MD Program

Mentoring and Advising Program

Medical education is a fascinating and rewarding journey, yet the path from student to healer is long and challenging. The Mentoring and Advising program (or MAP) at IU School of Medicine was designed by students and faculty to ease that path for learners by providing academic support, career development and access to other resources—throughout all four years of medical school.

The statewide program includes campus-based Lead Advisors and Volunteer Faculty Advisors who work collaboratively to oversee and guide students’ academic progress. Students meet with their Lead Advisor three times per year and schedule about three appointments with their Volunteer Faculty Advisor. Also part of the school’s academic advising program is the Learning Specialist, who helps students get the most out of their study habits and access resources. The Learning Specialist is available to students as needed.

Guidance at Each Stage of Med School

The Mentoring and Advising Program approaches each student as an individual to address personal learning needs in order to ensure future physicians master the scholastic content as well as critical reasoning and humanistic skills needed for success in their chosen field of medicine.

During the first year of medical school, MAP focuses on helping students adjust to medical school, increase self-efficacy, explore career options, hone study skills, engage socially and establish wellness practices. In the second year, advisors encourage academic accountability, career development, research participation and leadership development. Advisors also help students stay on track with preparation for the board exams during the second year of medical school. Third- and fourth-year advising focuses on career exploration. Advisors and career mentors emphasize professionalism, independent thinking, collaborative learning, civic engagement, academic and career integration, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

The MAP provides support through four foundational pillars: academic advising, career mentoring, wellness and connection.

Academic Advising

Lead Advisors serve as the primary advising contact for medical students at IU School of Medicine. Students are assigned a Lead Advisor by the first-year campus and follow the College and House model. Lead Advisors provide advice and guidance to ensure students are meeting milestones for graduation. Students are required to meet with their Lead Advisor three times per year for academic and personal support. Additionally, Lead Advisors are responsible for assisting students with the construction of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) for residency applications in the fourth year.

Career Mentoring

Medical students at IU School of Medicine can explore specialty and career options that align with their skills and interests with guidance from career mentors. At any point in a student’s journey through medical school, (s)he can access a Career Mentor to discuss career options or explore a specialty track.

Wellness

A full range of health and wellness services are available to IU School of Medicine students to promote well-being and facilitate the adjustment to the demands of medical school. These services include medical care, personal counseling, health insurance, and fitness facilities at each of the school’s nine campuses.

Community Connection

Volunteer Faculty Advisors are assigned to each student by the first-year campus and stay with the student through all four years of medical school. Volunteer Faculty Advisors encourage and support students as they navigate their medical school course work and clerkships.

“Thanks to student and faculty input, we have refined our academic advising program to meet learner needs in a substantive and measurable way. Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that these relationships are benefiting students and, ultimately, patient care.”
Dr. Abigail Klemsz

Medical school is a challenging, yet exhilarating, voyage. While students learn a great deal about medicine from books and journal articles and by treating patients during clinical rotations, becoming a physician requires significant personal growth as well. Successful physicians must know how to identify their own weaknesses, work through difficult times and function outside comfort zones. These skills are difficult to master alone, but a good mentor can provide new perspectives and share their experience and knowledge to help guide this critical growth. MAP helps students successfully navigate this part of the journey from student to healer.

Advisor Types

Lead Advisors serve as students’ primary advising contact at IU School of Medicine through all four years of medical school. Each medical student is assigned a lead advisor by his/her first-year campus, and the relationship follows the IU School of Medicine College/House structure. Students are required to meet with his/her Lead Advisor one-on-one at least three times each year.

Lead Advisors are full-time employees of IU School of Medicine, and they provide advice and guidance to ensure students are meeting milestones for graduation. Lead Advisors also meet with students who have academic or personal concerns as needed throughout the year. Additionally, Lead Advisors assist students with the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) for residency applications in the fourth year of medical school.

Each student is assigned a Physician Mentor (PM) by his/her first-year campus, and this advisor provides one-one or group mentoring through all four years of the student’s medical school journey. Volunteer faculty advisors work in partnership with Lead Advisors to oversee a cohort of medical learners and serve as positive medical role models as students encounter challenges, seek solutions and strive for academic excellence. Students meet with their PM several times a year—either individually or with other students in the PM group. These advisors encourage and support students as they navigate medical school course work and clerkships.

Career Mentors are typically IU School of Medicine residency directors or department heads of a specialty area. These advisors help students explore a specialty interest and career options. Career Mentors provide students with considerable planning assistance for the fourth year of medical school including scheduling, electives selection, timing of the Step 2 exam, and review of residency application materials.

The Learning Specialist at IU School of Medicine helps students get the most out of their study habits and access resources, working as part of the school’s academic advising program. Students meet with the Learning Specialist as needed. The IU School of Medicine learning specialist is Kristin (Lively) Richey, MEd, a higher education professional with more than 10 years of experience who has cultivated an honors culture, improved retention, and instituted the career development and planning course in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Kristin exercises creativity to initiate new programs and revitalize existing programs. She has worked with colleagues to present at local, regional and national conferences and has published articles in Academic Advising Today and the NACADA Pocket Guide series. Kristen served as a panelist on “Advising Strategies for Student on Academic Probation,” a NACADA webinar.  Contact Kristin by phone at 317-274-1578 or by email at klivelys@iupui.edu. Her office is located in the Medical Research Library building at 975 W.Walnut St., IB 202, Indianapolis, IN 46202.