The Importance of Career Goal Advisors in the Life of Students

UNC SOM students have gotten great residency positions through the Match and we know you’ve played an important role in their success. Your efforts are very much appreciated!

Career Goal Advising Goals

1.    Improved academic performance for students at all achievement levels

2.    Improved career development; successful residency placements

3.    Increased student satisfaction and participation in the School of Medicine

4.    Strong networks of collaboration and support between students, faculty and staff

The SOM Advising Program is designed to be a flexible means to serve each student’s unique needs. In the course of a journey to medical school, each student benefited from the support, encouragement, and good counsel of family, friends, teachers, family physicians and other professionals. This personal team will continue to be a valued resource during medical school, and will expand to include: Career Goal Advisors, College Advisors, SOM Staff, graduates and classmates.

The Role of the Career Goal Advisor

The contribution that Career Goal Advisors make cannot be underestimated and is an essential part of medical school. You are important role models, mentors, and advocates for our students as they experience the challenges and triumphs of their medical education.  School of Medicine College Advisors are resources for professional role modeling and career advising to students.

Professional Development and Role Modeling

Faculty can give students valuable input into helping them prepare for their professional role as a physician. It is important that they understand the demands on the life of a physician while they are planning their life’s work. Faculty can also provide students a glimpse into their profession. They can also offer inspiration and clarification about the choice of a professional life in a discipline.

Triaging and Networking

Faculty can assist students in meeting other faculty members as well as put them in touch with other resources in the SOM.  Seminars, grand rounds and courses are a great way for students to meet people in their field of interest. College Advisors are another valuable resource.

Career guidance

Faculty can assist students in the process of self-assessment and clarification of personal goals which are essential to good career planning. Clinical faculty can play a vital role in the specifics of specialty selection, residency application, and may be a source of letters of recommendation, and referrals.

The Role of the College Advisor

The College Advisor is the front line in dealing with the student’s issues and concerns. They deal with the day-to-day issues that students face with scheduling and personal issues. They provide personal and career advising and direct students to campus resources. They help to identify the students’ strengths and weaknesses and offer advice, support and encouragement.  They assist the student in understanding and clarifying policy and procedures. They assist them in strategic planning to achieve their career goals. College Advisors review the student’s academic progress and if they have academic challenges they refer them to an Academic Skills specialist.



Reasons to Meet with Career Goal Advisors and College Advisors

Career Goal Advisor and the College Advisor work together for the benefit and support of the student while they are navigating through medical school. The responsibilities for the advisors often overlap.

  • Opportunity to discuss your career interests and concerns and get feedback
  • Review and support for your progress towards your academic goals
  • Explore, evaluate and clarify your career goals at this point in time
  • Strategic planning for competitive residencies (research required, externships)
  • Personal advocacy within the University and College
  • Professional advocacy: references, referrals, research opportunities, awards, scholarships, and letters of recommendation

Student  Advocacy

Advisors serve as valuable resources in assisting students as they navigate the SOM curriculum. They may be called upon to appear on behalf of students at SOM committees; monitor academic progress; review exam results; advise on study skills/ time management; assist with remediation planning; offer advice on selecting electives; planning clerkship strategies; and pursuit of research opportunities.