Watch: P&S Clubs Support Vibrant Student Life
As the largest student activities organization in American medical education, the P&S Club sponsors more than 70 extracurricular clubs that represent P&S medical students’ extensive talents and interests. The P&S Club was founded in 1894 by Nobel laureate John R. Mott and was originally named YMCA of P&S. In 1910, the name changed to P&S Club (Physicians & Surgeons Club). With only a handful of committees at its genesis, the P&S Club expanded to 25 clubs after World War II, and doubled to 50 by the 1990s.
Today, the organizations under the umbrella of the P&S Club span community service, advocacy, cultural, academic, social, recreational, performing arts, and specialty interest groups. The Club’s fluid nature allows new activities to arise as medical students’ interests develop. The mission of the P&S Club is to provide students with outlets for their talents as well as opportunities to build a community outside of the classroom. In doing so, the P&S Club adds depth to a rigorous medical education program otherwise devoted to scientific and clinical disciplines.
Almost all P&S students participate in at least one club over the course of their medical education, and most are involved in more than one. There is no activity fee to participate and many of the clubs actively fundraise to support their activities and rely on alumni donations and income from the P&S Club endowment fund.
For prospective and matriculated students, the emphasis on extracurricular activities is a draw. Rob Zilinyi, P&S Class of 2017 and P&S Club co-president, puts it best: “A distinguishing feature about P&S, and the reason many of us choose to attend, is Columbia’s focus on students as future doctors and as people. It’s equally important for us to develop as students and unique individuals. The P&S Club allows us to develop our interests throughout our medical education.”