UQ MD Personal Advisor Network

The UQ Doctor of Medicine (MD) program strives to be globally renowned for the diversity of our student intake, the excellence of our education and the quality of our graduates. We aim to provide exemplary education and support to enable our students to become safe, effective interns and adaptable, life-long learners committed to improving patient and public health.  We recognise that targeted, high impact and quality support is a critical factor underpinning student success and satisfaction.

The Personal Advisor Network (PAN) is an integral part of the Medical Student Aspirations and Support Strategy 2024-2026 and provides targeted and individualised support for medical students to help foster a spirit of community and connectedness. Each student entering the MD program is invited to join the PAN and be assigned a personal advisor, who plays a valuable role in guiding and shaping the experience of medical students.

The Personal Advisor Rural Network (PARN) is a subset of the PAN. The PARN has been established with the specific purpose of encouraging students with a rural perspective and supporting rural origin students or those interested in pursuing a medical career in rural and remote communities.  It has the additional aim of increasing the number of students who elect to pursue a medical career in rural and remote communities.

Testimonials from students and personal advisors

The PAN is a great initiative which helped me feel a part of the UQ medical community from the very beginning.
- Year 1 MD student, 2021

I have really enjoyed being involved in PAN this year as meeting up with my personal advisor was engaging and motivating as I navigated my first year of medicine. Being able to spend time talking to a specialist about his work and life gave me insight into the learning that is ahead of me in my career. I felt very appreciative of his time and commitment to the program as this experience was truly a highlight of my year.
- Year 1 MD student, 2021

It has been a pleasure to be a part of students' journeys as an advisor. I hope that the knowledge that they have a person to go to for objective support has been valuable, even if they have not experienced any significant concerns.
- Personal advisor, 2021

The opportunity to support our students, at various levels, has been satisfying, and a great learning experience.
- Personal advisor, 2021

The role

The personal advisor is a key point of contact and contributes to medical student support by:

  • Encouraging an appropriate work-life balance, healthy behaviours and extra-curricular activities;
  • Meeting at regular intervals to “check in” regarding academic progress and wellbeing;
  • Offering positive support and encouragement;
  • Providing guidance on adjusting to life as a medical student; and
  • Recommending other input or support services should difficulties arise.

Personal advisors will typically have responsibility for one to three students from each year group, although some personal advisors may choose to have up to four students from a year group, with a maximum of 12 students across all four years.

We recommend that students and personal advisors meet around three times each year. Meetings can occur face-to-face, online (Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom etc.) or by phone. Some of the meetings may be held jointly with other students; however, students should have the opportunity to request individual meetings, as needed. We estimate that the time allocated to each student over a year is approximately three hours.

We do not expect personal advisors to know about the MD program or the curriculum in detail. It will, however, help to have a working knowledge of the program. Personal advisors are provided with an overview of the MD program and detailed advice regarding the support services available to students.