Academic Advising

Academic Advising

It is not at all out of the ordinary for bright, ambitious medical students to experience challenges managing the academic workload of medical school and/or balancing academic life with personal life.   

The principal goal of the Academic Advising System is to ensure that each student succeeds in achieving her/his academic goals and maintaining a sense of personal well-being throughout their four years of medical school. The Academic Advising System has multiple layers of advisors, resources and processes in place to ensure that each student receives the necessary academic and/or personal support s/he needs to succeed in medical school and beyond.  

LLC Faculty Facilitators
Every medical student is a member of a Longitudinal Learning Community that consists of 10 students from each of the four classes and three faculty facilitators. LLC faculty facilitators serve as the primary advisors for the students in their LLCs. Faculty facilitators provide academic and career advice, guidance and mentorship to students. LLC faculty facilitators have been selected to serve in this role because they have demonstrated, through their teaching, mentoring and service, a sincere commitment to the success and well-being of all students. Students should discuss anything with which they need help with any one of their LLC faculty facilitators.

Office of Student and Minority Affairs
The Office of Student and Minority Affairs provides a number of student support resources. These resources include personal and confidential consultation, subject matter tutoring, study skills, learning styles/personality types, time management, life skills, and test preparation. Contact any of the following individuals for assistance:

  • David Cohen, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
  • Jedan Phillips, MD, Associate Dean for Student and Minority Affairs
  • Mary Jean Allen, MS, Assistant Dean for Student and Minority Affairs
  • Linda DeMotta, MS, Success Coach/Learning Specialist 
  • Candace Chabza, MA, Success Coach/Learning Specialist
  • Anita Henninger, Office Manager

Course Directors, Co-Directors and Instructors
Course directors, co-directors and instructors should often be the first persons students seek for course-related academic questions and assistance. If a course director determines that a student is having persistent academic difficulty leading to marginal or failing performance, then the director may contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Dr. David Cohen who will immediately follow-up with the student.

Secondary Clinical Advisors
Secondary clinical advisors are clinicians and or clinical researchers who have volunteered their services to help guide students on an as needed basis as students consider their career paths. Please click here for a list of secondary clinical advisors. We encourage you to discuss your career options with several secondary advisors. Department chairs, residency program directors and clerkship directors are also useful people to discuss career options.

Office of Undergraduate Medical Education
The deans in the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education welcome and encourage students to speak with them for academic and career advising at any time throughout the four years of medical school. The deans can help students explore the many resources, options and opportunities that are available to students. Each dean is available on a walk-in basis during regularly scheduled open office hours each week or by appointment throughout the year.

Dean            Office Hours  Areas of Advising
David Cohen, MD          Wednesdays & Friday 10-2            Academic (all years)
Howard Fleit, PhD          Email for appointment            Academic (1st and 2nd years), ACE, Career
Andrew Wackett, MD          Mondays & Wednesdays 3-5            Academic (3rd and 4th years), ACE, Career
Lisa Strano-Paul, MD Email for appointment            Academic (all years), Career
Mary Jean Allen, MS          Monday-Friday 8-4            Academic (all years)
Jack Fuhrer, MD          Mondays and Tuesdays 2:30-4:30            Academic (all years), Career


Counseling and Psychological Services
Emotional and mental health issues are common during the medical school years. It is important for you to not ignore your feelings of stress/hopelessness and loss of balance. The University’s Counseling and Psychological Services center offers FREE confidential counseling to any medical student in need. Please click here to access the CAPS webpage or call 631-632-6720.