SUNY Downstate medical students met their new mentors, many of them Downstate alumni, this week in small lunch groups based on specialty interest. This year, and potentially throughout their med school career, the first-year students have the chance to ask for career advice one-on-one, or specific questions related to a specialty.
To date, 1,936 students have been served by the Faculty-Alumni Mentoring Program, said Dionne Davis-Lowe, program coordinator. “We have had students graduate and come back as a mentor.”
More than 270 faculty and alumni physicians volunteered in the past decade, she said. The program connects the students and volunteers. As for a time commitment, the current 27 mentors are encouraged to meet with students three or four times a year, or once a quarter.
It’s time well spent, Davis-Lowe said. Many students form a bond with their mentor that lasts well after the mentoring program finishes, and the guidance could influence healthcare infinitely.
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