- College of Medicine Students
The transition into medical school is one of the most challenging times in a student’s life and for that reason, first-year students have the opportunity to receive guidance from their very own “Big Sib.”
The Big Sib/ Little Sib program allows M-1 students to be paired with a second-year student for their first year in medical school. Each Big Sib/ Little Sib relationship is different, but more experienced students usually serve as confidants, mentors, colleagues and friends. “Sibs” had the opportunity to meet each other for the first time at an orientation week luncheon August 7.
“This is really their first opportunity to have contact with an upperclassman” said Xinwei Liu, second-year class president who helped facilitate this year’s program. “We’ve experienced what they are about to go through, so they can ask those questions that they might be afraid to ask anyone else.”
Each incoming student from the Class of 2018 was given a survey over the summer, which polled them about their backgrounds and future goals as a physician. Students were matched based on similar backgrounds and interests.
For some who already knew their sibs, the match was easy. “I requested her, actually,” second- year student Zhe Ma said of his little sib, Danwei Wu. The two both spent their undergraduate years at Duke University. “When you’re a new student, and not from the area, it’s great to have a connection with a classmate that is more knowledgeable,” Wu said.
Second-year student, Eli Kinberg, says his own ‘little sib’ relationship was invaluable to his first year of medical school. “If I had a question, I could always send him a message, and he’d answer me right back,” Kinberg said. “When you have someone to help orient you to medical school, it’s really tremendous.” He now hopes to be just as helpful to his new little sib, Katherine Mills. “Having someone to provide that student prospective is really valuable,” Mills said. “It’s great to hear those ‘I wish I had known’ stories from someone who just did it.”