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Three 2018 Careers in Medicine Excellence in Medical Student Career Advising Awards were presented during the Group on Student Affairs (GSA) National Business Meeting at Learn Serve Lead: The AAMC Annual Meeting on Friday, November 2, 2018 in Austin. Congratulations to our award winners!

Program Award: University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Medical Student Career and Professional Advising Program

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Medical Student Career and Professional Advising Program provides a longitudinal, highly structured curriculum for their 320 medical students as they navigate the inherent challenges of medical school and a successful residency match. The distinction of their program is the close, professional relationship that develops between the student and our University-employed physician advisor as well as the focus on both career advising and student professional identity development. By the time residency applications are due, students are ready for the process and confident with their specialty choice, as demonstrated by the minimal number of alumni that return to ERAS post-residency for a change of career.

The Medical Student Career and Professional Advising Program maintains a robust advisor training program "in-house," with mentored programs for outside faculty, residents, and alumni to assist them in their roles as external specialty advisors.

The success of the Medical Student Career and Professional Advising Program is also very much a product of the close collaboration with the Student Affairs and Academic Affairs departments. The advisors, learning specialists, and associate dean of student affairs meet weekly to review every student’s progress, which allows for more tailored advice provided to the students. The journey through medical school is a very personalized one at the UA COM-P, and our advisors feel privileged to co-pilot this process, to provide an abundance of resources, to help mitigate students’ stress, and to help our students become well-informed, compassionate, dedicated, and successful physicians.

Advisor Award: Kathryn Diemer, MD, Washington University School of Medicine

Kathryn Diemer, MD, professor of medicine and assistant dean for career counseling at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has nearly two decades of success advising a generation of outstanding doctors. Her depth of knowledge and insight into guiding students through their specialty choice decision-making process, as well as helping them successfully analyze and determine their career goals and plans for applying for residency positions, has led the Career Counseling office to be recognized as an invaluable resource with a stellar reputation among students and faculty throughout the institution.

2018 CiM Excellence in Medical Student Career Advising Awards Advisor Award Winner Kathryn Diemer, MD
Kathryn Diemer, MD, Washington University School of Medicine

Dr. Diemer is a trusted, encouraging, and sought-after advisor and colleague to many other faculty advisors at our institution. Her straightforward and honest approach, availability and responsiveness, and dedication to follow through and follow up is recognized by students, faculty, and staff alike. What's more, Dr. Diemer's years of career advising has produced an established network of relationships with fellow advisors, residency program directors, and faculty across the country.

Dr. Diemer is continually researching and modernizing her own and our office's career advising skills and tools; she is dedicated to being "in the know" around what practices and data is most impactful for her student advisees. She prides herself on being aware of each student's point in their career decision-making process. To monitor her advisee's progress, two years ago, Dr. Diemer approved a secure online, mobile-friendly notetaking system to capture nearly every detail of input and timely updates shared by students directly or by advisors keeping her abreast of happenings with her advisees. Dr. Diemer communicates regularly with faculty members who are also in an advising role and/or work with her advisees clinically to continually monitor and evaluate their progress, and potentially identify any additional support or appropriate re-direction needed so they may identify and find the right path for their future success and happiness.

For years, Dr. Diemer has received notes, calls, visits, and coincidental run-ins with former advisees all around the country. They happily embrace her and, often, share a memory of her positive and affirming nature and role as a key advisor in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

Support Staff Award: Katrina D'Aquin, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine

Katrina D'Aquin, PhD, program manager for career advising, has provided quality career advising at Tulane University School of Medicine since May 2017. In this short period, there has been a complete revitalization of this important student service. Students, administration, faculty and staff have all recognized the improvements Dr. D'Aquin has implemented, and she has been awarded school-specific awards as a result.

2018 CiM Excellence in Medical Student Career Advising Awards Staff Award Winner Katrina D'Aquin, PhD
Katrina D'Aquin, PhD, Tulane University School of Medicine

Dr. D'Aquin has successfully brought together a variety of constituents in her career advising efforts, including maintaining a corps of 45 faculty specialty advisors, a team of 42 learning community faculty mentors, 20 residency coordinators, a variety of clerkship coordinators and other staff, and — most importantly — students.

Dr. D'Aquin also readily identifies herself as a resource to students, advisors, and staff. To that end, she has developed a variety of resources for students, including a "Prescription for a Successful Match." This prop is a pill bottle labeled with career advisor's contact information; inside, students find a checklist/calendar of steps students should take for their careers and a match stick to remind them of the match. Additionally, Dr. D'Aquin has created for faculty, staff and students a series of short "how to" videos on the effective use of CiM.

Students have responded quite positively, demonstrated by a huge increase in the volume of such appointments over the last year as well as by recognizing Dr. D'Aquin with two student-nominated awards this year.