Creating Well-Rounded Physicians: Q&A with Dr. Marie Sosa

This summer, our longitudinal clinical educators (LCEs) share their experiences mentoring the next generation of physicians at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Marie Anne Sosa with a group of medical students she mentors

Serving as a longitudinal clinical educator (LCE) has been a consistent pillar in the medical education career of Marie Anne Sosa, M.D., M.B.A, associate professor of clinical medicine and interim chief in the Katz Family Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.

Dr. Sosa served as a faculty mentor at the University of Massachusetts for seven years before joining the Miller School in 2016. She shares her passion for mentorship and the many roles an LCE plays in the life of a medical student.

Talk about your experience as an LCE and why you chose to become one in the first place.  

Being an LCE is the part of my job that gives me the most joy. Our Thursday afternoon sessions leave me energized and fulfilled as I get to spend time with and learn from the students in my cohort. I love the idea of learning about them and guiding them through their medical school journey, just as I did in my previous institution.

Why is having an LCE important to medical students? 

In the early years of medical school, it can be difficult for students to find their special area of interest and connect with faculty members in that field. While some students are outgoing and identify a mentor early on in their medical school journey, others may need extra guidance.

Dr. Marie Anne Sosa with a group of medical students she mentors during a social gathering
Dr. Sosa (front row, right) takes time to get to know her students in informal environments.

As an LCE, I help them brainstorm and discuss the pros and cons of different pathways in medicine. I feel that getting to know the students and working closely with them on career advice is a unique part of our work.

What do you want your students to take away from their LCE sessions?

During our group sessions, we cover an array of medical topics to create well-rounded physicians. Topics can range from taking patients’ histories to medical legalities and learning how to become patient advocates. We then have clinical discussions about the topics they are learning that month and start creating a differential diagnosis in their minds.

During our one-on-one sessions, we deeply dive into the students’ struggles, sources of joy, areas of interest and ideas for improving their CVs. These personal sessions allow us to get to know each other for a more targeted guidance.

We also take a break from being in the medical campus and participate in social events to better get to know each other in a different setting.

Any favorite experiences from your time as an LCE that you wish to share?

I have had many joyful moments shared with my students throughout the years. Events such as weddings, pregnancies and Match Day fill me with great joy as I witness their growth and success in life.

Tags: Dr. Marie Anne Sosa, longitudinal clinician educators, medical education