The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Colleges Program, a core component of both the Wellness Program and its sister organization Careers In Medicine, aims to address the needs for structured and supportive mentoring and advising for medical students.
Upon matriculating at Vanderbilt University Medical School, students are randomly assigned to one of four colleges, each named after a former Dean of the medical school—Batson, Chapman, Gabbe, and Robinson. In total, each College consists of approximately 100 students from all four years of medical school, as well as those completing their PhD work as part of the MSTP track at Vanderbilt.
Each College consists of two College Mentors as well as several Faculty Affiliate Advisors, all of whom were selected based on student recommendation and a competitive application process. Moreover, a number of dedicated fourth year medical students serve in each College as Student Affiliate Advisors. Together, the College Mentors, Faculty Affiliate Advisors, and Student Affiliate Advisors strive to produce a "home within a home," providing students with a ripe environment of academic and career mentoring as well as support and encouragement in maintaining wellness and balance in many other domains of life. The College Mentors are an integral part of this nurturing atmosphere, and are highly valued for their deep and unwavering commitment to students.
The Colleges Program is one of the many reasons for Vanderbilt's success in producing satisfied, happy, and well-balanced students who love their life in medicine. In addition to providing students with individual counseling and assisting them in finding success in medical school, the Colleges Program plays a significant role in many student events throughout the year including the College Cup, Wellness Retreats, Pumpkin Carving, and the Shade Tree Trot (a charity event for the student-run free health clinic).