The College of Medicine is committed to the support and development of physicians. Caring for and promoting student wellness is a point of emphasis at MUSC. Recent local and national student surveys presented alarming data about the extent of alcohol consumption and abuse during medical school. In response to this information, in 2009, the Office of Education and Student Life in the MUSC Provost’s Office formed an Alcohol Advisory Group (AAG) with membership from all colleges. The goal of the group was to analyze alcohol consumption by students and to conduct educational experiences to promote health and wellness. During this process, the College of Medicine examined its own practices and policies regarding student alcohol use. Careful consideration was given to the fact that moderate consumption of alcohol is a socially accepted norm but excessive alcohol consumption is not. It is an individual decision whether one decides to drink responsibly but having MUSC provide resources for the alcohol is not the message the College of Medicine intends to convey. The College of Medicine has a duty both, medically and professionally, to promote health and wellness.
The state of South Carolina supports the MUSC College of Medicine for the purpose training medical professionals to promote health. It appears inconsistent to spend funds on substances that might impair health. The decision has been made to no longer fund/reimburse alcohol purchases for Student Council groups or organizations or College of Medicine student activities effective January 1, 2011. Alcohol is not banned from such events but the College of Medicine will not pay for or reimburse for alcohol purchases nor approve of open bars to College of Medicine sponsored events (cash bars will be allowed). Activities that do have alcohol present at the functions must still ensure the organizers of the event have completed required university alcohol awareness training and submit an alcohol request form through the College of Medicine. Final approval must be signed off on by the COM Office of Student Affairs prior to the event. These forms can be found in the Dean’s Office.