OSU Wexner College of Medicine


Our program started in 2007, and now includes the entire OSU Wexner College of Medicine. We now have 78 small groups that meet across all four years, and have representatives from every department serving as small group leaders.


  • Small group
  • Same group for 4 years
  • Mandatory participation
  • Social functions related to the communities Career planning, group mentoring, personal counseling

Program Goals

Program goals:
  • Fostering communication among students and faculty
  • Promoting caring, trust and teamwork
  • Helping students establish academic support networks
  • Helping students establish social support networks
Sub goals for students:
  • Provide opportunities for closer relationships among students and faculty.
  • Increase the connectivity between students within each class and across the four+ years of medical school.
  • Strengthen advising and mentoring
  • Both faculty and student-to-student
  • Expand on the type of physician skills taught and reinforced 6. Develop skills in leadership and multidisciplinary teamwork.


Students receive readings and discussion questions before each small group session about interesting topic in medicine including:

  • Personal Development
  • Professional Development
  • Political and Social Awareness
  • Academic Honesty
  • Disruptive Physician
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Medical litigation/ malpractice
  • Global Health
  • Death and Grief
  • Substance abuse
  • Burnout
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Humor in Medicine


Brett Worly, MD  Program Director of Learning Communities

Joanne Lynn, MD  Associate Dean, OSU Wexner College of Medicine

Lessons Learned

Our program has endured large budget cuts recently, and had to eliminate a Medicine in the Arts Program at the local Art Museum and a popular Olympics event, which previously helped bring more students together across many interests and levels of education. Despite this challenge, we have turned our focus inwards and really succeeded at strengthening our small groups with more faculty members and strong curriculum that is stimulating for medical students and faculty alike. We have also used our OSU Career Development Program to advertise our small group facilitator positions, which has opened up our groups to more leaders from more diverse backgrounds, helping us find leaders that are excited and honored to be a part of our program.