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Medical students have access to a number of
formal and informal faculty, administrative, and peer mentors
from the beginning of their first year. Mentors provide students
with guidance on personal and professional development, academic
counseling, and career planning. The diverse and redundant
system of advisors helps students by proactively anticipating
challenges and promoting balance. A fundamental UConn tenet is
that students must maintain their humanity in order to become
successful physicians. The mentoring program that assures
student success includes:
1. The Office of Medical Student Affairs.
The administrative staff, faculty and deans in the student
affairs help coordinate all aspects of medical student
activities and advising. The office adheres to a true open-door
policy, to foster a rapid response to student needs through
unscheduled and scheduled appointments.
2. The Associate Dean for Medical Student Affairs
is charged with following the progress of each student, and with
coordinating all other components of student mentoring. The
associate dean is available for all types of counseling, serving
also to triage students to other advisors with specific
expertise as appropriate. He/she is also responsible for
compiling a comprehensive written evaluation of students'
overall performance, the Medical Student Performance Evaluation,
in the fourth year as part of the residency application.
3. The Assistant Dean for Admissions has an
essential complementary role to the associate dean as a medical
student advisor. The assistant dean is responsible for
administering the Fifth-Year Enrichment Program, designed to
foster student exposure to clinical and basic science research.
4. The Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education
is available primarily for academic advising.
5. The Associate Dean, Director of Health Career
Opportunity Programs, is responsible for advising and
counseling underrepresented minority students.
6. The Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program
provides comprehensive academic counseling for the
7. The Director of Community-Based Education
serves as the primary coordinator for community education and
clinical research opportunities in the United States and
1. The Career Development and Mentoring Program
serves as a major resource of faculty mentoring for students.
The program is described on the
Career Counseling webpage.
2. Course Leaders serve as a first line of
academic advisors for students who are not meeting expectations.
Course leaders address student needs and facilitate referrals to
appropriate academic resources, such as faculty and student
tutors, administrators and psychological counselors.
3. Faculty in the basic science and clinical
medicine courses are an invaluable resource for students. UConn
has a longstanding policy of faculty accessibility and
collegiality, fostered through office-hours, optional review
sessions and course critiques, among others.
1. There has been a formal student "big brother/big
sister" program in place since the early 1990’s.
First-year students are randomly assigned to a second-year
student during orientation. The big brother's/big sister's
function is to ease the transition to medical school by
providing invaluable social and academic support.
2. The Peer Support Group are trained
volunteer students, under the direction of faculty advisor Debra
Johnson, A.P.R.N. Peer Support is a program to provide social
and emotional support, along with encouragement and direction.
The team members assist other students to: decrease stress
levels, problem solve, and/or seek appropriate Health Center or
community resources as needed.
3. The Honor Board is a student-run
organization charged with reviewing, upholding, and revising (if
necessary) the student honor code. The faculty advisor is Roger
Thrall, Ph.D. Students can confidentially approach board members
to discuss perceived breaches in the honor code. The board can
decide whether the code has been breached, and has the
responsibility for formally investigating, bringing charges, and
determining violations. The Honor Board has the authority to act
alone, and can bring in the faculty advisors and administrators
at their discretion.