For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

SMHS re-establishes local Gold Humanism Honor Society

The UND SMHS is proud to announce that its local chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) has been re-established, following its dissolution in 2018.

GHHS is a national society, supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which honors medical students, residents, and physicians who demonstrate humanistic values in medicine, clinical excellence, compassion, leadership, and dedication to service. UND’s GHHS chapter is committed to fostering a culture of humanism and professionalism within the field of medicine while providing a formal recognition of those students who demonstrate humanistic values during their clinical education. Values elevated by the chapter include integrity, sound moral reasoning, compassion and empathy toward patients, respect for and effective communication with colleagues, empowerment of others, altruism, and a commitment to humanitarian services. The chapter is supported by the Office of the Dean and the Office of Student Affairs & Admissions.

During the third year of their medical education, students are prompted to write letters of support for classmates with examples of how they exemplify the chapter’s mission and values. The selection committee, consisting of three chapter advisors and fourth-year student chapter leaders, review these nominations and select nominees to submit curriculum vitae and personal statements for further consideration. Up to 15% of the class is selected to become GHHS inductees. Students must be in good academic standing. Up to four UND clinical faculty members may be nominated by students and inducted into the chapter annually. In this next academic year, UND-affiliated residencies will also be incorporated into the School’s chapter. Up to six resident physicians will be inducted into the chapter via peer nomination and a selection committee that includes six residency program directors and the director of graduate medical education. The GHHS induction ceremony is held in the summer at the end of third-year clinical rotations. GHHS members also have this honor recognized at graduation and noted in the dean’s letter. GHHS is one of only two honor societies with an identifier on the electronic residency application (ERAS).

Members of the UND GHHS chapter are expected to be involved in various activities and events with emphasis on mentorship, promotion of clinical excellence, advocacy for professionalism and humanism, and coordination of volunteer service opportunities at UND and in area communities. The chapter will be student driven, with oversight from its advisors: Dr. Jon Allen, Dr. Charles Christianson, and Dr. John Hagan, who are all previous recipients of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The prestigious Tow Award recognizes one fourth-year medical student and one clinical faculty member who are premier exemplars of humanism in medicine. Annual selection of recipients of this award by the chapter will begin in the coming year.

Students from the class of 2023 were nominated this spring, and thirteen new members were honored at the induction ceremony on June 20. Per the photo above, the individuals who were recognized for their demonstration of humanism and professionalism were: left-to-right, front row: Justin Schafer, Caleb Ellingson, Mikaela Herberg, Leesha Heitkamp, Sarah Wherley, Mishell Quiridumbay. Back row, left-to-right: Jacob Stern, Parker Rosenau, Karan Saravana, Amanda Palme, Ann Marie O’Connell, Natisha Corum, Dr. Susan Zelewski, and Dr. Ian Roche.

More information on the Gold Humanism Honor Society can be found on the national GHHS website or by contacting Chapter President Caleb Ellingson ( or Chapter Advisor Dr. Jon Allen (