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An advisory program for first- and second-year medical students: the Weill Cornell experience

Author(s): Lewis M. Drusin | Linda M. Gerber | Carlyle H. Miller | Carol L. Storey-Johnson | Bruce L. Ballard

Journal: Medical Education Online
ISSN 1087-2981

Volume: 18;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: anonymous | questionnaire | satisfaction | academic | professional | research | career | evaluation

Purpose: First-year students negotiate new professional culture with a certain amount of excitement and anxiety. There are different approaches for offering guidance. In this study, the authors present Weill Cornell Medical College's experience with an advising program for first- and second-year students. Methods: Fifty faculty advisors were each assigned 1–3 first-year students who they would follow for 2 years. The responsibilities were outlined to both faculty and students. The program was evaluated using an anonymous questionnaire. Results: For the two classes surveyed (2011 and 2012), most students met their advisors once. For both classes, the most frequently discussed issues were general adjustment to medical school, academic life, and the professional life of the advisor. Summer research and career opportunities were also discussed. Most students were satisfied with the advising program. Satisfaction increased with an increase in visits. Most students who did not meet their advisors established an advisor relationship on their own. Conclusions: An advising program was established at Weill Cornell Medical College that satisfied most of the students. It is important to evaluate its format regularly, from both student and advisor perspectives, in order to ensure its continued success.
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