Vanderbilt University School of Medicine takes pride in its identity as a school focused on the individual learning experience and student well-being. The curriculum is demanding, and students work hard and excel at the highest possible level. At the same time, students are supported—academically and emotionally—through through an outstanding Colleges Program, a core component of both the Wellness Program and its sister organization, Careers In Medicine.
Upon matriculating, students are randomly assigned to one of four colleges, each named after a former dean: Batson, Chapman, Gabbe, and Robinson. Each College consists of approximately 100 students from all four years of medical school as well as those completing PhD work in the MSTP track.
Each College consists of two College Mentors and several Faculty Affiliate Advisors, all of whom were selected based on student recommendations and a competitive application process. Moreover, a number of dedicated fourth-year 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" that provides students a rich environment of academic and career mentoring as well as general support and encouragement. 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 many reasons for Vanderbilt's success in producing happy, well-balanced students who love their life in medicine. The Colleges Program also plays a significant role in many student events, including College Cup, Wellness Retreats, Pumpkin Carving, and the Shade Tree Trot, a charity event for the student-run free health clinic.