College of Medicine MD Curriculum

Rocket Launch POD Mentorship Program

TITLE: Rocket Launch POD Mentorship Program


DEPARTMENT: Department of Medical Education

DURATION: Semester




LOCATION: HSC and Off-campus

STUDENT DIRECTORS: Designated M3 and M4 students

FACULTY: Coral Matus, MD; Participating DME Faculty

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Rocket Launch PODs will be a preclinical elective course for 2nd year medical students. Second year mentors will be required to submit a CV and application in order to be considered for the program. This application will be reviewed and scored by the student directors. Ideally, at least 2mentors will be chosen from each Rocket Launch POD. If a given Rocket Launch POD does not have an interested mentor, then a mentor will be appointed to that Rocket Launch POD. The mentors will be expected to meet throughout the year in an informal environment to provide guidance, support, and encouragement to their new peers.


  1. Create a resource for first year UTCOM students that facilitates the transition into medical school.
  2. Provide an avenue to bridge the gap between classes and make peer advising readily accessible to students.
  3. Expose second year students to a leadership role in which their experiences and insight become a valuable resource.
  4. Enhance student preparation for clerkship years by developing relationships between physicians, clinical students, and preclinical students.
  5. Provide easily accessible resources for academic and emotional support, shadowing, and professional networking.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: By participating in Rocket Launch PODs, second year medical students will:

  1. Demonstrate communication and leadership skills in regards to effectively advising and supporting their peers (EPOs: IPC-2)
  2. Discuss strategies to build professional relationships, both with peers and physician mentors (EPOs: PB-1)
  3. Discuss avenues for effectively preparing preclinical students for clinical clerkship years by building relationships with clinical students (EPOs: PB-2)
  4. Cite the importance of peer learning and how it can be a useful tool in academic and personal growth (EPOs: PB-1)
  5. Discuss their role in bridging the gap between new medical students, clinical students, and faculty physicians (EPOs: PB-2)


In order to fulfill the elective requirements of being a peer mentor, the M2 student will have the following responsibilities:

  • Mentors must meet with their groups for mandatory activities including the Opening Meeting
  • Mentors must meet with their groups throughout the remainder of the year, including 1 meeting with clinical students
  • Mentors must participate in training sessions, including the Mentor Training Summit and Orientation.
    • Training sessions will address qualities of an effective mentor and effective methods for working with M1 students
    • Orientation will define the role of mentors and provide instructions on completing requirements (ie: google docs)
  • Mentors are encouraged to join their mentee group and faculty advisor during Rocket Launch POD sessions

METHODS OF EVALUATION AND STUDENT FEEDBACK: Peer mentors will be required to briefly document meetings and provide short feedback on the usefulness of their experiences with their groups. First year participants will be encouraged to provide program feedback directly at any time throughout the year. Two surveys will be administered (following the fall and spring semesters) to allow students the opportunity to anonymously provide feedback. DME staff will be accessible by email or meeting for any potential problems and necessary modifications throughout the course of the elective.

QUALITY ASSURANCE: Participants in Rocket Launch PODs will be expected to attend a training event through the Department of Medical Education and the Academic Enrichment Center. This will involve a clear outline of the expectations for mentors, methods of advising their peers, and information on reporting fulfilled requirements. Second year mentors will be provided with a short curriculum outline to ensure that each group of first year students receives appropriate and well-rounded advising concerning the various challenges they will be expected to face throughout medical school.

PREREQUISITES: Must be a current UTCOM medical student in good academic standing. Must undergo training as discussed above. Previous teaching or leadership experience preferred.

Coordinator: Jamie Daughton
Phone Number: 419-383-4458

ECC Approved
July 2023

Last Updated: 7/25/23