Academic Societies

Welcome to the Academic Societies at Harvard Medical School

  • Castle Society
  • HST/London Society Olympics Banner

    HST/London Society Olympics Banner

  • Holmes Society

    Holmes Society

    Namesake Oliver Wendell Holmes wears a scarf on a particularly brisk day on campus.

  • London Society

    London Society

    London Society students gather for a photo op

  • Castle Society Olympics Banner

    Castle Society Olympics Banner

  • Peabody Society Olympics Banner

    Peabody Society Olympics Banner


Established to support Harvard Medical School’s 230-year tradition of enhancing the interaction between students and faculty, the Academic Societies provide a community-based approach to medical education and an organizational framework to help students take full advantage of the plethora of opportunities available at HMS. Comprised of senior faculty members, students from all class years, and a program coordinator in each, the Societies encourage scholarship, personal growth, and collegiality through a system of academic advising and a series of enrichment programs. In addition, the Societies facilitate small-group learning and peer evaluation to help students develop a team-based investigative approach to the practice of medicine. Each student is assigned a primary advisor in his or her society, who also serves as a liaison to curricular, extra-curricular, research, career and specialty advisors as the student progresses through the MD program.

All Harvard medical and dental students are assigned to one of the five Academic Societies in their first year. Medical students remain a member of their society throughout their tenure at HMS. Each Society serves just over 40 first-year students (HMS/HSDS) and approximately 35 students in each of the successive years (HMS only). 

The Academic Societies serve the HMS mission to create and nurture a community of the best people committed to leadership in alleviating human suffering caused by disease.