Violet Society Program for MD Students

For Current MD Students Violet Society Program for MD Students
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For Current MD Students Violet Society Program for MD Students

As a medical student at NYU School of Medicine, you’re part of a community of talented researchers and physicians with a proud tradition of pioneering innovations in medical therapies that improve the human condition. During your time in medical school, you’re supported by our network of faculty mentors and peers through the Violet Society Program.

Each of our four Violet Societies is named for past NYU School of Medicine physician luminaries: Walter Reed; Lewis Thomas; May Chinn; and Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk. 

Their contributions to medicine have halted epidemics (Dr. Reed’s discovery that mosquitos transmit yellow fever; Dr. Salk’s and Dr. Sabin’s introduction of the first polio vaccines); forged social progress (as one of the first black female physicians to earn hospital admitting privileges, Dr. Chinn paved the way for more diverse future generations of doctors); and advanced public understanding of the medical sciences (Dr. Thomas’ best-selling books explained the mysteries of biology to ordinary people).

During orientation week, you are randomly assigned to one of these four societies, each led by a group of three faculty advisors. You are then assigned to a smaller group overseen by one of the three faculty advisors within your society. You remain part of this group throughout medical school.

Our Violet Society groups comprise students from all class years, faculty advisors, and student advisory leaders. As part of a Violet Society, you participate in community-building events and small group workshops that encourage collaboration, communication, student wellbeing, and professional development. 

Faculty advisors and peer mentors in each Violet Society serve as expert resources, helping you learn about clinical, research, and educational opportunities. They also provide information on support services you need to explore your goals and career options. 

Faculty Advisors

Our Violet Society Program is helmed by experienced faculty advisors who serve as student advocates. They are selected and appointed to a Violet Society by a committee of faculty, students, and the dean for student affairs. They do not hold administrative positions or assess student performance. 

In the initial weeks of school, you engage in small group meetings with your faculty advisor group to learn about the Violet Societies and meet your classmates. 

You meet one-on-one with your faculty advisor at least twice a year, and you can schedule additional meetings as needed to discuss your medical school progress or any issues or difficulties you might have. 

Your faculty advisor also provides guidance for completing your student academic portfolio, a self-assessment process that all students take part in during medical training. In your portfolio, you provide feedback on your performance on different aspects of the MD curriculum, including foundational knowledge, clinical skills, professional development, and research and scholarship. Portfolio entries are recorded in Brightspace (Kerberos ID and password required for login), our online learning platform.

Walter Reed Violet Society Faculty Advisors 

Gillian L. Henry, MD

Jeffrey A. Manko, MD

Margaret Nachtigall, MD

Lewis Thomas Violet Society Faculty Advisors

Aaron L. Hultgren, MD

Sandra S. Tomita, MD

Michael C. Wajda, MD

May Chinn Violet Society Faculty Advisors

Lynn M. Buckvar-Keltz, MD

Lisa Malter, MD

Bipin Subedi, MD

Jonas Salk/Albert Sabin Violet Society Faculty Advisors

Jennifer Adams, MD

Jung (Ted) Kim, MD

Cecilia L. Mercado, MD

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring

Your faculty advisor selects up to four fourth-year medical students to serve as student advisory leaders within each Violet Society. These students lead peer-to-peer mentoring groups under the supervision of the faculty advisors. You meet with these groups to ask questions, discuss challenges, and express concerns about medical school with other students. 

Student advisory leaders also make up a student advisory committee that meets quarterly with Violet Society Program administrators to provide feedback on the program. They also serve as liaisons to the NYU School of Medicine Student Council. 

You can apply to become an advisory leader. If chosen, you receive mentorship training. Student advisory leaders also coordinate Violet Society events with the wider university community.

Contact Us

For more information, contact Violet Society Program Director and Director of Student Affairs Steven Hubbard, PhD, at, or 212-263-3804.