From Student to Physician
Doctoring is a required course for all first- and second-year medical students. You'll spend one half-day a week in the office of a pediatrician, ob/gyn, internist, or a family doc, working alongside a physician-mentor who guides your every step. You will observe and practice crucial clinical skills, such as medical interviewing, history taking, physical diagnosis, and professional conduct, that you've first learned on campus in small group settings.
Doctoring provides role models for the type of patient-centered, ethical, and humane physicians Alpert Medical School aims to produce. This early exposure to patients and medical practice is excellent preparation for your immersion in the hospitals during clinical rotations in your third and fourth years. Doctoring also gives you a context for the immense amount of science you must master in your core academic courses, reinforcing the importance of viewing every patient as an individual, as a person with a family, and a member of a community. Mostly, Doctoring reminds you why you wanted to come to med school in the first place — to help people.
What is a physician-mentor?
A physician-mentor provides an opportunity for first- and second-year medical students to work with clinical faculty in their community-based practice. As a medical student’s first professional contact in a clinical setting, the faculty member serves as the student’s role model. Working alongside their physician-mentors enables students to observe, apply, and improve the skills they will need as physicians. The physician’s role is to guide the student’s progress from active observer to active participant, one who gathers information in year one and reinforces clinical skills in year two.
Working closely with on-campus faculty to coordinate educational content, the physician-mentor:
- provides the setting and opportunity for a medical student to see and work with real patients, longitudinally, during the first two years of medical school;
- reinforces the connection between the classroom and the real world of doctoring;
- helps first- and second-year medical students focus on the acquisition of clinical skills and the development of a positive professional attitude;
- helps students develop learning goals that are clearly aligned with the activities to be performed and the outcomes to be achieved;
- meets with students to discuss whether goals are met, provide feedback on their progress and growth, and establish new goals that will increase clinical competency;
- assesses and evaluates students' attendance, motivation, interpersonal skills, effort, and commitment to the Doctoring course at the end of their first and second years.
Interested in participating? To support you in this role, the Office of Continuing Medical Education, the Office of Medical Faculty Affairs and the Office of Curriculum Affairs will provide faculty-training programs and will credit you with at least 100 hours per year.
For more information on becoming a physician-mentor and on the Doctoring course, please contact:
Coordinator, Doctoring Course
Jennifer M. DiTusa
(401) 863 2881
Director, Doctoring Course
Assistant Director of Doctoring Program