Lead Advisors serve as medical students’ primary advising contact at Indiana University School of Medicine through all four years of medical school. Each MD student is assigned a Lead Advisor by their first-year campus, and the relationship follows the IU School of Medicine College/House structure. Students are required to meet with their Lead Advisor one-on-one at least three times each year.
This blog will help you get to know the lead advisors on your campus.
Campus: South Bend
Hometown: Lansing, MI
Advice for first year students: Congratulations and welcome! You have worked hard for acceptance to medical school and belong here. Be patient with yourself and take it one day at a time. Do not hesitate to talk with faculty, mentors, and advisors and utilize available resources including tutoring. Listen to study tips given in orientation and from mentors and faculty and work to find what methods are best for you. Take time for yourself along the way and get to know your classmates and others you are working with. There is an incredible team at IU School of Medicine prepared to help and support you.
Favorite stress management technique: I try to stop, breathe, and think through why I am feeling stressed. Usually, I break things down mentally or create a list of the top stressors on my mind. I then sort through the items/worries that I can control and determine what I need to do/where I can start. Sometimes it can help to physically step away and focus on my breathing/refocus, go for a walk, or talk things through with someone I trust.
What I like to do in my free time: I am married and have three daughters and enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I like to read, cook/bake, and spend time outside.
Hometown: Orlando, FL/Greencastle, IN
Advice for first year students: Be open-minded about new things! For example, study habits that worked for you in undergraduate and/or graduate school likely won't all translate to medical school. And you may think you know what specialty you want to pursue, but that could completely turn on its head as you learn more and know more. Expecting change and newness can be your biggest asset in successfully transitioning to IU School of Medicine.
Favorite stress management technique:Music, yoga, and petting my adorable cat
What I like to do in my free time:Travel to new places! Recent trips have included Napa Valley, Nashville, Cincinnati, and Toronto.
Campus: Indianapolis (EAST)
Hometown: Bloomington, Indiana
Advice for first year students: Choose one thing that you love doing and promise to keep doing it! It will become your first instinct to neglect everything in your life to pursue a life of studying 24/7, but this will be detrimental to your success. Self-care is preservation!
Favorite stress management technique: Exercise and naps!
What I like to do in my free time: Dance…followed closely by Netflix.
Campus: Terre Haute
Hometown: Riley, IN
Advice for first year students: Be adaptable and be open to asking for help, when needed!
What I like to do in my free time: Portrait photography, travel, and spending time with my family!
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Advice for first year students: You can do this! Use time management, rely on your support system (including your lead advisor). Get to know your classmates and support each other. Make time for yourself and your wellness. Get your sleep!
Favorite stress management technique: Taking a walk or watching a crime documentary to get my mind off things.
What I like to do in my free time: Spending time with my family, dogs, hiking, working out, watching football, and binging a really good show.
Hometown:San Jose, California
Advice for first year students:Seek advice from students in classes above you in almost everything! They have been through it before and recently, too. Remember that medical school is a marathon and not a sprint. So, early on, try to tap into all your resources…MS2’s, MS3’s, MS4’s, your Lead Advisor, etc. Create a study plan and time management plan early on and try to stick to it. Lean on family and friends frequently for support and encouragement. Do not neglect the hobbies, interests, and passions that you have brought into medical school. Seek to have a well-rounded life while in medical school. Engage in career exploration early and often. Care for self…and others!
Favorite stress management technique:I love taking walks and running. Go hiking in a scenic place clears my mind. I try to get outside nearly every day, even in the coldest of weather and even if for only 20 minutes. I am known for taking lunchtime walks and often invite students to do the same. Trying to remember the bigger perspective of life and our life journey also is a stress management technique for me…trying not to get too wrapped into the moment with all of life’s constant dramas. Remembering the big picture is very important! Yes, you are a medical student with a future as a doctor and, as important as that is, you are much more than that!
What I like to do in my free time:Walking, hiking, spending quality time with family, traveling, reading, and eating my favorite foods! I like to reflect on the meaning of life and whether I am living my true calling and purpose in life. If I feel that is not the case, then I try to reflect on reasons why this might not be the case, and I attempt to make needed changes in order to put things back in balance.
Hometown: Fort Wayne, IN
Advice for first year students: Take the time to get to know your classmates. They make great study partners and shoulders to lean on when you are going through tough times. These relationships can also lead to lifetime friendships. Also, be sure to continue connecting with your friends and family outside of medical school for support and a greater perspective on life in general.
Favorite stress management technique: Get outside in nature! Going for a walk outside in warm or colder (bundle up!) weather always helps me recharge and remember that my problems are small in comparison to the great world out there.
What I like to do in my free time: Spend time with my family and friends, walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, and anything outdoors.
Iyabode O. Okoro (Dr. O.)
Advice for first year students: Keep your eyes on the goal.
Favorite stress management technique: Being quiet
What I like to do in my free time: Read
Hometown: Midwest City, OK
Advice for first year students: Take care of yourself first and be present with your classmates. You are in this together. Seek perspectives from a variety of Year 2 students and resources available to find what works for you. Dedicate as much time as possible to studying while still doing things outside you really enjoy.
Favorite stress management technique: Walking
What I like to do in my free time: Traveling and gardening with my spouse, barbecuing, and getting my heart broken following Oklahoma State sports teams.
Name: Olivia Fellows
Hometown: Paducah, KY
Advice for first year students: Be open and adaptable to change. Medical school is a very large transition from undergraduate/graduate school. You will learn so many new things about yourself on this journey. Utilize the people/resources available to you as they can make all the difference. Lastly, taking care of yourself is equally important!
Favorite stress management technique: Meditation with ambient music either in the morning or evening is one of my personal favorites. I think finding what brings you joy, and peace will be your best technique.
What I like to do in my free time: Spending time with family/friends, cooking/baking, and loving on my two cats, Reese and Isla! I also love giving back to Muncie through volunteerism and board/committee service.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Megan is a communications specialist in Medical Student Education. She calls herself a storyteller, having worked with many publications and companies to write engaging, creative, and compelling content. Before joining IU School of Medicine in March 2022, she worked as assistant editor of communications at IU School of Dentistry, content manager at an Indianapolis-based content marketing company, and a freelance writer.