CALM (Collaborative Approaches to Learning Medicine) is a student-run organization that provides tutors and mentors for incoming first-year students.
At Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, collaboration and collegiality are considered vital to success in both medical school and in lifelong professional development. This means the medical school curriculum has many differences from undergraduate and other educational experiences. For first year students, especially, there is a lot to learn about how medical school “works” and what to expect from the variety of courses and myriad types of new tests and requirements. Information and support from those who have more experience can make a big difference.
Whether you are an outgoing or keep-it-all to yourself kind of personality, it’s important to learn from peers and colleagues as well as from faculty and administration. Each student responsible to know the school and course policies and all of you will have mandatory sessions with administration to get crucial information and feedback at many points during your course of study. It is also natural and growth promoting if you are wise in the way you network with other students and learn to benefit from peers. Each student must strike the right balance; choosing the type and amount of guidance that is best for you as an individual while developing your ability to self-assess your progress and use all your best resources on the path to your professional future.
As part of the NJMS experience students benefit directly from the mentoring and support of students in the class above them through the program known as CALM – Collaborative Approach to Learning Medicine. In cooperation with faculty and administration, CALM is run by students, for students, working closely with both The Center for Academic Success and Enrichment (CASE) and the NJMS Office of Student Affairs (OSA).
CALM provides 3 major services to first year students through Mentoring, Academic Reviews and tutoring. Mentoring begins during Orientation week and for many it continues throughout the following 3 years of medical school. CALM activities are especially visible during first year, to accommodate the many changes and accelerated “learning curve” common in the new students’ experience. The CALM Services and the Program Coordinators – chosen from the current Class of 2017 to serve the current first year Class of 2018 – are listed below, along with a brief description of the assistance provided.
The faculty advisor for CALM is Dr. Sarah Karl, Assistant Dean of Academic Development and Student Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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