Medical school is academically rigorous. Often, the term “drinking from a firehose” is used to describe what it is like to be a medical student. It is not uncommon for students who have never experienced academic difficulty to face new challenges.

We have an extensive system of resources to assist students with learning efficiently and effectively. In order to identify how students learn as efficiently as possible, we are conducting on-going research regarding factors that contribute to student performance and provide information and resources to help students maximize performance. Medical Student Services student success programs exists to provide advising, support and assistance that empowers students to have a successful and productive medical school experience.


  • Individual Academic Advising: Medical Student Services offers a holistic and developmental advising approach as the initial and primary form of delivering services to students. Students are divided into advising groups by their learning communities. Please see the Academic Advising syllabus for further information about our advising services.
  • Assessments: We have identified a few key factors that relate to a student's academic performance and can provide access to evaluation instruments on these factors. The assessments provide insight that is beneficial in designing individual academic success plans that incorporate a student’s strengths and addresses potential areas for growth. Assessments include:
    • VARK Learning Modality
    • MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
  • Lunch & Learns: We provide periodic group training experiences. In these sessions students are given specific learning strategies and tips suited to the specific module being referenced and the specific learning strengths of the student.
  • Test-taking strategies: Strategies to approach multiple choice test items and especially test items in USMLE format are discussed in Individual Advising and Tutoring sessions.
  • Free learning resources: There are many free resources available to students of the SOM. These include on-line and paper-based test banks, library links to multiple learning resources, access to Kaplan QBank and other resources. Peer tutoring is also a free resource for students and can be arranged as needed.

Programs and Events 

  • PRIME: Students participating in the pre-matriculation program are all assessed individually and provided in-depth instruction in their individual learning strengths. They are also given structured opportunities to practice and perfect the learning strategies that will most benefit them.
  • Lunch & Learns/Academic Success Topics: At key transitions during the curriculum, optional group sessions are offered. In these sessions, students are provided with specific tips and resources to improve academic performance in that phase of the curriculum, such as Fundamentals, organ modules and USMLE Step 1 exam preparation.
  • Stress Relief Oasis: The Academic Success team offers a stress relief event 1-2 times in the fall and spring to first and second year medical students. At this event, students are provided with various outlets to relieve stress, such as hand massages, Hand in Paw pet therapy, sweet treats, chair massages, hula hooping, games/puzzles, etc.

Any of these resources may be accessed by contacting Tammi Taylor or the appropriate Student Success Programs team member