University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Medical Student Education

Career Planning


Advisors and mentors play an essential role in guiding students through medical school. Workshops, discussion groups, activities and meetings with mentors and faculty members take place throughout all four years. These activities are designed to facilitate the career planning process and provide guidance from a student’s first day through the residency application process and the Match.

Student Advising

Primary Advisors

Upon matriculation, each student is assigned a Primary Advisor who is available to provide support and information, as well as to guide discussions on academic progress, career and student wellness. Primary Advisors are connected to the student’s assigned Professionalism, Communication and Reflection group and Learning Community, and students are required to set up at least two formal advising sessions each year.

Specialty Advisors

In January of the third year, students choose a Specialty Advisor in the specialty of their choice. This Specialty Advisor assists with the fourth year elective selection and the residency application process.

Peer Support

Learning Community: All medical students belong to one of four communities, which increase opportunities for interaction between students, foster connectivity between students and faculty, support academic progress and success, promote personal wellness, and provide leadership opportunities.

Big Sib Program: Each first-year medical student is matched with a student from the second-year class who serves as a friend, mentor, information source, and support system.

Peer Support Student Interest Group: Contact Student Affairs for more information or see Student Interest Groups.

Career Advising

Choosing a medical specialty is one of the most significant decisions a medical student will make. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has developed an outstanding program, Careers in Medicine, to help with this process. Across all four years of medical school, there are tools to help students identify career goals, explore specialty and practice options and choose a specialty, as well as select and apply to residency programs when the time come. The Careers in Medicine program is structured to support medical students through a four-step career planning process:

  • Understanding yourself
  • Exploring your options
  • Choosing a specialty
  • Getting into residency

If students are interested in pursuing residency within the state of Vermont, students can visit the Vermont Department of Health Agency of Human Services Board of Medical Practice Licensing website to explore the Vermont licensure process and requirements.

Getting started:

  • Learn more about AAMC Careers in Medicine.
  • Log in to your account (Note: Use your AAMC user name and password, which is the same information you have used for AMCAS, MCAT, and programs that use the AAMC Login.).
  • View Choices newsletter (published quarterly featuring specialty information, advice about career-planning and applying to U.S. residency programs).

Learning Communities

students The Learning Communities system provides comprehensive support to all medical students within a structured system that addresses academic progress, facilitates career advising, promotes personal wellness and is fully integrated within the medical curriculum.

Structure of the Learning Communities

Upon matriculating at UVM, students are assigned to a Professionalism, Communication & Reflection group of seven students and a faculty advisor. The purpose of PCR is to foster the development of competent professionals, leaders, and life-long learners who share, interpret, and transfer medical school experiences and knowledge into effective actions to better themselves and others.

Sixteen of these PCR groups come together to form one of four learning communities, Bennington, Newport, Shelburne & Windsor. Each community has approximately 112 students, made up of equal representation from all four years of medical school, as well as faculty, peer, and specialty advisors.

Bennington Newport Shelburne Windsor
28 First Year Students 28 First Year Students 28 First Year Students 28 First Year Students
28 Second Year Students 28 Second Year Students 28 Second Year Students 28 Second Year Students
28 Third Year Students 28 Third Year Students 28 Third Year Students 28 Third Year Students
28 Fourth Year Students 28 Fourth Year Students 28 Fourth Year Students 28 Fourth Year Students
4 Faculty Advisors 4 Faculty Advisors 4 Faculty Advisors 4 Faculty Advisors
Benefits of the Learning Communities

The benefits to this structure are numerous, including the vertical integration of medical students across class years, consistent advising with a faculty mentor, smaller cohorts that bring together junior and senior students throughout the medical school years, leadership development, as well as enhanced programs in career advising, academic support and wellnesss.

Last modified July 02 2014 02:20 PM