Shaping Geisel’s Coaching Program

To better help students navigate the challenges of medical school and support their professional development, the Geisel School of Medicine began replacing its longstanding advising system with a new longitudinal coaching program for incoming first-year students at the start of the 2019 academic year.

Historically, the advising system consisted of two Geisel faculty advisors supporting all medical students. The new coaching program utilizes 23 faculty members who each coach small groups of students. The longitudinal relationship of medical students with a faculty coach for the duration of their studies, encourages close rapport between students and their coach to maintain consistent academic and professional support. Through small group and individual coaching sessions, the program aims to improve student support for enculturation into the medical profession in the domains of wellbeing, professional identity development, and academic planning. Coaches also provide a key link to other academic and support services at Geisel.

Out of an interest in understanding if coaching was meeting student needs, a cohort of fourth-year medical students (now alumni)—Julia Berkowitz MED ’20, Bianca Di Cocco MED ’20, Reza Hessabi MED ’20, Alexander Kettering MED ’20, Devanshi Mehta MED ’20, and Christiaan Rees MED ’20, Guarini ’18—initiated a quality improvement project.

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