FMIG Programming Ideas for M3s and M4s

The following programs and events were selected from FMIG Program of Excellence Award applications. Browse the list to get ideas and inspiration for your FMIG. Each entry shows the level of effort that went into the program/event, how many students participated, and a detailed description in the students' own words.

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Family Medicine Match Preparation

FMIG: Albany Medical College

What it took to organize: N/A

Number of students who attended/participated: 15-20

Details: We strive to support the professional development and success of our students through FMIG supported meetings, many with a specific focus on fourth year matching success. Direct access to our faculty and residents has been important to our success. Beginning at the end of third year and throughout the fourth year, the FMIG faculty advisor collaborates with the department's faculty to create an ongoing support system for those students pursuing a career in family medicine. Guidance is provided with group programming such as the CV Workshop, Fourth Year Planning Meeting, AAFP National Meeting in Kansas City, Mock Interviews, as well as individual, one on one advising. Highlights of this process include:

(1) CV and Personal Statement Workshop: Faculty provide an evening workshop where the students bring their draft CVs and PS and faculty "workshop" them on the spot. Students receive directed feedback and guidance from experienced faculty.

(2) Mock Interviews: For the past 10 years our department has offered mock interviews with a team of our faculty who are directly involved with the residency interview process. Though this structured activity we are able to give valuable feedback and guidance to our students before they begin their residency interviews. Many students have commented that these supportive and constructive interviews were instrumental in their success on the interview trail.

(3) Fourth Year Planning Meeting. This dinner meeting is held on campus with a strong team of faculty and residents representing a cross-section of careers in family medicine. This meeting offers students an excellent opportunity to better understand the full scope of family medicine. The faculty provide a clear time line with directed guidance for each stage of the residency application process and discuss types of programs (University vs community), fellowships and career paths.

(4) National Conference: Our faculty attend this meeting annually and we typically bring 5 - 10 fourth year medical students with us. Faculty advisors meet with students before the meeting as well as at the meeting to provide direct, one on one advising on site. Faculty use this conference as an opportunity to introduce students to other program directors.

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Fourth-Year Planning

FMIG: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

What it took to organize: 8 students, 18 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: "Chili and Chocolate": 30; "Match Tips": 30

Details: At our school, third and fourth-year students are spread out across the state throughout much of the year. This makes it difficult to include them in most FMIG events. During February, we host an annual event for the third-year students called “Core Day Chili and Chocolate,” which is scheduled on a night they are required to be back in Madison for instruction. At this round table meal of chili and chocolate, our Faculty Advisor and FMIG Coordinator present the third-year students with information regarding the WAFP’s student resources, fourth-year family medicine electives, and the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Family medicine residents and fourth-year students planning to match in family medicine are also invited to this event, allowing the third-year students to ask questions about choosing family medicine as a specialty.

Last year, we significantly changed the format for the evening. In the past, the event took place in a lecture hall, and the information and the resources were presented as a short lecture, allowing a brief time for questions. Presently, we have used a much more welcoming venue for the event, and all who attended sat around a large table, creating a more engaging and informal environment. Our Faculty Advisor and FMIG Coordinator did give a brief presentation and distributed the details so that students could reference them later. This allowed for over an hour for questions, and our Faculty Advisor and the two residents and two fellows present were able to give more personalized answers and advice. Students who wanted more formal and personal career mentoring were then able to contact Dr. Deci (the Director of Medical Student Education for Family Medicine) and Dr. Gerhart (our FMIG Faculty Advisor) for one-on-one counseling. This year, this resulted in more than 22 students given individual counseling and over 50 hours of mentoring.

This year, we introduced a new event for third and fourth years called “Match Tips.” The event was a panel discussion with three residents, one attending and two program directors from residencies around Wisconsin. The third and fourth year students asked questions about matching and residency in general. Students were able to get honest feedback about what the program directors are looking for in candidates and how to best present themselves in their applications. The residents talked about what it was like in residency and how they decided on which residencies to apply for. It was an exciting event that generated a lot of positive feedback from the students who were able to attend.

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Mock Interviews for Undergraduate Students

FMIG: The Ohio State University College of Medicine

What it took to organize: 1 medical student, 4 undergraduate students, 20 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 93 (40 medical and 53 undergraduate)

Details: The Pre-medical Initiative subcommittee within our FMIG worked hard once again to create a connection between medical students passionate about mentoring undergraduate students going into the field of medicine. We hosted this event again after it was a success as a new event last year. This year, we were able to expand this mock interview event to senior undergraduate students and recent graduates of Ohio State that are currently in the medical school application process. Last year’s event had 12 medical students interview, but this year we were able to recruit 40 medical students who each provided mock interviews to 3 different undergraduate seniors. We decided to have the event earlier in the school year. This was because the medical student schedule was not as busy yet, but also it was right before the medical school interview process started. We began the evening with a PowerPoint presentation with key information about interviewing strategy and answers to the most frequently asked questions about the medical school interview process (i.e. what to wear, sending thank you notes, etc). We also had the College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion contact us and ask to partner and co-sponsor the event. It was a very successful program, and several of the senior undergraduate students contacted me after recently being accepted to OSUCOM. They credit this mock interview experience for helping them calm their nerves and practice in a similar environment as their own medical school interviews. We have already begun the process of planning next year's mock interview event to make sure that it continues to be a success. In addition, we plan on having an MCAT review crash course in the spring semester for pre-medical students hosted by current first medical students who have previously served as MCAT instructors and tutors.

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Residency Preparedness and Career Advising

FMIG: Oregon Health and Science University

What it took to organize: 5-6 MSIII and MSIV students, 30 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 48

Details: We have a series of flagship FMIG Residency Preparedness events that start as soon as students matriculate and run all the way until after match day (Graduation Mentor Dinner). These are typically open to all students but often have a focus catered to a specific stage in medical school. Below is a brief overview of our events from the past year. Most of these programs are organized by advisory faculty, however they require heavy student involvement. Each year we work with graduating medical students to assess what additional information and assistance they feel would be helpful in deciding on family medicine and then preparing for residency application process. This year we successfully assisted 22 graduating students (17%) to match into FM residencies across the country.

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Tips for Residency Interviewing Dinner and Match Day Panel

FMIG: Penn State College of Medicine

What it took to organize: 2 students, 12 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 10

Details: One goal this year was to create more opportunities to involve third and fourth year medical students. Specifically, FMIG was interested in creating an event that would provide advice and help for students who are interested in applying to family medicine residency programs. We decided this was a great opportunity to involve the Penn State Hershey Family Medicine Residency Program. After speaking and brainstorming with Dr. Jason Woloski, a Penn state family medicine resident, a session regarding how to prepare for residency interviews was planned. This event took place the evening of October 9, 2015. Five fourth year students, one third year student, and one second year student attended. In addition, we had three fourth year students studying at the PSUCOM's other campus in State College, PA connected via conference call. Dr. Woloski prepared, presented, and answered numerous questions on the residency application process, specifically focusing on interviewing. This event provided an effective opportunity for students either in the process of applying or anticipating applying to family medicine residency programs to gain insight from a current resident and ask questions in a low stress, friendly environment. In addition, FMIG provided dinner for the students and Dr. Woloski. This event was successful based on verbal feedback from the attendees, organizers, and Dr. Woloski.

Our second event related to our goal of reaching out to 3rd and 4th year students was FMIG's Match Day Panel held on March 22, 2016. One of the most pressing questions on medical students’ minds is which residency programs they are considering and how to best reach their professional goals. However, it can be difficult for people far removed from the process of applying to residency to remember the nuances of the programs and describe how they came to make these personal and professional decisions. This year FMIG organized a Match Day panel for students considering applying to family medicine residencies. We asked 4th year medical students who had matched into diverse programs in family medicine to host a panel discussion on the process of applying to residency and what drew them to their respective programs. This panel discussion was open to all medical students, but primarily aimed toward 3rd year students who are closest to the residency application process. Our club provided dinner to the attendees and facilitated discussion between the students.

For the future, we believe it would be beneficial to hold these sessions again next year as well as an additional session on a different aspect of the residency application process based on feedback from current students. We believe these sessions are extremely valuable for current third and fourth year students and provide a great opportunity to involve both older students and current residents.