Undergraduate Medical Education

Maine Track Program Directors: Dena Whitesell, MD | Dena.Whitesell@mainehealth.org
Program Administrator: Madi Brooks | Madeline.Brooks@mainehealth.org
Teaching Format: Team-based Coaching
Learner Type: All Maine Track Medical Students
Estimated Time Commitment: Inquire to learn more about the time commitment
Time of Year: Inquire to learn more

Tufts University School of Medicine Learning Communities Coaching Program

The TUSM Coaching Program is designed to establish longitudinal faculty member-student relationships throughout the 4-year medical school training. The goal of the program is to assist and enhance each student’s personal, professional and academic development towards becoming a physician.

Overall Role of the Coach: To facilitate promoting student’s academic performance throughout medical school by assisting the student with reflecting on, discussing and self-assessing his/her academic, professional and personal development while providing formative feedback. It is essential that the Coach is committed to continuing this role with his/her students through the completion of their medical school career.

Required Qualities of the Coach

  • Skilled clinical faculty at a TUSM affiliated clinical teaching site
  • Enthusiastic role model who inspires students
  • Dedicated to the professional and personal development of medical students
  • Adept at stimulating clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Capable of providing timely and specific feedback geared toward student’s learning
  • Committed to faculty development opportunities to continuously improve coaching skills
  • Prepared to make a longitudinal 4-year commitment to student’s growth

Work Flow & Time Commitment: In the first year of the program a Faculty Coach will be assigned 8 students with whom they will work in both group and individual settings throughout the 4-year educational experience.

The grid below is an example of how “one coach” will work with students over time. Coaches will acquire 8 new students every other year.  Once the coach enters their third year of the program they will have a total of 16 assigned students from then forward (either 1st and 3rd-year students or 2nd and 4th-year students)

Academic Year First Year
Second Year Students Third Year Students Fourth Year Students Total
2019-2020 8
2020-2021 8


2022-2023 8
2023-2024 8
2024-2025 8

*M23= Class of 2023, **M25=Class of 2025, ***M27=Class of 2027

Each coach is expected to dedicate, on average, 15% of their time (0.15 FTE) to the coaching program (e.g. between a half to one full day per week over the course of the year).

Specific Coach Responsibilities: The Coach responsibilities will change depending on the students’ year and may consist of the following:

  • Faculty Retreats
  • Faculty Development
  • Review each student’s Academic Performance and Personal and Professional Development
  • Coach-Student Group Activities
  • Problem Based Learning (PBL) Course (August- February 1st yr students)
  • Student’s Orientation


Overview of specific activities that pertain to each year of a student’s medical school training:

Year 1

  • PBL: Participation as a faculty facilitator
  • MIDPR (Medical Interviewing and the Doctor-Patient Relationship) Course (Sept-Nov):  Review videotapes of student-patient interviews and provide formative feedback during regularly scheduled Coach-Student Sessions.
  • CAP (Competency-based Apprenticeship in Primary Care) Course (May and June): Review write-ups of student reflections and evaluations from CAP experiences

Year 2

  • CAP (August-March): Review student reflections and evaluations from CAP experiences
  • Organ Systems Courses (Aug-March): Review exam results, meet with students as needed
  • Clinical Reasoning (Aug – January): Review progress after each unit
  • Third Year Boot Camp (March-April): Review student oral presentation skills

Year 3

  • Clerkships: Review clerkship evaluations
  • Clerkship Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE): Review and provide feedback on clerkship and final OSCE sessions
  • Intersession Involvement: Meet with each student during the December and June intersession periods
  • Group Dinners: Hold two group dinners during the third year

Year 4

  • Acting Internships: Review sub-internships and elective evaluations
  • Discuss Professional and Personal Identity Development: Discussion on student’s growth during medical school and reflection on student’s career and professional life aspirations.
  • Transition to residency: help students reflect on their preparedness for residency academically and emotionally