UM - Miller School of Medicine University of Miami - Miller School of Medicine

Mentoring & Advising at UMMSM

We recognize the critical importance of mentoring and advising in achieving success and satisfaction in medical school. Mentors provide students with guidance and advice, help them navigate medical school, and support their personal and professional development.

Our medical students have access to a number of faculty and peer mentors from the beginning of their first year, and are encouraged to establish long lasting relationships. Descriptions of the variety of mentoring and advising programs at UMMSM are listed below.

First and Second Year Medical Students

MS2-MS1 Academic Societies Peer Mentorship Program
One of the earliest ways our incoming MS1 students are connected to peers is through this program, coordinated by the Academic Society MS2 Ambassadors. Each incoming MS1 student in both the MD and MD/MPH track are assigned an MS2 peer mentor, who will serve as a key source of support and information during this important transition to school. Students are paired based on common interest and matching identifiers. Participants in this program have identified that their peer mentor is someone they can trust, look to for advice about school and life in general, and students have overwhelmingly felt this program has positively impacted their transition to medical school.

For more information contact:
Andrew Rezk, MS2 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Kelly Ann Conley, MS2 MD MPH, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Connecting with “U”
Another effort to ensure that every new MS1 medical student has the opportunity to have a personal and early connection with one of our medical education leaders, each incoming student is assigned to a medical education advising dean, with whom they will meet one-on-one. This program enables students to be assigned to faculty advisors at a critical time in their medical school careers. The focus of these sessions is to hone in on early connectivity, improve students’ transition to medical school, identify personal or professional barriers early on, and obtain resources to assist in overcoming them. Later on, students will be further introduced to topics related to career guidance and the residency application process. One of the program’s objectives is to ensure that all students are aware of available resources and how to access them should the need arise.

For more information contact:
Dr. Hilit Mechaber, Associate Dean for Student Services, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Academic Societies Trainer Mentorship Program
The AS Trainer Mentorship Program is designed to bridge the gap between the preclinical and clinical years. Because of the significant change in schedule between the MS2 and MS3 years of medical school, students in their first and second years often benefit from advice and guidance from upperclassmen who can help them navigate medical school (research, scheduling decisions, career advice, etc). MS3 and MS4 AS Trainers are assigned a group of first and second year students from their individual academic societies, and are encouraged to share ideas on topics such as how to succeed on Step 1, navigate through clinical clerkships, and perform well on shelf exams.

For more information contact:
Ariel Go, MS3 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Brianna Cohen, MS3 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Academic Society Faculty Mentors
The Academic Society Program is a collaborative effort between students, faculty and administration to foster peer teaching of clinical skills, enhance teamwork, and provide students with leadership, research, community service, and social opportunities. Each student is assigned to one of twelve academic societies upon matriculation. Each Society has at least one or more Faculty Fellows who serve as mentors and support for the students throughout their entire time as a UMMSM students. Faculty participate in a variety of society events, often host social gatherings at their homes, and are a source of support and guidance for students in their societies.

For more information visit the Academic Societies website: https://as.mededu.miami.edu/

Office of Professional Guidance and Career Guidance
The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recognizes the importance that professional development and career guidance have in assisting our future physicians to achieve their goals of becoming competent, skillful, and compassionate practitioners who are well-suited for their chosen field. The Department of Medical Education and the Office of Student Services remain committed to enhancing the professional development of our medical students by providing each student with the knowledge and resources necessary to make well-informed career choices.

The Office of Professional Development and Career Guidance aims to:
• Assist each student in becoming well informed about the career decision-making process and the transition to residency training
• Encourage students to be proactive about their professional development and career selection
• Help each student identify those specialties for which he/she is well-suited
• Help each student maximize his/her opportunity to obtain a position in the desired area of specialization
• Provide varied opportunities based on student interests outside the Curriculum: such as clinical experiences and/or research opportunities

For more information contact:
Dr. Hilit Mechaber, Associate Dean for Student Services, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Mrs. Joyce Biederman, Assistant Director, OPDCG, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Academic Advising
Our Academic Enhancement Specialist, Dr. Adrian Reynolds, provides both individual one-on-one and small group sessions that provide opportunities for medical students to acquire evidenced-based learning strategies. Dr. Reynolds works closely with students and with peer-teachers to enhance opportunities for academic growth and support. Many topics are covered in group sessions, and students also spend time identifying how they learn best individually.

For more information contact:
Dr. Adrian Reynolds, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit the Academic Enhancement Specialist Website

Community Preceptorship and Advising
UMMSM Students participate in clinical exposure to practicing physicians in the community as part of the Doctoring/Clinical Skills courses. These community physicians, many of whom are alumni of the UMMSM, provide a wonderful opportunity for students to experience practice and clinical care in our greater Miami-Dade communities. Students may also reach out to their community preceptors for additional clinical opportunities, and later in their training as resources for advice on specific specialties.

For more information contact:
Dr. Paul Mendez, Associate Dean for Clinical Curriculum, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

End of Year Competency Week Advising
As each preclinical academic year comes to a close, during the M1 and M2 Clinical Competency Weeks each MS1 and MS2 student meets one-on-one with a faculty advisor. During these end-of-year meetings, the student and advisor will review various components of progress both within the curriculum and extra-curricular as well. These are important opportunities for students to participate in self-reflection, set learning goals, personal and professional development goals, and discuss areas of strength as well as for improvement in the coming year. Faculty serve as another source of support for students to ask questions and obtain one-on-one guidance for their future plans.

Third and Fourth Year Medical Students

UMMSM Advising Dean Program
All UMMSM students are formally assigned to a medical education advising dean of their choice by the Fall of the 3rd year, who will meet with them on a regular basis to discuss career goals, senior year scheduling, and the residency match process. Students meet with their advising deans one-on-one throughout their junior and senior years. Students also participate in group advising sessions and workshops, and then follow up with their advising deans to work on their individualized specialty selection and residency application processes. Additionally, students get the opportunity to connect with specialty-specific faculty advisors who will serve as further resources for students seeking guidance on information related to their interest in matching into a certain specialty. The Advising Dean will serve as the medical student’s main, personal point of contact from junior year through their matching into a residency position.

Resident-MS3 Mentorship Program
A new program at UMMSM this year, the Resident-MS3 Mentorship Program is intended to provide interested MS3 students the opportunity to be paired with a JMH resident who can be a resource throughout clinical years. During an introductory meeting in the fall of M3, students will meet with their mentors to get a sense for how their resident mentor approached clinical rotations, what experiences helped them ultimately choose their specialty, and ask any general questions about their medical careers. Following this meeting, students will be encouraged to maintain this relationship and reach out to their mentors when guidance is needed. We hope that medical students who find value in this experience will provide the same guidance for future medical students, and in doing so perpetuate the supportive and collaborative environment at UMMSM.

For more information contact:
Sohil Desai, MS2 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Kerry O’Sullivan, MS2 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Supporting our Undergraduate Pre-Medical Students

The Miller Mentors
A collaboration between University of Miami’s undergraduate and graduate students and the Miller School of Medicine, the Miller Mentor program’s vision is to connect motivated premedical students with a medical student mentor who can serve as a role model and a wealth of information about what medical school is like so that they can best prepare for the journey ahead. Mentors and mentees will meet multiple times during the semester, attend various small group events and lectures on the medical school campus to get a feel for daily life, and will serve as a resource for MCAT preparation, involvement in research, service, and more. This unique opportunity provides students with something many medical students wish they had during their own pre-medical processes. This program helps provide our pre-meds with someone to turn to who has recently succeeded in getting through the challenges of gaining admission to medical school.

For more information contact:
Leah Colucci, MS2 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Priyen Patel, MS2 MD, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)