University of Nebraska Medical Center

Academic Assistance

The primary personnel responsible for oversight of student success are the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and the four Directors of Academic Advising (DAAs). All entering M1 students are assigned to a DAA who remains their academic advisor through Phases 1 and 2. Early in Phase 3, primary academic advising transitions to the Career Specialty Track Advisors, though students’ DAAs are still available for academic advising as needed.

The goals of the advising system include:

  • Provision of all medical students with educational resources and advice necessary to enhance their academic and professional experience
  • Identification of students at risk for, or who have not been successful in, completing course requirements
  • Assessment of issues impacting academic performance for individual students and provision of initial interventions as warranted (e.g., review of study skills or test-taking strategies)
  • Referral of individual students to other individuals, groups, or programs for further guidance, support or counseling as warranted

In addition, students have mandatory scheduled meetings with the Associate Dean and/or Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at least once during each academic year. The goal of these meetings is to conduct a review of academic progress, reinforce strategies for approaching critical time periods in the lifecycle of a medical student and provide ongoing career counseling. Their contact information is listed below:

Tutoring is also available throughout the curriculum. Tutors are either M2, M3, or M4 peers assigned based on the level of the tutee and need. Students are identified as needing tutorial assistance by the DAAs/CST directors in their ongoing review of assessment information and counseling sessions. In addition, any student may request the services of a tutor by reaching out to either the Office of Admissions or Student Affairs or their DAA.

Finally, students may receive advising from Counseling and Psychological Services. The services of this office include assessment for and interventions related to, test anxiety, stress management, issues with academic performance, and other professional counseling.

Academic Assistance by Phase

Directors of Academic Advising (DAA)

All incoming students are assigned to one of these individuals that serve as the primary source of academic advising throughout Phases 1 and 2. These individuals are practicing physicians with a special interest in student success, are not involved in assessment at any point in the curriculum. Their duties are to:

  • Identify academic strategies to facilitate student success
  • Provide formal academic counseling to individual students leading to their development of individualized academic goals and monitor progress towards those goals, including specialized advising to students from diverse backgrounds, pre-medical preparation levels, and disability status.
  • Refer students to University counseling and success services as needed

Students are required to meet with their assigned DAA at defined points in the curriculum. They are also available by appointment via email or phone by contacting the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs (402-559-2259).

Current Directors of Academic Advising

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery


Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology


Anita Sivaraman, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology