Undergraduate Medical Education

Maine Track Program Directors: Dena Whitesell, MD | Dena.Whitesell@mainehealth.org
Program Administrator: Ashlee Plowman | Ashlee.Plowman@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


Jo Linder, MD

Jo Linder, MD

Dr. Jo Linder is the Director of Student Affairs in Maine Medical Center’s Department of Medical Education. She has been an Attending Physician in the Maine Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine since 2000 and Director of the Division of Community & Preventive Medicine since 2008. Dr. Linder serves on the Tufts University School of Medicine Maine Medical Center Program Steering Committee, Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum Sub-Committee and Co-Chairs the Admissions Subcommittee with Dr. Bob Bing-You. She serves on the TUSM Liaison Committee on Medical Education Accreditation Self-Study Committee on Medical Student, as well as the Physician Well-Being Committee the Innovations in Education Grants Committee.

Dr. Linder currently Chairs the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Committee on Certification, Sub-Certification and Maintenance of Certification (COCERT) as well as the Finance and Audit Committee (FINCO). She served on two Review Committees for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and as a Specialist Site Surveyor for Emergency Medicine. In addition, Dr. Linder was a site reviewer for the ACGME-International Transitional Year programs in Singapore. Dr. Linder has been active in professional associations in Minnesota, California and Maine. She is a Past-President of the Maine Medical Association and represented state and specialty societies at the American Medical Association meetings for 20 years. Her publications and presentations include topics in emergency medicine, geriatrics, and public health emergency preparedness.

Prior to coming to Maine, Dr. Linder held medical staff positions in Emergency Medicine in California while serving in various leadership roles including: Associate Dean of Administrative Affairs at the Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science in Los Angeles; Associate Director of the Center for Occupational Health at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena; and Assistant Chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University Medical Center of Fresno.

Dr. Linder earned BS and MD degrees from the University of Iowa, and completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco – Fresno campus. She is Board certified in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Linder holds academic appointments at Tufts University School of Medicine as Associate Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Public Health & Community Medicine. She lives in Falmouth, ME.