MD Program

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1216 MERF
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2600
Phone:(319) 335-8278
Fax: (319) 335-8643

  • Personal-Professional Compass (PPC): a New Elective Program at the CCOM

    Purpose

    The purpose of the Carver College of Medicine Personal-Professional Compass program is to help medical students understand, articulate, and integrate their personal and professional values and goals as they navigate their way through the four years of medical school. This program will promote students' growth as humanistic professionals through written reflections on personal experience, readings from the literature of medicine and the humanities, and ongoing dialogues within a community of peers and mentors. Written reflections will culminate in the capstone project of writing a fourth-year personal statement for residency applications.

    Skip to the enrollment form.

    Objectives

    1. To encourage students to integrate their personal and professional values and goals.
    2. To encourage students to reflect on and learn from their personal experiences in training.
    3. To encourage students toward virtues needed for the humanistic practice of medicine.
    4. To facilitate peer and mentor relationships that can enhance personal-professional integration.
    5. To prepare students to write an authentic and compelling personal statement for residency applications.

    Start Date

    Fall, 2013.

    Administration

    PPC Co-directors

    Jason Lewis, MFA (writing/humanities) and Lauris Kaldjian, MD, PhD (ethics/humanities).

    PPC mentors

    CCOM faculty members will be invited to participate in the program as mentors.

    Administrative support

    Program in Bioethics and Humanities (CCOM).

    Declaration of Participation

    Students should declare their intention by the end of the first semester in the M1 year.

    Credit

    Students will receive 1 credit for completion of activities at the end of the M3 year.

    Required Activities

    1. Submit a copy of the personal statement used for application to medical school.
    2. Submit four written (500-1000 words each) in the first three years of medical school. These written reflections will encourage students to consider who they want to become (as persons who will be physicians), and the reflections will have the following emphases:
      • Within the first 1.5 years of the curriculum:
        • a mentor or other person admired and emulated for personal/professional characteristics that are relevant to a medical career.
        • identification and reflection on the virtues that are considered most important in medicine.
      • Within the second 1.5 years of the CCOM curriculum:
        • a patient-based encounter in which a professional's character was instrumental to a humane approach to care.
        • awareness of personal mistake, failure, or deficiency related to one's professional work that needs to change, with reflection on how that change might come.
    3. Submit a copy of the personal statement for residency application in the fourth year of the CCOM curriculum.
    4. Meetings with Faculty Mentors. Each student will meet with his/her faculty mentor to discuss each of the written reflections in the first three years and meet to discuss a draft of the personal statement in the fourth year.
    5. Annual Shared Readings. Each year all PPC students and faculty mentors will read a selection of essays, short stories, etc.
    6. Attend four Personal-Professional Compass Community Gatherings per year.
      • September: meet and greet session, with introductions and general discussion (informational for M1s).
      • November: guest presentation (student or faculty).
      • February: discussion of the year's shared readings.
      • April: an activity connected to the Examined Life Conference.
  • Enrollment form