Background: Medical students have unmet needs in the areas of career and wellness advising.
Aims: The goal of this study is to describe the development of an Advisory College Program (ACP) and assess its effectiveness compared to a traditional one-on-one faculty advisor system.
Methods: The ACP, consisting of four colleges co-led by Advisory College Directors and supported by key Faculty, was developed to provide structured career and wellness advising. The authors compared the ACP to the former Faculty Advisory Program (FAP) using two parallel questionnaires.
Results: Surveys were completed by 74% of first-year students, 60% of second-year students, and 88% of third-year students. Survey data demonstrated a significant increase in the number of students who could identify their advisor, the frequency of student-advisor contacts, and the perceived accessibility of advisors in the ACP compared to the FAP. While an ordinal logistic regression model did not demonstrate a significant effect of the new advising system on overall satisfaction, univariate analysis demonstrated a significant increase in student satisfaction with wellness and career counseling.
Conclusions: The ACP was more effective in promoting student wellness and career counseling than the traditional one-on-one faculty advisor system. Similar college-based programs may be beneficial to students at other medical school programs.