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Faculty Mentoring Activities

Individual Development Plan

Students in the Yale MD-PhD Program are required to complete annual Individual Development Plans (IDP) which will be completed between November and January. Students meet individually with an MD-PhD program faculty Associate Director (AD) to discuss updates in their training—coursework, teaching, professional development opportunities, new learning experiences—and to define and discuss their clinical and research goals for the upcoming year. IDP meetings are an important opportunity for students to raise confidential concerns, to get advice about their training timeline, and to receive valuable feedback on their progress and activities during the prior and upcoming academic year. First-year students meet with the program Director, Dr. Barbara Kazmierczak, and students who have completed their PhD and are planning to re-enter medical training meet with Dr. Lauren Cohn, AD for Clinical Education. Students are assigned to a faculty AD that most closely aligns with their research and stay with that AD throughout their training until clinical re-entry. The AD also serves on the student’ thesis committee.

Professional Development Lunches

Brown Bag lunches are monthly informal meetings with the Associate Directors of the MD-PhD Program to discuss topics in which students express interest. These topics are generally centered around long-term career advice for MD-PhD students, as well as talks on practical skills like grant writing and balancing clinical and research commitments. Recent topics of discussion have included:

“Grant Writing 101”
“Clinical and Basic Science Departments: Implications for Your Career”
“Short-track Residency"
"Clinical versus research time: What is a meaningful balance?"
“The life you see for yourself in the future: how do my choices now affect my opinions later?”
“Decision points: when and how do I decide on what I want to do in my professional life?”

Advising for Clinical Electives and Clerkships

Dr. Lauren Cohn, Associate Director for Clinical Education is available for advice and guidance for clinical activities at any point over the course of your MD-PhD training. All students will meet with Dr. Cohn to discuss maintenance of clinical skills as they begin their PhD work, as maintaining some clinical activity throughout the PhD years is important and encouraged. Students should schedule a meeting with Dr. Cohn at least 9 months prior to anticipated thesis defense and again at 4 months prior to scheduled thesis defense in order to plan re-entry.