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Academic Life

The Office of Student Affairs serves as the entry point for a wide variety of support and advisory services. Academic support may start with a student seeking tutoring or other assistance or with a faculty member who is concerned about a student's progress.  Students may be referred for tutoring or other remediation and the office will offer support, encouragement and follow-up as appropriate. 

Students who are concerned about their performance or about life issues that are interfering with their ability to perform should not hesitate to contact Dean Garrity or Terri Blevins, Director of Student and Career Development. The Office also includes Dr. Carol Lay, a clinical psychologist with expertise in evaluation and assistance with and study skills/time management.  We recognize that personal concerns of medical students are diverse and often very complex.  The issues may range from stress related problems, to family needs to financial challenges to potentially serious mental health problems.  The role of Dean Garrity and her staff is generally to triage the student to the appropriate professional services for help.

A student's path through medical school is overseen by a Promotions Committee whose role is to monitor students' academic progress throughout the four-year curriculum. The committee is composed of 4 basic science faculty, 4 clinical science faculty and one senior medical student. One of the faculty members serves as the chair. The role of the committee is to support students as they progress towards the MD degree, offering appropriate support and remediation when necessary. Details of the committee's responsibility and authority are described in the Academic Policies and Procedures Handbook.

During the fourth year curriculum, students work closely with the Director of Student and Career Development and their departmental career advisors to schedule appropriate courses and to work on specialty choice for residency. Students are supported with mock interviews, help with preparation of CVs and personal statements. Each student meets individually with Dean Garrity as part of her preparation of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (also known as the "Dean's Letter").