The advising function of the Vanderbilt MSTP is organized into four advising colleges. Each advising college includes three-to-four members of each class across all years of the MSTP (M1-M2-G Phase-M4) and is led by three faculty advisors. Each college also has 2-3 Associate College Advisors, physician-scientists in the residency or fellowship stage of training. A small group of students are selected to serve on the College Advisory Board, working with the Advising College Leaders to schedule programming and facilitate student-advisor interactions.
The advising colleges enhance a sense of community within the MSTP and provide additional opportunities for peer-to-peer advising. The colleges meet periodically for social functions and professional development opportunities.
This advising college system is designed to achieve the following objectives:
- Facilitate interclass relationships between M1/2-G phase -M4 to create a larger advising network.
- Provide peer-mentoring avenues to benefit both junior and senior students.
- Identify and provide guidance for students facing difficulties in their training at any stage.
- Assist with major transitions, e.g., starting medical school, beginning graduate school, returning to medical school, and preparing for graduation and residency.
- Utilize faculty members most likely to foster long-term professional/personal relationships with students.
- Offer advice about career choices and serve as a reference to other more knowledgeable sources.
- Engage MSTP alumni and members of the Vanderbilt physician-scientist community.