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The goal of the RealMD program is to connect learners (this includes faculty and staff within the RealMD community) with their authentic purpose in medicine. The specific objectives below represent growth in the meaning, community, and purpose aspects of professional identity and leadership development.

  • MEANING: Greater Sense of Self-Determination.
  • COMMUNITY: Greater Sense of Empathy and Belonging.
  • PURPOSE: Clearer Sense of Purpose.

To achieve the three objectives, there are three main themes of activity and learning: reflection, participation, and leadership.


Activity Themes

Greater Sense of


 Realized through activities of Reflection

Reflection Activities where learners reflect upon their professional identity and leadership. For example, reflecting on why they went to medical school by revisiting their personal statements in their medical school applications. Reflection activities causes one to “look within” and to use personal insight to guide one’s actions.


Greater Sense of

Empathy and Belonging 

Realized through activities of Participation

Participation Activities where learners interact with one another for the purpose of professional development. For example, professional coaching is a core activity for the RealMD program, and students meet with faculty coaches to explore the student’s professional values and intentions. Socialization and relationships are foundational to the development of a future physician.


Greater Sense of


 Realized through activities of Leadership

Leadership Activities which are initiated by the student which positively impact the learning community or the health of the larger community. These are not CV fillers but activities which are aligned with one’s authentic interests. These activities have a benefit to others. Example activities include (but are not limited to):

·      Forming an accountability group for professional development among peers

·      Producing content on social media to encourage learners in the community about committing to purpose

·      Coaching and mentoring other students

·      Developing and leading a RealMD session

·      Taking leadership actions (not necessarily leadership roles) to promote health in the community

·      Taking initiative to complete a project, which benefits others, aligned with one’s professional interest

·      Contributing to the culture of authentic purpose in medical education in a meaningful way.


Medical Student Activities

Below are listed a number of activities for learners to engage in during their time in medical school. This is to provide a structure for those who are interested in maintaining engagement with the program. For those learners who have maintained a high engagement with the practices of reflection, participation, and leadership, the RealMD program will recognize those learners for their commitment to professional and leadership development.

For students who desire a structure for managing their participation, the following tables serve as a resource for students. As students complete engagement criteria for each year, the program plans to recognize students for their effort and commitment in the form of a certificate.

MSI Criteria- Complete 5/6

Theme: Relationships

 - Attend 7 RealMD Lunch Sessions
 - Meet with RealMD Coach 2 times
 - Complete 3 CiM Assessments
 - Engage 5 Potential Mentors via Meeting
 - Attend a Mentor Mixer 
 - Student-initiated leadership activity 

MSI Recognition: Recognition at RealMD Lunch session 


MSII Criteria- Complete 6/8

Theme: Excellence

 - Attend 4 RealMD Lunch Sessions
 - Meet with RealMD Coach 2 times
 - Revisit CiM and Strengths results
 - Reflect on what Excellence is (When am I at my best?)
 - Choose 3 prompts from RealMD Workbook to share responses to or talk about how they helped you most.
 - Share response to "What is something you did this year that you are proud of?" 
 - Write 3 letters of appreciation to others (point out others excellence)
 - Student-initiated leadership activity

MSII Recognition: Recognition at RealMD Lunch session 


MSIII Criteria- Complete 6/8
Theme: Authenticity
 - Attend 2 RealMD Kickbacks 
 - Meet with RealMD Coach 2 times
 - Reflect and respond: "Reflect on something you have done that goes against your authenticity"
 - Reflect and respond: "How have you developed a greater connection to your strengths during clinical rotations?"
 - Reflect and respond: "How have you maintained relationships with others and yourself during clinical rotations?" 
 - Reflect and respond: How do you recognize when you are being your authentic self?
 - Share 3 authentic conversations with classmates or mentors where you shared vulnerabilities
 - Student-initiated leadership activity

MSIII Recognition: Recognition at RealMD Kickback session 


MSIV Criteria- Complete 4/5
Theme: Leadership
 - Meet with RealMD coach 2 times
 - Attend 2 kickbacks 
 - Attend 2 lunch sessions
 - Complete a Professional Dev. Leadership Capstone: start a new activity that positively impacts others - document and reflect on the thing you've done. 
 - Participate in peer-mentoring 

MSIV Recognition: Recognition at Dean’s Reception