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Upon matriculation to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, all students are randomized to one of four Academic Societies. Each Society is named after an important person in the history of the Medical School. The four Academic Societies and their Society Deans are listed to your right.
Students remain members of their assigned societies throughout their time as students. The Societies aim to foster close relationships and a sense of community among students. The Society Deans serve as mentors, helping students navigate the curriculum and providing students with advice and support for residency and career planning.
The purpose of the Academic Societies is to provide a comprehensive support system for students so that they can master the academic and professional skills required to be a physician. This goal is accomplished through advising, teaching, collating assessments for the Medical Student Performance Evaluation, and building a sense of community.
The Society Deans function in a group practice model and are available 24/7. Students work primarily with their Society Dean (SD), but they are encouraged to use the resources of all five SDs.
COS Referrals: At the School of Medicine, decisions about academic advancement are handled by the Committee on Students (COS). Referrals to this committee are made for academic and professional reasons.
The guidelines for academic referrals are clearly spelled out in the student handbook. The student's SD will meet with him/her in advance, describe the process and then attend the meeting as the student's advocate. The SD will also collate the data about academic performance and present it to the COS.
A referral to the COS may come from many sources such as a faculty evaluation, faculty complaint, student complaint, criminal referral or a mental/physical health referral. The SD will meet with the student and ask them to reflect on the complaint and advise them about the COS process. The actual investigation of the complaint will be coordinated by the Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs. The Society Dean will attend the COS meeting to advocate for his or her student.
Graduating students need this letter as part of their residency application. The MSPE is prepared by the students' Society Deans.
The Society Deans are advisors. All academic assessments are prepared by faculty and the Office of Curricular Affairs and are provided to the Society Deans. The Society Deans present the data to their students and review the assessments with them to help them reflect. If a student fails to meet expectations on a particular assessment or curricular competency, that student is then referred to the SD who will meet with the student and help him/her prepare a remediation. The SD asks the student to self-reflect and identify areas of strength and weakness. The SD will then communicate to the student the timing and substance of the remediation exercise designed by the faculty.
Whenever possible, the Society Deans avoid having their own students in a preclinical or clinical teaching activity. Moving forward, Society Deans will ask IQ team coordinators not to assign students to a group facilitated by their Society Dean.
The Society Deans prepare the MSPE. Although this is a letter of evaluation, the Society Dean's role is to collate the assessments that are submitted by the faculty. The part of the letter that is crafted by the SD is the "Unique Characteristics" portion which is written with the aid of the student and relies heavily on information provided by the student. If a student is uncomfortable with their MSPE, they may request an independent review or a change in letter-writer from the Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs.
The societies work on a group practice model, and students are free to consult with any of the Society Deans. If a student genuinely feels that they have a conflict with their Society Dean and is not comfortable with this person, he or she may meet with the Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs to request a change. The Vice Dean will make the final decision.