Academic Support at XUSOM

The MD program at XUSOM strives to be renowned for excellent quality of education and outcome of the graduates. We aim to provide exemplary academic support that enables the students to become effective practitioners and life-long learners committed to improving patient and public health. We recognize that the enormity and pace of the medical curriculum can present difficulties for many students. The intensity of the program requires changes in long held habits of the students, and the academic success in medical school is determined by the adaptability of the student to efficient ways of learning. For students to reach their full potential, the XUSOM acknowledges the importance of supporting students throughout their studies. This support facilitates students to achieve their best, enjoy their medical program experience, and compliments their academic journey to becoming a medical practitioner.

The academic support provided under the purview of the Office of the Student Affairs is as follows:

  1. Support to students on-campus
  2. Support to students off-campus: Support to remote MD6 students and Leave of Absence (LOA) Med 6 students
  3. Support to Clinical students

 

A. Support to students on-campus

 

1. Academic counselling and advising:

XUSOM has taken a pro-active approach to provide counseling to the Students enrolled in Aruba campus via Academic counseling (Mentoring) program. The keys features of this program are as follows:

  1. Each student is assigned a faculty mentor at the beginning of the semester who will guide them and be their support throughout the semester.
  2. The mentors are subject to change every semester.
  3. The Students are required to meet their mentors for a minimum of 2 times per month, once before the Quiz and once after the Quiz.
  4. During the meeting, the students can discuss various issues ranging from work-life balance in medical school, keeping good health, time management, attendance, approach towards exams, learning the material, resources, improvement of grades, maintaining consistency, career guidance, etc.
  5. Students are required to report/address issues related to the living and studying in XUSOM that may directly or indirectly affect their education at XUSOM.
  6. All the issues, highlights of the conversations of the meeting, attendance, grades, outcomes and assessments will be documented in a formal way.
  7. If a student wishes to discuss matters with someone other than their mentor, he or she may approach the Dean of Basic Sciences or Dean of Student Affairs.

 

2. Academic Enhancement Program (Peer-Tutoring)

Tutoring is offered to students in the form of Peer tutoring / AEP. The following are the key features of this program:

  1. Peer tutors are medical students who have already completed a course of study and have demonstrated their mastery of the material by obtaining Honors or Near Honors grade distinction for that course.
  2. The peer tutors assist the students in the respective subjects they have been assigned.
  3. The assistance could be in the form of mentoring, conceptual learning, time management, monitoring the studies, conducting a group discussion, etc.
  4. The duration of mentoring hours and type of mentoring will be recorded for each session.
  5. Students can avail additional tutoring from their peers.
  6. Prospective peer tutors have to submit their application form to the Office of the Student affairs.
  7. The position for peer tutoring will be filled based on the competency of the applicants. The positions will be awarded to the meritorious applicants.

 

3. Academic Probation Program

The students who have performed poorly and have failed academically are put under academic probation program. The students under academic probation are required to follow the instructions as stated below

  1. Meet with Academic Advisor/Mentor at least twice a month.
  2. Submit a written remediation plan, detailing how you will improve your performance.
  3. Meet with individual professors once per week.
  4. Submit to the Promotions Committee at the conclusion of the semester a written request that the academic probation be terminated detailing the reasons for such.
  5. Maintain a minimum of 95% attendance.

The progress of any student on academic probation is strictly monitored and the steps are taken are regular intervals to remediate if found inappropriate.

 

4. Personal counselling:

The two licensed psychologists provide confidential, personal counseling. Counseling is provided without cost to medical and offers both short and long-term therapy to manage and cope with the challenges in their lives and support their personal and professional success. In addition MD students can be referred to, and meet with, the local psychiatrist free of charge (in conjunction with insurance / AZV coverage), if it appears that medication may be an appropriate course of treatment. Strict discretion is maintained regarding all matters related to the personal counselling and no data is sought by the school or shared by the counsellors.

(Please refer to Student Wellness Section for further information)

 

B. Support to students off-campus: Support to remote MD6 students and Leave of Absence (LOA) Med 6 students

We recognize that learning vast amount of material can present difficulties for many students, particularly when they finish their MD6 program and go back homes. XUSOM therefore seeks to support the students in a proactive manner. Each student is assigned to a faculty mentor. Mentor serve as point of contact for discussion of all academic matters related to the student. Mentors are subjects experts or / and USMLE tutors can help students either by organizing a webinar or by setting up a one on one review sessions with the subject experts. Mentors also follow-up with the students on a regular basis and the students are required to reciprocate to all the communications made.

The support offered to the students off-campus are as follows:

1. Learning strategies

  1. Appropriate resources
  2. Effective use of question banks
  3. Active learning strategies

2. Time management

  1. Creating realistic and individualized study plans
  2. Appropriate time allocation for active learning and review

3. Test taking skills

  1. Practice exam strategies
  2. Feedback on practice exams

4. Maintaining wellness:

  1. Management of performance anxiety
  2. Stress management skills
  3. Concentration and motivation strategies
  4. Preventing burnout

Trainings are provided to the students via phone calls and facetime / skype. Areas of weakness are assessed based on their NBME scores. A student can request from the USMLE tutors or subject experts any of the following:

  1. One on one review sessions
  2. Group webinars
  3. Formulating an individualized study plan / preparatory schedule based on the scores, weakness, areas of improvement and high yield topics
  4. Assessment of exam preparedness

 

Following up with students off-campus:

  1. Any remote student is followed up on a regular basis.
  2. The communication is done via e-mail.
  3. The e-mail is sent out to the student who are not in touch with the school at regular interval.
  4. If the student does not respond to the email then the faculty contacts the student via the phone.
  5. If the student does not respond to the phone calls then the faculty will leave a voice message.
  6. The students are expected to respond any such communications made by the school / faculty to reach out to them.   

 

C. Support to Clinical students

 

XUSOM Clinical Buddy Program

This program is being set in place for the new students at Xavier university stepping into their clinical rotations. This a “student helping students” type of program which will consist of mentors; students who have completed or are almost done their clinical core rotations, and will be for students starting their clinical rotations.

 

How will this work?

Students will either choose their respected mentor OR can be assigned a mentor based on the rotations (location, hospital, preceptors) so the mentors can provide useful information to help the student excel in that particular rotation.

 

Criteria to become a mentor:

  1. Must have finished ALL core rotations.
  2. Must be willing to dedicate minimum of 2 hrs to a student during each core rotation.
  3. Must be in good academic standing and student at XUSOM
  4. Agree to provide honest, useful tips and tricks to help the student excel
  5. Each mentor will be assigned up to maximum 3 students at a time.

 

Mentor Duties:

  1. Be an honest friend to the student
  2. Provide useful tips and tricks to help the student perform well during the rotation
  3. Provide information regarding study material to be used for the rotation
  4. Schedule 1 meeting per rotation: 1) before start of core rotation, 2) Mid-rotation 3) Near end rotation. 4) When the student requires assistance.
  5. Can host more meetings based on availability and need of student/availability of mentor.

 

Criteria for students:

  1. New clinical students; Mentors will be picked/assigned either prior to or during IM1/FM1 rotation, once the student has a tentative schedule.

 

Students:

Please understand that the mentors are put in place to guide you and answer your questions as they have recently gone through the same process. Keep in mind, each student’s experience is different, each students study habits are different, however the material is the same. The mentors will provide you with information so you do not have to go searching on google and ask other students for help. Please be respectful to one another and of each others time.

 

Setting up appointments:

Appointments will be set up through email address; on Google calendar.

Each student and Mentor is responsible for coordinating the best time suitable for both.

Contact through whatsapp, skype, facetime- Preferred method can be decided once assigned a mentor.

 

CONTACT:

Office of Student Affairs:

  1. Dr. Prasad VN, Assistant dean of Student Affairs: nvijayashankarrmd@xusom.com
  2. Dr. Segie Apacible: segiedds@xusom.com

 

For students off campus:

  1. Dr. Fidelis Nwachukwu, USMLE coach: fnwachukwumd@xusom.com
  2. Dr. Mayank Gupta, USMLE coach: mguptamd@xusom.com
  3. Ms. Yvette Aal, Registrar, XUSOM, Aruba: yaal@xusom.com

 

For students in clinical rotations:

  1. Dr. Richard Pestell, Dean of Clinical Sciences: rpestellmd@xusom.com
  2. Dr. Sergey Kunkov, Assistant Dean of Clinical Science: skunkovmd@xusom.com