Office of Student Affairs
School of Medicine, Room M4205
2411 Holmes Street, Dean's Office
The School of Medicine's Office of Student Affairs coordinates a variety of support services that are available to all medical students and are in line with the competencies expected of a UMKC School of Medicine graduate. These services include but are not limited to academic and career counseling, financial planning, personal support, enrichment activities, student events and student organizations and activities. The School of Medicine has at least 25 student organizations and a number of traditions and activities.
The School of Medicine has a number of personal and academic support systems in place to assist students at all levels of the program. There are two education team coordinators with offices on the Volker campus who help the first- and second-year students in curriculum planning and who are available to counsel them on problems.
Each group of 10-13 students has a physician-scholar (or docent) who instructs the students in medical coursework during the first two years and who also serves as a role model and personal counselor. Additionally 10-12 Year 2 students are selected as peer mentors to the Year 1 class. These students are selected because of their past academic performance and their success in integrating themselves into life at UMKC and the School of Medicine.
From year 3 through year 6, each student is a member of a 12-student team assigned to a docent who teaches and counsels throughout these years of the curriculum. Teams are assigned an education team coordinator to advise about course selection and personal problems in consultation with the docent. In their third and fourth years, students are partnered with older students who serve as senior partners. Additional campus resources are available to students in the areas of counseling and support including the UMKC Counseling and Testing Center. Staff regularly meet with students individually, in class meetings and in multiple orientation settings to discuss relevant and timely policies, processes and resources.
The School of Medicine’s career advising staff provide medicine specific guidance to students by meeting with students individually as they develop Curricula Vitae and Personal Statements; advise on career choice, residency selection and interviewing process and maintaining a database of physician specialists in the Kansas City area and elsewhere who are willing to mentor students in their specialty exploration and choice. They provide presentations on how to assess compatibility and ‘fit’ with different career paths; explore specialty options and make an informed choice; construct curricula vitae and personal statements; research residency programs and prepare to be a competitive applicants; as well as interview skillfully and follow up properly.
Academic Support Services
The School of Medicine provides academic support to all its students. The curriculum provides challenging coursework, and students should explore all opportunities for alternative study methods. Students have the responsibility to become life-long learners and to meet their own and the school's learning goals. The following services are offered:
Support for Basic Science Courses
During the first years the students take several basic science courses and are given as much support as possible. A course called, Learning Basic Medical Sciences is designed to give all students in their first year at the Medical School a core of learning strategies to prevent academic difficulty and to improve higher-order cognitive skills. Course topics surround discussions of learning styles, efficient study techniques and current basic science coursework. Study groups are available in the core basic science courses of the school curriculum. The groups consist of three to five students and a group facilitator/tutor, meeting once or twice a week. Test performance has consistently been enhanced for students actively participating in these groups. Therefore, all medical students are encouraged to participate fully. Study-group leaders are selected on the basis of their own performance in the course, their abilities to communicate course content and the recommendations of course professors.
Lecturers in the School of Medicine provide several support sessions and open office-hours during the week as well as individual appointments for students to attain their learning goals. For many classes the school provides successful senior medical students as tutors. Tutors set meeting times and agenda according to students' needs. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of Supplemental Instruction for courses in which it is offered.
Individual assistance is available to medical students through a variety of means. Students may receive individual analysis of their study techniques, including reading comprehension; time management; short- and long-term retention techniques; and test-taking abilities. Analysis of a student's basic science knowledge is available through several computer-assisted programs. If required, individual tutoring may be available to supplement the assistance offered through study-group programs. Counseling support also is available to students with personal issues that may hinder their academic performance.
United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 1 Preparation
Students preparing for Step 1 of the USMLE are offered a variety of programs to supplement their individual review of the basic sciences. These programs consist of discussion groups, interactive video review sessions, individual test-taking analysis and a Step 1 mock exam. Some of the programs are free to all students and other involve enrollment in fee-based programming. In addition to academic preparation support, resources are available to help students manage the stress related to their preparation for the exam.
The School of Medicine has a full-time Counselor of Student Finances to assist students and parents in understanding the financing of medical school. This individual provides ongoing financial literacy programming to the student body and can assist students one-on-one with the budget planning process.
The School of Medicine has a full-time Wellness Program Coordinator who coaches students and serves as a point of referral. In addition to Wellness Planning and Coaching, the UMKC School of Medicine Wellness Program offers a variety of workshops throughout the year.