Faculty Advisors

The student should bring a Faculty Advisor Form to the initial meeting along with other information listed on the form for the Advisor's use. A signature is required by the Advisor on the form and is due to the Office Student Affairs in Mastin #202. 

Faculty Advisors should have a limit of 4 advisees per year.

Faculty Advisors to senior M4 students are volunteers who have agreed to help students:

  1. Design a course schedule for their senior year.
  2. Make a career decision and assist in selection of potential residency programs, and guide them through the process of applying for residency programs in ERAS.
  3. Assist with CV, Personal Statements and Letter's of Recommendations.
  4. Approval Schedule changes and Audition Away forms.

In the second half of their junior year, students choose their advisors from the lists provided by the clinical departments based on a tentative choice of specialty (a student who is probably interested in pediatrics would choose a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics).  Should a student's specialty goals change, he/she may elect to choose a new advisor.

From the standpoint of the stated goals of the program each advisor should endeavor to help the student with the following tasks:

1.  Design a course schedule for the senior year

Students are required to take four 4-week rotations from the following categories:

  • Acting Internship (one 4 week Block rotation is required) 
  • Subspecialties  (one 4 week Block rotation is required)
  • Basic Science (one 4 week Block rotation is required)
  • Transition to Residency is required 

After discussion of an advisee's strengths, weaknesses and interests, the advisor should help assess areas of educational need and help design a program of courses for the senior year that will meet those needs using both the requirements above and the remaining sixteen weeks of elective time.  Students who experienced academic difficulty in the third year may be required by the Student Promotion and Evaluation Committee to take certain courses in the senior year.

2.  Select a career discipline

An advisor should meet with his/her advisee toward the end of the junior year to discuss the student's chosen specialty.  The advisor should attempt to inform the student of what he/she can expect during postgraduate training and in practice.  The student should discuss special needs such as geographical or family requirements.  While most faculty tend to encourage students to take their postgraduate education in university based programs, there may be an occasional individual who would profit from a community based program.  Advisees should be encouraged to apply to the best possible programs, but they should also have one or two less competitive programs which would be acceptable.  Students who are applying in very competitive specialties (radiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, etc.) should have an additional specialty on their list should they fail to match in the first specialty.  The list should consist of a rational number of programs and students should be discouraged from applying to more than twenty programs without careful consideration.

Based on the student's needs for postgraduate education, the advisor and the student should develop a rank order list of programs to which application will be made.

3.  The residency application process

As a student starts the residency application process, his/her advisor should assist as questions arise.  The advisor should help the student decide whom to ask to write letters of recommendation.  For example, maybe one or more faculty colleagues are closely connected with the student's highest ranking programs.  The student would be advised to ask these faculty members to write letters for him/her.

Most senior medical students have "survived" numerous interviews but some may feel that they need coaching.  Advisors should discuss questions commonly asked during interviews.  The student should also be helped with questions they should ask to get a feel for the quality of a program.  Additionally, interview tips are available at the Careers in Medicine website.

It should be stressed to the advisee that the rank order list they submit to the NRMP is very important.  Under the rules of the Match, students are obligated to sign a contract with the program to which they match.  No program should be on the student's final rank list if the student does not think it will meet his/her needs.  If a student does not match, advisors are expected to be available to assist with the SOAP (Scramble), which typically occurs on the Monday before the NRMP Match the 3rd Friday of March. 

4.  Schedule changes

The advisor has one additional duty.  Senior students frequently make changes in their schedules throughout their senior year.  It is the student's responsibility to bring the "Drop-Add," externship, and approval forms to his/her advisor for approval and signature.  The advisor should give careful consideration to the proposed schedule change and to the impact on the student's education. The advisor should be aware of courses offered in the OASIS senior M4 catalog and give advice as to course/s the student should also consider placing on their senior schedule. The DROP/ADD form [PDF] requires a Faculty Advisor original signature at all times.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide a copy of their transcript (printed from PAWS), class rank, Step 1 score, and copies of any clinical evaluations which have been completed to their advisor at the initial meeting.  The student should update their advisor of any change/s in their academic standing throughout the year.