Hippocratic Exchange at Dartmouth (HEaD) - Pilot Program

The Hippocratic Exchange at Dartmouth (HEaD) is an exciting opportunity for medical students to connect with mentors (residents and possible alumni) for both personal and professional guidance. It is also an opportunity for residents and possible Geisel alumni to benefit from the insight and experiences of the students.

Mentoring at Geisel
There are several mentoring opportunities at the Geisel School of Medicine. Some opportunities are offered through interest groups (e.g. family medicine interest group), others arise from informal arrangements between students and their clinical or research preceptors, and there is a continuing effort to foster a school-wide advisor-student community through the Geisel Societies.

For students interested in specific fields, interest group mentors would be very useful. Informal mentors, for those lucky enough to have them, could be great for general professional development and guidance. In addition, students may also connect with alumni through the DMSNET Alumni Specialty Program.

The NEW PILOT PROGRAM Hippocratic Exchange at Dartmouth hopes to add a new approach of having a group of mentors that are able to offer varying aspects of guidance and perspective to current students due to their varied backgrounds and stage of training (residents and possible Geisel alumni).

Hippocratic Exchange at Darmouth - this program has several important aspects:

With these components, the program will be continually satisfying and enriching to its participants, because it will be on a volunteer basis; and care will be taken to match students and mentors according to interest and perceived desire. Longitudinal data collection confers a means to improve the program over time, as well as supply data about mentoring at Geisel which is currently lacking. Over time the program's success, organization, and popularity will grow and attract more members over time.

Residents: interested residents who work at DHMC or the VA are the closest to medical students in terms of professional and personal development. Most residents have graduated from Geisel in the last few years and can offer their experience applying for residencies and now being current residents. For example, they may have recently married, had children, or overcome other life challenges which students may currently be facing. The advice from residents is invaluable for future success, either in coursework, clerkship or residency, as demands and expectations are constantly changing in medicine; they provide advice that is specific and instantly applicable. Once or twice a term, the HEaD Program will provide food for social events at DHMC where students can go to engage with their mentors. In these settings, the groups come together in groups of their own peers, in a situation which is both personal and comfortable. These events serve as the baseline for the relationship - if desired, supplemental meetings can be arranged by the participants on their own terms.

Alumni: interested alumni mentors are unique because they are not physically present at Geisel throughout the year. In student-alumnus relationships, it would be important that there be good electronic communication. There are opportunities throughout the year for alumni to visit the campus for reunions or other engagements. Alumni may practice in different locations through the country, or be traveling to the region for one reason or another. It could be arranged that students get an opportunity to physically meet their alumni mentors at these times, not necessarily at Geisel. There could be opportunities, for example, where alumni living in the same region as a student might be able to introduce his/her mentee to their practice. In this example, the student gains the unique opportunity to experience the inner workings of an institution other than Geisel, and this may be considered in the student's later search for residency or other professional endeavors. It is expected, however, that alumni will be less physically present overall due to their location and that their advice will be more broad-based and longer-term in focus.

The program is being offered with the collaboration of the Offices of Diversity, Alumni Relations and Graduate Medical Education.