We are very fortunate that our department is filled with wonderful faculty who do extraordinary work and happen to be very dedicated to resident education. There is an abundance of mentors to provide research, clinical, or career guidance. Residents are very well supported as they carve their individualized career path.
Daniel Manson, 2019 Graduate
In addition to learning clinical medicine, residency is also a critical period of professional development, and we provide our residents with multiple layers of active mentorship to facilitate their career growth and all-round development. Often these layers serve as a jumping-off point, introducing residents to faculty mentors in an area of academic interest.
KFAs (Key Faculty Advisors)
Every resident is paired with a key faculty advisor (KFA) starting on their very first day of residency. The KFA is part of every resident’s multi-tiered mentorship team and they mentor the resident for the entire duration of residency training. The KFAs support residents’ professional identity formation and process of growth as a physician, help process and incorporate feedback (both written and verbal) across various rotations longitudinally, and guide the residents in setting specific goals and developing individualized learning plans (updated biannually).
The coaching program pairs PGY1s with fellows or junior faculty to provide near peer support in addition to and separate from other mentoring relationships. The coaching program serves a different purpose from the KFA program as coaches do not have direct access to resident evaluations or feedback, rather they serve as a relatable, near-peer guide, with the goal of fostering a non-evaluative space for interns to seek support during the academic year. Coaches are paired one-on-one with residents based on shared non-academic interests and meet with their coachee multiple times throughout the year to discuss important wellness topics including building community, finding your identity as a physician and recognizing and combatting burn-out.
Columbia's Peer Mentorship program was created to help ease with the transition to residency and support growth throughout the first year. Interns are paired with a PGY-2 or PGY-3 who has volunteered to act as a mentor. The program is designed to provide an informal resource that can help interns develop and settle in as an integral part of the program. Peer mentors provide guidance about all aspects of being a new PGY1 including managing clinical workflows, finding research or career opportunities, prioritizing personal wellness and enjoying life in NYC.
The program leadership (PD, APDs, and Chief Residents) have a truly open-door policy, inviting residents to discuss any and all matters relating to their training and professional development. Our diverse group of APDs come from a wide variety of subspecialties including primary care, hospitalist medicine, and various medical sub-specialties. They are involved in all aspects of the program such as educational curricula, clinical experiences, mentorship, career guidance, and wellbeing. Our Interim Department Chair, Dr. Ali Gharavi, meets with each resident to hear from them directly about program feedback and their individual goals. Our Program Director, Dr. Subani Chandra, meets with each resident individually as well as regularly in groups, to guide and support their professional goals and post-residency plans.