University of Nebraska Medical Center



UNMC and College of Medicine partners created the special videos below for parents and family members of medical students.

red background with title

Campus Tour for College of Medicine Families

M1 students will spend most of their time in a few specific locations around campus. Join Becky Brooks, Class of 2023, for a special tour of these places.

title over red background

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Overview

Dr. Strong discusses Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at UNMC.

title with red background

McGoogan Library Overview

Teresa Hartman provides an overview of the McGoogan Health Sciences Library and the resources and services it provides to students.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does each year of medical school look like?

Year 1

Students will begin medical school with Phase 1: Foundations of Medicine curriculum, which integrates basic, clinical and health systems sciences into blocks that are organized by the organ systems of the human body. During Phase 1, students will mainly be in the classroom environment. Clinical experiences will start in the second semester.

Year 2

M2 students will spend the first semester continuing with Phase 1 curriculum. M2 students will take their USMLE Step 1 examination in February or March. They will then take the Acute Care Block which is an intensive training to prepare them for clinical rotations. In April they begin Phase 2. Phase 2, which is 12 months in duration, is the Clinical Applications phase in which students begin to apply the knowledge and skills from Phase 1 toward formally caring for patients in both the hospital and ambulatory clinic settings. Clinical rotations range from 6-12 weeks in length and include: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery.

Year 3

Your students will finish 9 months of Phase 2 – the required Clerkships and then have three months of electives in April, May and June.

Year 4

The M4 students continue with electives until April at which time they will participate in a Residency Preparation Course. This course has content that all students will learn from and content geared toward the specialty that they will be starting their residencies in. After enrolling in a self-selected Specialty Track, students will work with faculty from that specialty to create individualized learning experiences based upon the students’ backgrounds, anticipated plans, and other interests. M4 students will also take or register to take their USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge examination during their fourth year. Additionally, M4 students will apply to and interview for residency programs in the fall. On Match Day in March, students will find out what residency program they will attend.

When will my students have breaks?
Recesses and holidays vary each year. You can find the 2022-2023 academic calendar here.
How can I best support my student during medical school?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer this question, as each student will have different needs. The best thing you can do is ask your student how you can support them and listen to them. It is also important to remind them that medical school is 4 years long and that they cannot learn everything in the first week. Remind them to engage with their classmates as it is extremely important to go through the professional development and educational process with their peers. They need to understand that they are not the only ones going through this.

It is important to understand that your student will be very busy for the next four years. Students will have many demands on their time, and they may not be able to spend as much time with you or communicating with you as they have in the past. Be understanding and make the most of the time you do have with them.

Finally, encourage your student to take advantage of resources on campus if they have questions or if they are stressed or feeling overwhelmed. UNMC and the College of Medicine offer sources of support for students, including but not limited to, free counseling and the Wellness Advocate, Dr. Kimberly Schenarts.

What are the major milestones my student will experience during medical school?

There are a few notable milestones your student will experience throughout their time in medical school.

  • White Coat Ceremony: This event is a ritual symbolizing your student’s transition into the medical profession. 
  • Match Day: This event occurs the third Friday of March each year. This is an exciting day when M4 students find out where they will be completing their residencies upon graduation.
  • Graduation: The day every medical student works toward! This is the day students complete their education and receive their Doctorate of Medicine.
What is the curriculum for medical school?

As stated on the College of Medicine website, the curriculum will produce physicians whose strong foundation in basic, clinical and health systems sciences prepare them to work collaboratively with other health professionals to promote health and reduce suffering for the patients and populations throughout Nebraska and the surrounding region.

The curriculum will enhance the acquisition of enduring knowledge and skills while integrating the emerging knowledge and abilities that are critical to becoming a 21st Century physician. The intended outcome of the curriculum is a physician who is well-prepared to excel in residency training, professional practice and as a productive citizen of Nebraska.

There are three phases of medical school curriculum, detailed here.

What does the Parents & Family Association do?

The PFA is an organization comprised of parents and family members of students enrolled in the UNMC College of Medicine. This association was founded to enhance communication between parents and family members of these students, the college and the university.

The purpose of the association is to:

  • Promote and support networking with College of Medicine administrators and alumni
  • Support collaboration and social interaction between parents and family members of medical students, student organizations and the University
  • Provide a support network for parents and family members of medical students
  • Inform parents and family members about campus updates and changes

A few of the ways the PFA achieves its purpose include: facilitating Family Day, hosting events (M1 Picnic, Match Day, Spouse’s Reception, and others) and sending out newsletters and updates.

How can I support the work of the PFA?

You can support the work of the PFA by joining our Advisory Council or making a donation.

Members of the Advisory Council meet three times per year to fulfill the PFA's purpose. If you are interested in joining, please reach out to Laura Olson.

You can also support the work of the Parents & Family Association with a tax deductible gift to the Parents & Family Innovation Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation. Thank you for your generous support!