in others.

“It is hardest to practice the values of empathy and compassion when I am behind on my schedule, when multiple patients are waiting, and I feel pressure to rush. Physicians that do it best are the ones that are able to focus on each individual patient in the moment and temporarily forget the factors outside the room that discourage compassion.”  – 4th year medical student and GHHS Member

With the support of the APGF and GHHS Supporters, GHHS funds educational events, supports research, promotes professional growth and creates opportunities for GHHS members to network with others who share their values and beliefs.