Learning Communities

The mission of the Learning Communities program is to facilitate the development of safe, significant relationships and a sense of community with faculty and peers while enabling medical students to develop their unique professional identities and find meaning within their academic, personal and professional lives.

The Learning Communities Program was created to provide all medical students with a faculty mentor who will be available to provide advisement and personal support for the student. This program is designed to help with student career counseling, student support and to fulfill one of the requirements for reaccreditation by the LCME for our medical school.

Who is your mentor and how was he or she assigned? Your Learning Communities mentor (or “House Head”) is one of the preceptors in your Doctoring I small group. Your mentor is the mentor for all students in your Learning Communities house and will be your mentor from matriculation to graduation. Students were randomly assigned to each group.

Learning Communities logo


With permission from Zia Pueblo, we are using the Zia symbol as our logo for UNM SOM Learning Communities. For each class of students there are four Academies (Seasons, Earth, Life, and Time), whose names are represented as the group of rays on each side of the Zia symbol. Within each Academy are five Houses. Each House consists of one LC faculty mentor – the House Head - and 6 to 8 students.

Students and their LC mentors will have group meetings, usually referred to as “House Meetings”, once a month. These house meetings will consist of curricular components (professional identity development and clinical skills) as well as advisement and mentoring. Your LC mentor will meet with you for individual sessions at least twice a semester to discuss adapting to the rigors of medical school, balancing school and home life, as well as academic and career advisement. There will periodically be “Combined House Meetings,” i.e., your house and your mentor’s house from the Class ahead of you (this year) and the classes behind you (subsequent years). There will also be Wellness activities with your entire Class.

Most sessions will occur on Tuesday afternoons. You will meet the students in your house, that are in the classes ahead of you, during Combined House meetings to be held in late July and early August.

Organizational Chart

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Learning Communities diagram

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