Medical Program Personal Advisor Network

The UQ Medical Program strives to be globally renowned for the diversity of our student intake, the excellence of our education and the quality of our graduates. We aim to provide exemplary education and support to enable our students to become safe, effective interns and adaptable, life-long learners committed to improving patient and public health.  We recognise that targeted, high impact and quality support is a critical factor underpinning student success and satisfaction.

To this end, the Personal Advisor Network (PAN) was established as part of the Medical Student Support Strategy 2018-2020. This initiative provides targeted and individualised support for medical students and fosters a spirit of community and connectedness. Each student entering the Medical Program is invited to join the PAN and be assigned a personal advisor, who plays a valuable role in guiding and shaping the experience of medical students, one-to-one.

The Personal Advisor Rural Network (PARN) is a subset of the PAN. The PARN has been established with the specific purpose of encouraging students with a rural perspective and supporting rural origin students.  It has the additional aim of increasing the number of students whole elect to pursue a medical career in rural and remote communities.

Testimonials from students and personal advisors

My personal advisor is a wonderful reassuring mentor, who is willing to listen and give advice freely. She is always ready to hear from your perspective, and goes an extra step to make you feel at home. She is someone whose qualities I admire, and she is a joy to speak to.
- Year 1 MD student, 2019

My personal advisor has shared a lot of his personal experience and advice on how to manage the stress and workload. He has also generously shared some resources which he used while he was still in medical school.
- Year 1 MD student, 2019

Have enjoyed the experience and over the year felt rapport has improved with the two students and they have taught me stuff.
- Personal advisor, 2019

I think it is an excellent initiative which provides support and guidance. I wish it had been around when I did medical school.
- Personal advisor, 2019

Contact

Email: med.personaladvisors@uq.edu.au

 

The role

The personal advisor is a key point of contact and contributes to medical student support by:

  • Encouraging an appropriate work-life balance, healthy behaviours and extra-curricular activities;
  • Meeting at regular intervals to “check in” regarding academic progress and wellbeing;
  • Offering positive support and encouragement;
  • Providing guidance on adjusting to life as a medical student; and
  • Recommending other input or support services should difficulties arise.

Personal advisors will typically have responsibility for one to three students from each year group, although some personal advisors may choose to have up to four students from a year group, with a maximum of 12 students across all four years.

Personal advisors are asked to connect with their students at least three times a year (four times in the first year).  Meetings can occur face-to-face, online (Skype, Zoom, etc.) or by phone. Some of the meetings may be held jointly with other students; however, students should have the opportunity to request individual meetings, as needed. We estimate that the time allocated to each student over a year is approximately three hours.

We do not expect personal advisors to know about the Medical Program or the curriculum in detail. It will, however, help to have a working knowledge of the program. Personal advisors are provided with an overview of the MD Program, recommended talking points for each contact point and detailed advice regarding the support services available to students.