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Physician Advising COM-Unity Program

The vision of the COM-Unity Advising structure is to create a sense of “belonging in medicine” for each student by fostering relationships that support students’ professional and personal development during medical school.

There are 8 COM-Unities which are named for famous UI College of Medicine Alumni and former faculty. Each COM-Unity has four houses, with each house comprised of students from a different entering class. There are two physician house advisors (PHAs) per COM-Unity. Our PHAs represent six different specialties; six PHAs are UI COM Alumni, and twelve did some portion of their training at UIC/UI Health.

The PHA works with the students in a longitudinal fashion, creating long-term meaningful relationships.  In close collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs, the PHA performs three major functions: individually advising and coaching each student in their house, facilitating small groups for the curriculum,  and checking in with the students in their house approximately monthly.

Goals of COM-Unity Programs Heading link

The goals of the COM-Unity programs are as follows:

  • Students will be able to name a trusted physician faculty member at COM who can offer advice, coaching and support without any risk of effect on students’ grades or evaluations
  • Students will learn to actively listen and effectively share information with peers in small groups, to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the group
    • To show respect for divergent opinions
    • To demonstrate cultural humility
  • Students will practice self-reflection and self-assessment in order to:
    • Identify and discuss strengths within medicine
    • Identify areas for improvement within medicine and plan a path to this improvement
    • Welcome feedback and incorporate it into daily practice
  • Students will discuss areas of interest within medicine and plan a path to pursue these interests

Physician House Advising Faculty for: Heading link