Our Students

UVA medical students attending lecture in the Medical Education classroomBy partnering with a patient in the first year of medical school, students become doctors who are advocates for their patients, communicate medical information clearly and are committed to understanding the social circumstances that affect patients’ health. Students receive insight into what a long term doctor-patient relationship can be and how to develop a professional identity. In the Patient Student Partnership (PSP), all students are supervised by a mentor physician.

One of the main goals of PSP is to provide students the opportunity to learn the art of medicine through real relationships with patients and physician mentors from the very beginning of medical school. Our students learn so much from their relationships with their patients. Here is how they describe their experiences:

“The longitudinal patient experience I got through this program, played a big role in my choice to go into internal medicine, a field I know that will continue to allow me to build meaningful, lasting relationships with my patients and really get to know them as individuals first.”

 Takahiro Nakamura, Student Class of 2018

“Honestly, I could never adequately summarize the impact this program has had upon who I will be as a physician. I cannot imagine what my medical school experience would have been without this program, and I think that I will only come to further appreciate all the ways it affected me over the course of my career. I will be forever thankful for the opportunities this program has afforded me.”

Walker Redd, Student Class of 2018

“This program changed the way I approached my medical education. Although I am entering a specialty (anesthesia) in which longitudinal patient care is not at the forefront, the relationship I built with my patient has served as a daily reminder that each patient I meet has a story, and they are more than their symptoms and diagnosis.”

 Caroline Ruminski, Student Class of 2018

“My biggest surprise is how making the extra effort to learn about a patient’s background and values is just as necessary as obtaining a thorough clinical history in order to truly address a patient’s needs and concerns.”

 Student, Class of 2018

“One of the highlights of the program has been the privilege of being allowed into the lives of the patients, learning details about them from what I think is a unique perspective, as part of the healthcare team but also of an eager student. I have been surprised at how resilient a person can be, even when they are encumbered by numerous chronic conditions.”

 Student, Class of 2018

“Meeting my patient helped frame the purpose of my studies here at UVA – while I was here, memorizing enzymes and structures.”

 Student, Class of 2018