Senior Mentor Program holds kickoff luncheon

Senior Mentor Program, the School of Medicine’s long-running program to build skills, compassion, and aging-related awareness in medical students kicked off this week with a Carolina Club luncheon for 195 students and more than 100 mentors. The Senior Mentor Program was developed by the Division of Geriatric Medicine’s Ellen Roberts, PhD, MPH, and is run through the Division’s Center for Aging and Health.

All first-year medical school students participate in the Senior Mentor Program during their spring semester Patient-Centered Care Course.During the program, students meet with their mentors four times in their homes, and they might even accompany them on a doctor’s visit. At Monday’s lunch, students met their mentors for the first time and began the process of getting to know each other.

“There are so many important components to this curriculum and one is the Patient-Centered Care Course, where students learn to interact with patients and hear their stories,” said Dr. Kurt Gilliland, Associate Dean for Curriculum. “I make this statement every year, but you are the teachers, you are professors of our students in this process,” he told the mentors, many of whom are repeat participants.

This is George Meinig’s fourth year as a mentor. “I find the experience fascinating, finding out what the students are interested in and where they think they’re headed in their careers. I’ve enjoyed it and benefitted from it, and I think they’ve benefitted by getting a good look at an older fellow.”

Mr. Meinig said that his mentees this year “seem like exceptionally good students. So I’m looking forward to it.” 

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