Learn About PhiDE
Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity creates physicians of integrity with a lifelong commitment to our guiding principles of philanthropy, deity, and education through fellowship, service, mentoring, and formal training in leadership, science, and ethics.
In October of 1904, Aaron Brown and eight of his friends founded Phi Delta Epsilon at Cornell University Medical College. At that time, there were many doors closed to Jewish medical students and physicians, doors which would not fully open until after World War II.
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The Fraternity started funding educational lectures for our medical chapters shortly after Phi Delta Epsilon was started by Aaron Brown in 1904. Each chapter has always been promised education by our Foundation. Members made donations to the foundation so that this legacy could continue.

When Dr. Aaron Brown passed away, this lecture was named after him. In PhiDE, we have a few awards and lectures named after the members who have affected the most positive change on our organization.

When we started premedical chapters in 1994, the undergraduate chapters were being organized and the Foundation wanted to ensure they had educational resources. Because their lectures would not be as technical as medical lectures, the Fraternity wanted to differentiate between the two types of lectures offered. Our premedical lectures were going to be called Foundation Sponsored Scientific Lectures until the death of one of our youngest and most active fraters.

Dr. William Gelfand, son of Dan Gelfand, MD (of whom our Outstanding Premedical Award is named) died at the age of 35. William, known as Bill to his fraters, had been very involved with the Fraternity during his medical school career and had been convention delegate and chapter president. Bill was always smiling, always glad to be of help and always there for our Fraternity. Although be was a newly established physician, he was already active on the national level as a District Governor and was in line to be a National President. When he passed away at the early age, our Fraternity viewed this as a true tragedy. The Fraternity Officers knew that Bill would have reminded active throughout his life and wanted his legacy to be known for years to come.

Please share the history of this lecture with you chapter. We hope that by knowing our history, our members will be more successful in the future.

General Information

Gelfand Lectures are provided for premedical chapters in good standing. Colonies may not host a lecture until they have been chartered for a least one full semester.

Each chapter should appoint a Lectureship Committee consisting of chapter members and an advisor. This committee can be part of the Programming Committee under the Vice President of Programming. The committee should decide on a lecture topic/subject matter. If you need assistance finding a speaker, please contact the Executive Office at least 4-6 months in advance at phide@phide.org. Once you find a speaker, please note the topic and speaker must be approved by the Foundation. Details and timelines can be found below.

Approved Gelfand lecture topics should promote the highest scientific and educational standards in the practice of medicine, medical teaching, and research. They should also promote the discussion of current social and economic issues related to medicine as well as promote the art and humanity of medicine.

Example of approved past topics include: Immunization 101: Dispelling the myths, What Women Want: The New Viagra, Humor in Medicine: Dealing with Death and Dying, Facial Transplantation: New Technology, and Sleep Study: Neurology When We Dream.

Topics like Medical School Admissions, Healthcare 101 and MCAT Strategies, while important, should be included in regular chapter programming and NOT submitted for Gelfand lectures. Please contact our partners and local medical schools to help find speakers during meeting time for topics like these more.

Each chapter may have one Lectureship per academic year. The Phi Delta Epsilon Foundation Office will reimburse approved expenditures up to a total of $500. These items MUST be documented expenses and may include posters and media advertising, travel & hotel room for the lecturer, a plaque or small gift for the lecturer, and the lecture all rental. Lectures Funds Do Not Pay For Student Meals, Parties, Dinners, travel upgrades or alcohol of any kind.

The Foundation will also pay for a $100 Speaker Honorarium for your approved Gelfand Lecturer. The honorarium will be in the form of a check made payable to the speaker and sent to the chapter one to two weeks in advance of the lecture. In order to be reimbursed for expenses, a claim form must be completed. Receipts should support the expenses and the signatures of the chapter President and Advisor are required.

Lecture Goals

Primary goals of the Lectureship:

  • Promote the highest scientific and educational standards in the practice of medicine, medical teaching, and research.
  • Promote the discussion of current social and economic issues related to medicine.
  • Promote the art and humanity of medicine.

Secondary goals of the Lectureship:

  • Promote the name of Phi Delta Epsilon on campus.
  • Increase the involvement of graduate and faculty members with the student members of the Fraternity.

Foundation Procedures:

The name and address of the Speaker, a copy of their CV/Resume and the date and topic of the lecture all must be forwarded to the Foundation Office (via the Executive Office) at least 2 months in advance for approval. An honorarium will be sent from the Foundation to the chapter for the speaker. Please note: the Foundation will NOT reimburse the chapter for any honorariums paid by the chapter.

Following the lecture, a copy of the presentation should be sent to the Phi DE News and Scientific Journal for possible publication.

Within two weeks following the lecture, the chapter must forward to the Foundation Office the completed Lecture Report Form, Reimbursement Claim Form, and itemized expenses. Upon receipt of this information, the chair of the Lectureship Committee will send a special letter of thanks to the speaker.

12 Months Prior:

  • Elect a committee to work on the lectureship for next year.
  • Discuss possible topics, speakers, and sponsors.
  • Get a list of previous speakers from the Executive Office and/or the lecture committee chairperson.

6 to 12 Months Prior:

  • Select a speaker and a date (often in conjunction with the dean, the head of the department, or your co-sponsor) and the location.
  • Get an educational co-sponsor (for example: a university department, a pharmaceutical company, or a graduate club).

2 to 6 Months Prior:

  • Plan the lecture and associated events (appreciation reception, hospital rounds with the department, grand rounds, etc.).
  • Send the speaker’s name, CV and lecture topic to the Executive Office.

1 to 2 Months Prior:

  • Advertise the lecture (posters on campus and in hospital doctors’ lounges, media notification).
  • Send personal invitations to appropriate people.

2 Weeks Prior:

  • Make sure all arrangements for the event are in order (lecture hall reserved, honorarium check in hand, plaque engraved if applicable, etc).

On the lecture date:

  • Have the lecture.
  • Present the honorarium to the speaker.
  • Give the speaker a plaque or another token of your appreciation.

1 Week after the lecture:

  • Fill out the lecture report forms and send copies of the receipts, along with the reimbursement form to the Executive Office.
  • Send a synopsis of the lecture to the editor of the Phi Delta Epsilon News and Scientific Journal for publication.
  • Send the speaker a thank-you note.


Send all correspondence to:
William Gelfand Lecture Committee
Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity
1005 N. Northlake Drive
Hollywood, FL 33019