Academic Colleges are small learning communities that bring together gifted faculty members with small groups of students (typically six) so the students can observe and mirror the professional clinical skills, behaviors, and attitudes of a highly experienced physician.
Students are assigned to one of the six Colleges on their first day of medical school and remain in that College for all four years of their education. The Colleges, named after prestigious former faculty members, add clinical experiences and a doctoring course early in the curriculum. During their first two years, students meet weekly with faculty members in their College group.
"My favorite part of the curriculum is the weekly Colleges session. We get personal contact with a physician mentor who teaches us what it's really like to be a physician. They teach us skills, give us advice, and share their experiences. I always look forward to it."
– Annette Li, Class of 2013
Academic Colleges Namesakes
Learning, Practicing, Discussing
Through the Academic Colleges curriculum, first-year students learn how to take a medical history and perform a physical exam. At the end of that year, and all through the second year, students practice their skills through hospital visits, interviewing and examining patients, and ultimately presenting patients to fellow College members and their faculty mentors. College groups also meet with their mentors to discuss important areas such as ethics, case-based learning, and medical professionalism.
Away from class work and clinical care, Colleges also serve as an opportunity to build relationships – as well as instill collegiality and camaraderie – during numerous community and recreational activities such as the College Cup.
The College Cup is designed to nurture the development of the well-rounded physician. Each of the six Colleges is awarded points for participation or success in activities throughout the year that fall into three categories: altruism, recreation, and academic. The College with the most points at the end of each year wins the honor of their College name being inscribed on a trophy, which is displayed in the Bryan Williams, M.D. Student Center. Relationships that begin on the first day of school can lead to lifelong friendships.