About

Becky Zon (Class of 2017), Dr. Suzanne Bradley, Dr. Carol Kauffman, and Erika Rekoumis (Class of 2018)

The Galen's Smoker is an annual musical parody of life at the Mecca and hands-down the most fun to be had at the University of Michigan Medical School. Written, directed, produced, and performed by medical students, the Smoker delights, amuses, impresses, and disgusts through its humorous and juvenile perspective on Michigan Medical School medical education, its gunner students, and beloved faculty. 

The first Smoker took place in 1918, when Galen's held the first "All-Medic Smoker" in the Michigan Union. The performance was enjoyed by students and faculty alike and featured a series of skits followed by refreshments and talks by professors. The "Smoker" moniker recalls those early performances when Galen's men enjoyed the pleasures of tobacco along with their ribald humor. 

In 1937, Galen's members began a tradition of formally recognizing those faculty members that display commitment to and excellence in medical student teaching. That year, Dr. F. C. Hodges was named the first "Knight of the Silver Shovel," and today Galen's members continue to recognize excellent medical school faculty and resident physicians through the Silver Shovel, Elizabeth Crosby, and Bronze Beeper awards. These awards are presented on closing night of the Smoker. 

Although humorous in nature, the purpose of the Smoker has been and continues to be the encouragement of cooperation and understanding between faculty and students. With the historic Lydia Mendelssohn theater as its venue and the superb talents of its writers, cast, and crew, the Smoker is always much anticipated by the entire University of Michigan medical community. 

If you don't believe us, check out the following testimonials:* 

"When I think of the Smoker, I think of three things: Awe-inspiring actors. Ingenious plot lines without any holes. Why isn't it 30 minutes longer?!" -Dr. Suzanne Bradley, Dept. of Infectious Disease 

"Like a honking saddle embolus, the Smoker takes my breath away!" - Dr. Cyril Grum, Pulmonary Medicine 

"The Smoker is like a box of cadavers. You never know what you're going to get." - Drs. Foxlup, together forever. 

"Really good, but honestly not quite as good as cats. It could've used more students dressed in super-tight outfits purring, scratching, and licking each other. Yea, that would've been nice. Mmmmm." - Dr. Terry Platchek, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and former Smoker Czar 

"Twice a year I get to be reunited with my one true love! I still get tingly all over every time I see her majesty" - The Giant Penis


"I've always wanted to be portrayed as the Giant Rectum." - Dr. Michael Sabel, Surg Onc

Interviewer for Gen Surg Residency at UMHS: "So where do you see yourself in 10 years?"
Current Smoker Czar: "Sitting in a patron seat in Lydia Mendelssohn watching myself get smoked. It's an honor to be smoked because you know you made an impact on your students."

"You wanna know the secret to not being made fun of in the Smoker? Never show your face to medical students. Ever. As far as they're concerned, I don't even exist." -Dr. Allen Lichter, Radiation Oncology and former Medical School Dean 

Most of these quotes aren't real. Please don't sue us. 

The Galens Smoker is produced by the Galens Medical Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit and medical student organization with over a one-hundred year history at the University of Michigan. Galens brings together faculty and students through community service and social events. For more information about our parent organization, see the Galens Medical Society website.