ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) announced at this week's annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) that membership in the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) will now be recognized on the application for medical students applying to residency programs. Beginning with the 2016 application season, the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) will provide students the opportunity to indicate membership in GHHS.
GHHS was created in 2002 to identify students, residents and faculty who embody the mission of APGF to ensure that compassion, respect and empathy are at the core of all health care interactions. Nominated by their peers, and then selected by a committee, GHHS members embody the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion and altruism and serve as role models, leaders and advocates. GHHS currently has 116 medical student chapters, 15 resident chapters and more than 20,000 members across the U.S.
"The AAMC's recognition of humanism in medicine will give residency programs a more holistic picture of their applicants that goes beyond grades and examination scores," said GHHS Director Lynn White, M.D. "The addition of the GHHS checkbox sends a strong message that humanistic, caring physicians are both desired and needed in medical training programs."
Practicing patient-centered care has been shown to have a positive impact on health outcomes. In a study of more than 20,000 patients with diabetes, researchers found that patients of physicians with high empathy scores had a significantly lower rate of acute metabolic complications. Similarly, a study of cancer patients found that physician empathy was associated with lower rates of depression and better quality of life.
There are approximately 9,500 accredited residency programs in the U.S., and nearly all of these programs use ERAS for their selection process. The updated 2016 application gives GHHS members recognition comparable to other medical honor societies such as Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA), founded in 1902, and Sigma Sigma Phi, the academic honor society for osteopathic medical schools. The 2016 ERAS application season begins in April of 2015.
APGF CEO and President Richard Levin, M.D., commented, "With health care 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."
More information about GHHS is available at http://humanism-in-medicine.org/ghhs, and students and faculty members interested in starting a chapter at their institution can apply through GHHS.
About the Arnold P. Gold Foundation: The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, established in 1988, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of patient care by enhancing the healthcare professional-patient relationship. It encourages the development of physicians and other healthcare professionals who combine the high tech skills of cutting-edge medical science with the high touch skills of communication, empathy and compassion. Learn more at humanism-in-medicine.org.
Lynn White, MD
201-567-7999, ext. 190
SOURCE The Arnold P. Gold Foundation