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Daniel Hale Williams Society

The Daniel Hale Williams Society (DHWS) is SUNY Brooklyn’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA); an organization dedicated to healthcare education, leadership development, networking, and community outreach. The organization is named for an African-American physician who was the first to perform open-heart surgery in which the patient survived. The SNMA is comprised of ten regions. Our chapter is part of Region IX which is one of the largest regions in the SNMA. Region IX encompasses all the medical schools in New Jersey and New York.

The DHWS is open to all COM students

The DHWS’ mission is undertaken with the understanding that medical students of African-American, Caribbean, and Latino descent have unique obstacles which create a common ground of need even in the face of diverse histories, cultures, and languages of these peoples. In order to help fulfill this need a democratic organization of underrepresented medical students is a necessary part of finding and implementing potential solutions.

DHWS is more than an organization, we are a family. Members support each other emotionally, as well as, educationally. All new entering students are assigned a big brother or sister and a faculty mentor through the Office of Minority Affairs. During the year, DHWS holds monthly meetings to discuss relevant medical school issues and exchange ideas. We often invite prominent physician and professional guest speakers to share their experience.

Annually, we host a Premedical Conference and participate in the celebration of Latino and Black History Months. We are active in community events such as, health fairs, preventive medicine outreach programs, and mentorship to various high schools and colleges in the Brooklyn area. The highlights of the year are the SNMA National Convention held in the spring each year and the Annual Senior Dinner we host as a farewell to our graduates.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was one who returned to help his community. It was with his people that he identified both intellectually and emotionally. In his words,

"My greatest reward is knowing I can help my fellow man, especially those of my own race, who so deserve a better way of life."
       — Daniel Hale Williams

In this spirit our membership is responsive to both our own and fellow classmates’ academic development and excellence. We create opportunities to aid and assist minority students who seek a profession in medicine. We invest our energies in educating our community and ensuring that they will have a better and healthier way of life. In these efforts, we envisage and manifest the full richness of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams’ legacy.

If you are interested or want further information, contact us at the Student Center, Box #3053.