Do you believe in family medicine? Why not share your experience with a young person considering medicine?
Mentorship opportunities through the WAFP Student Mentorship program takes little time, and the experience will leave you re-energized about being a family physician! In fact, according to one family physician, “I had no idea just how much I’d personally gain from it, [yet] nearly every day I have a student with me, I feel I practice better medicine.”
The WAFP Pre-Med Student Mentorship Program connects students with a physician mentor who can offer discussion, advice and possible observation time in an actual clinic. The program is flexible and designed to give the student and physician mentor the ability to customize the experience so that it meets the interests and needs of the student while enabling the mentor to volunteer for what is realistic in the context of his/her practice. The mentorship can be a phone conversation, a meeting for coffee or a meal, or a more comprehensive series of shadowing experiences. The point of the program is to facilitate one-on-one communications between a family physician and an interested student.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
If you would like to provide mentor support, please complete the online mentor interest survey below, and you will be added to our list of potential mentors.
The Washington Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP) Pre-Med Mentorship Program operates primarily as a referral service to pre-med students seeking to learn more about family medicine by connecting qualified candidates to family physicians in communities throughout Washington. The purpose of the program is to give pre-med students with a strong interest in pursuing a medical career exposure to the life and practice of a family physician by providing opportunities to meet with a physician one on one.
The program is flexible and designed to give the student and physician mentor the ability to customize the experience so that it meets the interests and needs of the student while enabling the mentor to volunteer for what is realistic in the context of his/her practice. The mentorship can be a phone conversation, a meeting for coffee or a meal, or a more comprehensive series of shadowing experiences. The point of the program is to facilitate one-on-one communications between a family physician and interested student.
Family physicians from all practice types and in all areas of Washington are needed to mentor students and introduce them to family medicine. (Physicians may need to check clinic policy before engaging with students in a clinical setting.) Participating students have demonstrated an interest in family medicine and intend to enroll in medical school within three years. Student applicants may be either an undergraduate student enrolled at a Washington school or a post-baccalaureate graduate residing in Washington.
Mentorship applications are evaluated and matched on a quarterly basis (see schedule below). The applications are qualified by WAFP staff, and successful applicants are notified of their acceptance within a couple weeks of the closing date.
Approved student applications are then grouped by requested geographical region/city/neighborhood, and an email request is sent to available mentors in the areas indicated on the applications. Interested physician mentors should reply with their availability, and staff will then match the physician to a student and provide contact information.
|For Mentorship Conducted Between||Student Application Deadline|
|October - December||September 1|
|January – March||December 1|
|April – June||March 1|
|July – September||June 1|
WAFP does not dictate how your time with the pre-med student is structured. The scope and scheduling of the mentorship experience will be determined directly between you and your matched pre-med student.
To increase the value of the time you spend with a pre-med student, the WAFP Pipeline Committee has listed several suggestions of projects that could be implemented into a mentorship experience:
- Create an educational experience around journaling, to be reviewed by the mentoring physician
- Student follows the care of one patient
- Take student with you on nursing home rounds or hospital rounds, to home visits, deliveries, etc.
It may also be a good idea to check with your clinic administrator for any specific shadowing requirements unique to your practice (i.e. some clinics require a confidentiality agreement to be signed; others may limit the total number of hours a student can shadow in clinic). Any specific requirements should be communicated directly to the student.
The pre-med mentorship experience is a short-term opportunity for participants. The exact length of your experience will be determined between you and the pre-med student you are matched with.
Many of our volunteer family physician mentors are able to provide at least a few hours of job shadowing experience. The exact length of time and frequency will be dependent upon the practice environment and stated policies of the individual clinic or hospital.
Those family physicians that cannot currently provide shadowing can still offer a wealth of insight into the field of family medicine and are a wonderful resource for student questions. Some of our mentor physicians have been willing to meet for coffee or a meal, or be available for mentoring on a longer-term basis via email or phone.
At the end of the quarter in which you participate as a mentor, we will send you an evaluation form. This is an opportunity for you to provide feedback which helps us to improve and refine the program.
**Some medical schools, including the University of Washington, require pre-med students to have at least 40 hours of shadowing experience before applying. Please note that WAFP has NO expectation that a physician participating in this program would provide a full 40 hours of shadowing. Students are encouraged to seek out a variety of shadowing experiences versus all 40 hours with one physician.**