Academic Advising

College of Medicine

Academic advising in the College of Medicine is unique and multifaceted. Our advising program operates within the broader context of career development. We believe that academic advising and career development services are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. Students receive academic and career advisement, in a team approach, from four sources: an assigned Advisory Dean (team leader), who is usually a member of the Basic Science Faculty; 1-2 Student Advisors who serve as peer mentors; Specialty Advisors who are MD's; and Student Specialty Advisors who are fourth year students currently navigating the residency placement process. Inherent in our system is a concentration on student success and provision of the resources and assistance made available through our Academic Support Services office.

Advising Teams Diagram

During the first two years, students are required to meet periodically in small group sessions with their advising team. In these small group meetings, timely topics are addressed: the stresses of the first two years; preparing for residency; studying for Step 1; navigating the clinical years; applying for residency, etc. There are also a series of full class meetings in the first 3 years covering timely topics from study skills to specialty exploration to residency planning; many of these meetings include physician or student panels to answer questions.

Students are also required to meet annually with their Advisory Dean and encouraged to meet more often as needed. The guidance is confidential, and the advisor does not take part in academic decisions about the student. The intent of the system is to make sure that no student "falls through the cracks". It assures that each student has an advisor whom they have actually met, someone who will track the students progress, and serve as a mentor through the four years of medical school. The Advisory Dean serves as a great referral agent to our many support functions such as Student Counseling, Academic Support and the Dean of Student Affairs. The Advisory Dean program also begins the process of early Career Counseling; Advisory Deans encourage students to meet with Specialty Advisors to learn more about the fields in which they may be interested. Students are also welcome to take on an additional faculty member as a personal mentor.