Every Yale Medical School student is assigned a faculty academic advisor. The four advisors are highly regarded faculty members who have demonstrated dedication to and interest in students and their medical education. Each has 20 percent of his or her effort supported by the dean for this role. The advisors work closely with and report to the dean for student affairs. The advisors meet periodically with their advisees one-on-one and in groups to help students having academic difficulties or questions and to offer advice on navigating the journey through medical school and beyond. With the dean for student affairs, they are responsible for writing their advisees’ deans’ letters or MSPEs.
In addition, the associate dean for student affairs is available to all students to assist with problems of any nature, especially personal issues that students may wish to keep separate from their academic progress. The associate dean meets one on one with every first-year student and any student requesting it throughout medical school. She or he writes letters of recommendation for students applying for scholarships, fellowships, joint-degree programs, and the like; edits the deans’ letters for consistency; and co-signs them. The associate dean meets weekly with the academic advisers to discuss themes that may emerge regarding students’ academic problems in order to bring broader attention to these themes and issues.
Finally, the Big Sib/Little Sib Program, which pairs first-year medical students with second-years, is contained within the adviser groups in order to promote inter-class communication and collaboration.