Academic Mentor

Many medical students are reluctant to seek help, believing that they should be able to resolve their problems alone. Clearly, any one of us may require support at some time and knowing that there is a specific support service for our needs can help overcome the barrier to seeking help. The information here, and on the support page, is provided to encourage you to seek help if you need it. It is also provided as a resource you might use to encourage a friend or colleague who needs some help.

When Might Help be Useful?

When you, or a friend:

  • feels miserable or sad for more than a few days, feels anxious and tense for most of the time has very disturbed sleeping or eating patterns, is worried about study methods and ability to pass exams
  • is worried about ability to communicate clearly with teachers or other students
  • has a serious medical illness, or when someone in the family is seriously ill
  • has a relationship problem, or a difficulty with a family member or friend
  • is not sure if Medicine is the right course
  • wants some career advice

The Academic Mentor Program is a confidential support service provided by the Melbourne Medical School for individual students. The Academic Mentor is an experienced General Practitioner and educator who sees students in a private room on Parkville Campus and is happy to see any student who wants to discuss anything the student is concerned about; examples include, personal crises, study problems, relationship difficulties, career advice, physical or psychological illness. Students' enrolment numbers are used to preserve confidentiality; the mentor's notes are totally separate from the student's university record.

The Academic Mentor does not provide ongoing medical or psychological care but refers students for appropriate services after consulting with the student's own General Practitioner. Follow up is often by email. The Academic Mentor does not provide any information to the Melbourne Medical School unless the student wishes the information to be provided, e.g. in support of a Special Consideration application.

Most students are seen on self-referral, but occasionally students are referred by a tutor or from a Course Unsatisfactory Progress Committee. Tutors or university administrative staff are only contacted at individual student request.

Dr Kelvin Lau

To make an appointment with Dr Lau you can: