Faculty Mentor System
The Faculty Mentor System is comprised of College of Medicine faculty members who serve as ombudsmen for students. Scientists and/or clinicians are assigned by the Office of Student Affairs to a small group of entering students. A sophomore student is assigned to each group to facilitate meetings between mentors and students. Mentors meet with students individually and in groups, beginning with orientation and continuing throughout their medical education. Students are befriended and assisted by their mentors in taking full advantage of the institution’s educational as well as extracurricular opportunities. The essential ingredient for the success of the Mentor System is the degree of responsibility assumed by mentors and students. Faculty Mentors are responsible for being accessible, caring, and equipped with accurate information. Students are responsible for availing themselves of the opportunity to meet with their mentors on a regular basis. For further information, contact the Office of Student Affairs.
Faculty/Peer Counselor System
Peer Counselors are trained sophomore student volunteers who offer a support system to freshman students. The program teaches prospective physicians that it is acceptable to ask for and offer support. In addition, the program fosters positive development and a shared, cooperative approach to education. A national model, this unique program has been well received and utilized by the UT medical students.
Aid to the Impaired Medical Student (AIMS)
The pressure and stress of a medical education can tax the coping skills of a student at times. Often this is a healthy means of developing the maturity and responsibility necessary for the profession; however, if a student cannot successfully adjust or employs inappropriate adaptive measures, such as the use of alcohol or other substances, he or she may become psychologically and professionally impaired, seriously jeopardizing his/her well-being and possibly that of others. In an effort to prevent impairment by early intervention, the Aid to Impaired Medical Students (AIMS) program was established in 1982 and was the first program of its kind among medical schools in the U.S.
The AIMS program is administered by a council composed of eight students (two elected by each class) and eight physicians/staff. The functional aspects of the AIMS program include detecting and reporting the existence of an impaired student to a member of the council, confronting the affected student in an appropriate and effective manner, evaluation of the extent of the student’s impairment, and most importantly, treatment and monitoring of the student’s progress.
The success of the AIMS program depends on three critical principles:
- AIMS must be perceived by the students and the faculty as a positive, student-oriented program designed to assist the impaired student, while ensuring the development of highly professional young physicians and to support the rehabilitation of the impaired student while ensuring the development of highly professional young physicians;
- Confidentiality must be maintained at all costs in order to protect the impaired student;
- AIMS must function autonomously and separately from the UTHSC administration.
The Dean’s office is notified of a student’s impairment only upon refusal to participate in or failure to successfully complete the program. It must be emphasized that the goal of the AIMS program is to provide a positive system through which student quality and professionalism are enhanced.
Student Advisory Group
The Student Advisory Group (SAG) is designed to provide advice and counsel to the Office of Student Affairs in exercising its responsibilities to students. The elected representatives (VPs for Student Affairs) from each class and elected OSR members provide student representation. Issues addressed are non-academic and deal with advancing the personal development and professional life of medical students.
Career Counseling and Residency Placement
Choosing the specialty most congruent with interests, talents and long-term personal and professional goals is a major life decision. Programs and activities are available to support students as they contemplate their choice of specialties and residencies. The Career Counseling and Residency Placement program begins in the first year of medical education and continues through the NRMP Match in the fourth year. See the “Graduate Training” section of this bulletin or the Student Affairs website for more information http://www.uthsc.edu/Medicine/students/cim/.
The UTHSC Careers in Medicine (CIM) Program
This is a student-led interest group, which is sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs in conjunction with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Dedicated to helping students achieve their long-range professional goals, this group works with the Office of Student Affairs to promote a number of class-specific events designed to aid students in the decision-making process. The Office of Student Affairs:
- provides an individual, one-time user access code for CiM Web site access;
- organizes and implements workshops;
- obtains Student Guides from the AAMC national CiM office;
- selects and recruits faculty advisors;
- represents the College of Medicine in the ongoing implementation and expansion of the Careers in Medicine program developed by the AAMC.