The University of Wisconsin Medical School began a class mentor program in the fall of 1985. Five senior physician faculty members, all in their 60s, have served as mentors thus far, one for each entering class since 1985. Each is asked to spend at least half of his or her time attending courses through four years with the assigned class. The program objectives are to use the experience of senior clinical faculty to help students realize how the information and concepts they learn are important in the practice of medicine, to help with understanding clinical decision making, to provide unique feedback to the faculty and administration on the curriculum and quality of teaching, and to have respected senior faculty serve as advocates for incorporating current education concepts into the medical education program. The mentors have no preset agenda or procedures to accomplish these objectives; each uses his or her own style and interests. Reaction to the program from all parties has been highly favorable: students have been enthusiastic about their encounters with the mentors; the mentors have experienced a new lease on life; and the medical school administration has continued the program as a way of implementing the GPEP recommendation that deans and department chairmen exhibit their commitment to education by their own attitudes and actions.
(C) 1990 Association of American Medical Colleges