CQI Corner – We heard you!

Welcome to the CQI Corner!

Here you will find all the latest continuous quality improvement efforts that the EQI team is planning on conjuction with UWSOM to address student feedback throughout the year! Please check back often for updates!

Continuous Quality Improvement: Career Advising Team’s Student-Centered and Data-Informed Approaches

Jung Lee, Director of Educational Quality Improvement, Sarah Thomson, Director of Career Advising, Maya Sardesai, Assistant Dean for Student Development

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) at UWSOM is essential for two purposes: (1) identifying programmatic strengths and gaps based on available benchmarks; and (2) ensuring compliance with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation standards. Using the framework of CQI, responsible teams identify areas for improvement, establish quality benchmarks and goals, implement strategies tied to goals, and monitor outcomes regularly.

Beginning with this issue, the Educational Quality Improvement (EQI) Office will feature CQI best practices implemented by featured academic and regional affairs teams. This month, we highlight the Career Advising team’s data-informed and student-centered approach to CQI. The 2018 accreditation visit by LCME resulted in a citation of “satisfactory with a need of monitoring” for Career Advising Services. The main reason for the citation was the lack of data endorsing student satisfaction with the effectiveness of career advising programs.

To resolve this citation, the Career Advising team implemented the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) tool to address the LCME’s concerns as described in detail below.


As the team has strived to incorporate student feedback into their work, the team regularly has invited feedback from their student advisory board, reviews data from internal and external surveys which include all End-of-Phase surveys, internal survey data administered by the team, as well as Graduation Questionnaire (administered by Association of American Medical Colleges). Based on the feedback they received, the Career Advising team identified gaps in students’ access to career advisors and uniformity of services across the five state WWAMI region.


The team implemented the following key strategic initiatives across all three curriculum phases.

  • Strengthen the career advising office through investment in personnel and improved operations.
    • Increased staffing from two to three positions, including a Director of Career Advising
    • Maintain regular points of contact and facilitate work of career advising stakeholders throughout WWAMI.
  • Implemented the ‘Campus Connections’ model for equitable access to career advising.
    • The ‘Campus Connections’ model is implemented through the Career Planning Process (CPP) which supports UWSOM students in advancing their career goals through longitudinal advising, programming, resources, and engagement opportunities. Each WWAMI site has a dedicated career advisor and each student works with this career advisor throughout their time in medical school.
  • Inform students of career advising programs and opportunities through regular communication.
    • The team developed communication strategies to engage with students via various meetings and modes of communications such as follow-up emails, student weekly newsletters, a career services online advising management system, as well as a revamped career advising website.


After implementing the initiatives above, the team reviewed student feedback from surveys to monitor the impact of their work. The following table demonstrates increased student satisfaction with the overall quality of Career Advising services over the three-year implementation period. MS3 and MS4 students who work closely with the Career Advising team in preparation for their residency applications especially, expressed strong satisfaction (78% for MS3s and 62% for MS4s in 2020, 83% for MS3s and 85% for MS4s in 2021 and 91% for MS3s and 86% for MS4s in 2022).

Below Graduation Questionnaire (GQ) table from students responses show that MS4 students’ overall satisfaction with career planning services improved significantly from 58% in 2020 to 75% in 2021. In 2022, satisfaction as reported on the GQ declined by 3% to 72% and the team is continuously adapting their strategies to improve the services.


The key findings from student surveys identified gaps in resources and services, and the need to further develop strategic partnerships. Consequently, the team implemented the following initiatives:

  • Increased career advising support and career planning resources for Foundations Phase students.
    • Provided a required 1:1 appointment with dedicated career advisor
    • Provided an Autumn career planning workshop for MS2s
    • Improved web content including the addition of a career planning timeline and a video library of 80+ career exploration and specialty interest group panels
    • Provide seven career panels aligned with the Foundations Phase curriculum in partnership with faculty in 23 specialties
  • Increased access & clarity of information available to third-year students for planning their fourth-year.
    • Developed a webinar with multiple SOM partners to provide a planning framework and answer career planning questions
    • Launched a fourth-year career planning webpage and led the vision and development of the general fourth year planning webpages with multiple SOM partners
    • Created 25 Specialty Guides in partnership with Specialty Career Advisors
  • Implemented measures to assess student readiness for residency interviews.
    • Provided faculty mock interviews to prepare students for residency interviews
  • Increased Career Planning Support for BIPOC, URiM & First-Generation students
    • Increased the number of residents listed in the Residents in Medicine (RIM) Directory who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color. The RIM is a list of UWSOM alumni who have offered to serve as a resource for students preparing to apply to residency
    • Developed the BIPOC Physician Roster

The Career Advising team’s work shows what it means to be student-centered in their services and resources by implementing changes based on student feedback while staying focused on the mission. We would like to acknowledge the tireless work of the rest of the Career Advising team including Tonja Brown and Linh Ngo for their dedicated services to our students across the regions.




Below is the integrated quality improvement methodology that the EQI team utilizes: