On Wednesday, August 13, Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) welcomed more than 50 physicians from hospitals and clinics in the greater Indianapolis area to participate in the inaugural Meaningful Medicine Mentoring Program workshop. The event was co-sponsored by Community Health Network and the Indiana Osteopathic Association.
The workshop consisted of a dinner, overview of the Meaningful Medicine Mentoring program, mentor/mentee testimonials, and a mentoring presentation with small group discussion facilitated by Dr. Kathy Zoppi, director of academic affairs at Community Health Network. A meet-and-greet for the newly admitted MU-COM Class of 2018 and the physician mentors they were assigned allowed students and physicians to begin their mentorships immediately following the workshop.
“Medical students are often overwhelmed with information, especially as it relates to success in school and expectations about residency training and practice. They need someone who can act as a guide, a coach, and a role model to learn how to become a successful physician and be able to articulate what that means in terms of a balanced life or how it can be defined differently by each specialty,” Dr. Charles Henley, associate dean for clinical affairs, said.
“Our community physician faculty are the cornerstone of the clinical education experience for MU-COM third- and fourth-year students. They provide wonderful technical knowledge in the practice of their medical specialty. Even more, they are role models and mentors for students who learn the art as well as the science of providing quality patient care for those in need,” said Paul Evans, DO, vice president and dean of MU-COM.
Physicians in the community are setting this example by signing up to mentor MU-COM students on a volunteer basis. They give of their time and expertise half-day per month during the academic year for sometimes as many as three first- and second-year medical students.
The mentoring program began last year and has expanded as a result of grant funding from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation awarded to Melita Schuster, DO, assistant professor of family medicine, and Sherry Jimenez, Ed.D., assistant dean for educational development at MU-COM.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation provides funding in support of mentoring interventions specifically designed to help physicians and nurses in training and early practice to be more humanistic in patient care. Drs. Schuster and Jimenez were one of eight recipient institutions to receive the grant last year.