Office of Student Affairs
Your medical school years should be among the most exciting, productive and challenging years of your life and the members of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) are ready to help you make this happen. Our special concerns are to help you maximize the many opportunities available to you in medical school; to help you gain an ongoing, accurate estimate of your progress; and to make very sure that bureaucratic rules and other roadblocks don't impede your progress.
How Can Student Affairs Personnel Be of Use to You?
By Providing You With Your Complete, Up-to-Date Records. The complete, official records of all aspects of your medical school work are maintained in the Office of Student Affairs. You can always find out how you have been doing, the standards against which your performance is judged, and how negotiations for your graduate training are progressing. We will gladly provide this information to you upon request.
By Answering Questions and Addressing Problems Involving School of Medicine or UMB Rules and Procedures. We stand ready to help you understand grades, financial aid, health care, academic advancement, rotation schedules, graduate training, computer matches and the like.
By Finding People to Help Meet Your Needs. Whether you are having an academic or a personal problem, a marital or other relationship difficulty, a financial problem or a misunderstanding with some outside organization, we will do our best to put you in touch with a competent and appropriate person or group who can help.
By Offering Direct Counseling with One of Us. The figures and facts about you are confined to the file drawers; in our heads you are real, whole persons with whom we want to work and who we want to know. From the time you first participate in Freshman orientation until you are firmly settled in your graduate training, please consider us as people interested in you and more than willing to help.
For more information, visit OSA.
Opportunities for Academic and Personal Growth
Mentoring Program. A faculty member will be made available to you to assist you by providing guidance, advice, and other opportunities.
Awards and Scholarships. Our office advertises awards, scholarships and fellowships for students. We assist students with processing materials for these applications. Opportunities arise throughout the year and are both posted on our bulletin board and announced via email as they come in.
Cultural Awareness. Our office promotes curricula and other programs on issues of cultural awareness in the School of Medicine. Additionally, the staff is available for students to discuss issues of culture, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality as the need arises.
Career Development. In addition to the formal mentoring program, our office can assist with finding shadowing opportunities and informal advisors in various medical fields.
For more information, contact any of the following people at 706-7476 or access OSA.
Donna Parker, MD
Joseph Martinez, MD
George Fantry, MD
Neda Frayha, MD
Dawn Roberts, MA
Sara Menso, MBA
Mailboxes for freshman and sophomore medical students are located in the Area Postrema, located at the extreme east end of the Bressler Building lobby area.
The Student Lounge is located on the 2nd floor of the MSTF building. The area was furnished using money donated to the Medical Family Annual Fund by families of students. Sofas and chairs are scattered along the walls of the lounge area and adjoining hallway to create space for studying and gathering with fellow students.
Under the direction of the Office of Admissions, the School of Medicine gives special attention to providing information regarding medical careers and admission to medical school at all pre-medical educational levels. The School of Medicine is also committed to the increased recruitment and retention of students from ethnic and racial groups that are underrepresented in medicine. Recruitment activities include trips to undergraduate schools, summer research programs and hosting of groups at the School of Medicine. Additional recruitment information may be obtained by calling 410-706-7478.
Many students take an active role in the recruitment of new medical students. Most student recruiting takes place in the form of applicant lunches, which are hosted by the Office of Admissions, and tours of the school directed by student-members of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA - national medical honor society) or by other junior and senior medical students. Luncheon hosts are students from all years, although first and second-year students predominate. It is hoped that these opportunities away from the sometimes tense environment of the medical school interview allows the prospective students the opportunity to get a realistic and positive impression of the School of Medicine. On occasion, medical students may also have informal contact with undergraduate pre-medical groups. The Big Sister/Big Brother Program (Big Sib) serves as a link between School of Medicine freshmen and accepted incoming students.
No universal "best way" seems to exist. People organize, learn, retain, and use medical knowledge via some- what different routes.
Most students find that the academic material they must deal with during the first two years of medical school is, by and large, not difficult to comprehend, at least not in comparison with some of the more difficult material encountered in undergraduate school. However, the volume to be assimilated is very great and often doesn't fall readily into a neat package like a classical physics course might. The principal study problems have to do with organizing and sorting out the most important and significant material; committing it to memory; and then recalling it in usable form on demand.
At the University of Maryland, students have a considerable variety of educational resources available. To a degree, these can be tailored so the information mix best suits each student's optimum learning style. In addition to the traditional lecture and textbook sources, a student may choose from a large number of audio-visual aids; participate in cooperative studying with other students; interact with numerous computer-assisted learning programs; and of course, discuss questions and concerns directly with faculty and tutors. For guidance in enhancing your learning and capitalizing on the many resources available, please make an appointment with the Academic Development Office (Room 334 MSTF, 410-706-7669). A complete description of these services is provided in the section on the Office of Medical Education
Students who study together find certain advantages. Colleagues can often ferret out acquired misinformation and can help one another review information systematically before a test. A number of students report that they are able to maintain more regular study habits through a cooperative arrangement. Give it a try, and it may work for you.
Purpose in Recommending Several Books for a Given Course
In most of the major courses during the first two years of medical school, instructors generally will not assign definite pages or chapters in a single recommended or required text. Rather, a list of recommended or suggested texts will be given with the advice that you select the book or books most closely meeting your needs.
This approach is adopted because no one text completely meets the course needs. In other situations, there may be a lack of consensus as to which materials, in the vast and growing body of knowledge in a particular discipline, are most critical to the practice of medicine. By far the most important reason for offering the choice in textbooks is the observation that there are a number of different ways for students to approach their courses. What may be the most effective and appropriate study method for a classmate may not be the best for you. Some students prefer working with a large compendium of knowledge in the field, to which they can refer as needed. Others may prefer a terse summary of essential knowledge, even if it makes for very uninspired reading. Still others may rely upon lectures to provide most of the material, or else some combination of the different approaches.
Only you know your most effective study methods, and the goals you seek to achieve in studying a given subject. Look over the recommended or suggested texts in the OME libraries, the Human Services/Health Sciences Library (HS/HSL) or in the bookstore. Take enough time to decide what best suits your needs.
Student career advising is a process that begins in the first year of medical school, and continues well into the fourth year. Our school participates in the Careers in Medicine project (CiM), initiated by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). An important first step is for students to assess their values, skills, strengths and weaknesses in a generic sense. In the second year of school, students will participate in interest groups, and get a feel for what different medical careers are all about. In the third year, while immersed in the clinical setting, specialty workshops will be offered to help students adapt their skills to various fields. Junior/Senior night and faculty mentoring programs are offered as well. In the fourth year, faculty counselors and individual meetings with OSA deans will further help in career counseling. The Careers in Medicine program will be incorporated as a web page on MedScope. An individual one-time access code is required to access the CiM website. It will be provided to you by the Office of Student Affairs. You will then be able to log on with your own username and password.
The Office of Medical Education's Academic Development Office offers a variety of support programs and services to facilitate students' successful progression through the medical curriculum. Supplemental instructional activities include: the Pre-matriculation Summer Program for incoming Freshmen; individual and group tutorials (at no additional cost to students); study skills workshops; USMLE preparation; screening for learning disabilities; a library of review books available for circulation; individual educational assessment and counseling sessions; and opportunities for academically proficient students to serve as paid tutors and teachers. Academic Development monitors all exam and final grades in order to quickly reach out and provide assistance to students experiencing academic difficulty. For additional information see Office of Medical Education - Academic Development.
Under the direction of Dr. George Fantry, the OSR provides research training opportunities for undergraduate and medical students. These paid experiences are provided primarily during the summer months and afford students the opportunity to acquire valuable research experience under the direction of medical school faculty both at the school and abroad. For additional information see Office of Student Research.
Last Revision: January 29, 2013