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Advising & Mentoring

students studying on beach


The Advising and Mentoring System at UC San Diego School of Medicine is designed to provide medical students with a multi-layered system of support that provides academic, career and personal guidance and advocates the professional development of each individual, as well as the collective community of students.

Faculty, staff and peer advisors function individually and collectively on behalf of each student's journey through the medical school experience.

The following are individual elements of this overall system of support.

Senior Faculty Advisor

Students select a Senior Faculty Advisor in the middle of their third year of medical school. Serving as the student’s academic advisor for the remainder of the curriculum, the duties of the Senior Faculty Advisor include: reviewing fourth year electives, career counseling and advising about the residency process; review of postgraduate application materials and personal statement sent in support of postgraduate training. The Senior Faculty Advisor may be any faculty member who agrees to serve in this capacity.

The student may select a faculty member in the field they wish to apply in, or a faculty member with whom the student has worked, such as a clerkship preceptor or ISP chair. 

Senior Mentor

Senior Mentors are fourth year medical students who are available to first, second and third year medical students for consultation and guidance. They are there to share valuable information with fellow students, providing support, wisdom and insight from their own recent experiences.


Big Sib

Big Sibs provide informal advising and mentoring that is flexible, proactive and positive in nature. Since preclinical students see each other on a regular basis, there can be frequent contact between
Big Sibs and their Lil Sibs.

These pairings serve as sounding boards for common, everyday questions relating to courses, administrative matters, and the UC San Diego and San Diego community.

Capstone Project Mentors

The Capstone Project is a self-driven academic project linked to a student’s chosen elective concentration, typically completed in the fourth year. It provides an opportunity for students to apply independent thinking, creative problem-solving, and critical skills crucial for practicing medicine. Students may identify up to 3 Capstone Project Mentors, faculty mentors who will offer invaluable guidance, expertise, and supervision throughout their project. Capstone Project Mentors provide essential support and impart valuable insights and professional development, enhancing the overall experience.