The UC College of Medicine has won the 2017 Careers in Medicine (CiM) Excellence in Medical Student Career Advising Program award from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). The honor was presented Nov. 3, 2017 during the AAMC annual meeting in Boston.
Alice Mills, MD, director of career development in College of Medicines Office of Student Affairs and Admissions, accepted the honor on behalf of the college. AAMC, since the inception of CiM in 1999, has been supporting the career decisions of medical students by working with faculty and staff at medical schools who implement career development programs locally.
CiM along with medical schools across the nation, including UC College of Medicine, has transformed medical student career development by formalizing programs, implementing innovative curricula and training medical school faculty and advisors.
Mills says she works closely with staff and faculty in the College of Medicines Office of Student Affairs and Admissions, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Medical Scientist Training Program and the Department of Medical Education to offer medical students excellent learning opportunities along with current and consistent career advice.
"Its truly a team effort of people guiding our students and supporting them throughout their four years of medical school, says Mills.
Faculty involved in the Physician and Society course for medical students and Learning Communities and Intersession Weeks play a vital role in helping our students with career exploration, explains Mills.
Students in their third and fourth years of medical school are assigned a career advisor who meets with students and also partners with department specialty advisors who offer guidance on applying to their particular specialties, says Mills.
"Besides the wonderful team that we have here, strengths of our program at UC College of Medicine include the early introduction to career development, our use of different types of activities across the career planning process and its integration into the overall medical school curriculum, says Mills.
"To meet the needs of our diverse student body, the College of Medicine program offers both large and small group activities during the early phases, she adds. "For example, during the very first month of Physician and Society, students hear from panels of physicians to learn about individual specialties and how they work together in healthcare. Later, there are large group events such as the Summer Opportunities Week and small group sessions on how to write a CV.
"As our students progress to decision-making and preparing for residency, they continue to have class meetings on topics such as how to plan their third- and fourth-year rotation schedules and how to apply for away rotations. In addition, third- and fourth-year medical students have the one-on-one advising meetings for more personalized support, which is especially helpful since the application and interview process can vary greatly by specialties.
George Richard, PhD, director of AAMCs Careers in Medicine program, says AAMC wants to acknowledge the continued administration of a successful career development program for medical students.
"We look for a program that adheres to multiple criteria related to successful program implementation and is effective within the context in which it is delivered, Richard wrote in a congratulatory letter to Mills. "The UC College of Medicine Career Development program fits all of these criteria.