The UW School of Medicine and Public Health is dedicated to providing you resources to support your academic and career success and personal wellbeing.

Academic and career success

Student Academic Success Services (SASS)

Student Academic Success Services (SASS) is composed of three dedicated learning specialists who work with you to help you achieve academic success. Among many student success offerings, SASS organizes the popular Med*STAR program, which is available to entering students before the start of M1 year for a few well-rounded days of orienting to the rigors and pace of the MD curriculum.

SASS learning specialists, available via 1-on-1 scheduled appointments and drop-in meetings, can support you and provide resources in the areas of:

  • Reading, test taking, time management, concentration and memory skills
  • Disability accommodations
  • Exam preparation and test anxiety
  • Learning styles, note taking and study methods based on learning styles
  • Tutor services
  • Exam review
  • USMLE board exam (Step 1, Step 2 CK) scheduling, preparation and practice

Academic and Career Advising Program (ACAP)

The Academic and Career Advising Program (ACAP) spans across all three phases of the curriculum and is organized by one of five Houses that comprise The Neighborhood within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. Our Houses exist for your career development but as importantly, to build community and cultivate well-being, while also helping you along your professional identity pathway through medical scool. Each House hosts wellness sessions focused on taking care of your whole self — physically, mentally and emotionally — while in medical school.

Each house has an Academic Career Advising Program House Mentor who is a practicing physician who serve as your academic and career advisor. House Mentors connect with each of their students at 7 required touchpoints, beginning in Fall of M1 year. These touchpoints are designed to help you explore career options as you move forward strategically toward the residency match by helping you make decisions that support your professional goals.

A group of doctors
The House Mentors are (left to right) Cathy Lee-Miller, MD, Pam Ryan, MD, Chris Hildebrand, MD, Sam Lubner, MD and Mary Westergaard, MD.

Learn more about the history behind the houses: 

Beginning in the first week of the first semester, UW medical students begin an invaluable process of self-reflection and exploration toward charting their career as a physician. Through a combination of 1-on-1 mentor and advisor meetings, assessment tools, and timely informational sessions, our students have constant support and school contact at every step of this process of discovery.

Career advising: Three phases

The Academic Career Advising Program consists of three phases that focus on understanding yourself, exploring your options, choosing a specialty and obtaining a residency.

Personal wellbeing

Health and wellness

Resources are available for students at the UWSchool of Medicine and Public Health to help maintain physical and mental health.

University Health Services (UHS)

Your health is critical to your success in medical scool. University Health Services offers high-quality medical high-quality medical care, prevention, and wellness services to all UW–Madison students, including health professional students. Medical services include a primary care clinic and specialty clinics for immunizations, women’s health, travel, and sexual health. For students with complex or unstable conditions requiring other types of specialty care, UHS can refer to providers off campus utilizing personal insurance.

UHS Mental Health Services

All UHS services, including Mental Health Services, are paid for by your student health fee and there are no additional costs for mental health services. These resources include individual, couple/partner, and group counseling; psychiatry, survivor services, outreach programming; stress management; and 24/7 crisis services. On-demand, self-service mental health tools and resources offered by UHS include SilverCloud (an online, self-guided, interactive resource that provides students with accessible cognitive behavioral interventions), There is no cap on the number of sessions available to medical students, therefore, as long as you are enrolled in medical school, you will have access to all UHS and mental health services.

Mental Health Services is a welcoming service for students who may not have used counseling resources in the past, and can also help students establish local care to continue or resume therapy they have already begun. Recognizing the rigors of medical school, we have dedicated psychologists who work exclusively with health professions students. These psychologists are knowledgeable about the challenges posed by a high-intensity program of study.

How to schedule an appointment

  1. Call UHS Mental Health Services at 608-265-5600, ext. 2 (333 E. Campus Mall)
  2. Identify yourself as a medical student and ask to schedule a counseling appointment with one of the medical school psychologists; you will be scheduled directly without going through our access system.

For urgent mental health needs, call the Mental Health Services 24-hour crisis line at 608-265-5600, option 9. This is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be connected to a counselor who can assist.


University Health Services is a HIPAA compliant organization and follows all local, state, and federal laws protecting patient confidentiality. Your provider will review this with you individually where you will have an opportunity to ask questions or get concerns addressed. UHS does not share confidential information with anyone, including academic programs, unless given permission in writing by the patient. There are standard exceptions to this that will be familiar if you have used any healthcare service in the past and will be reviewed at the outset of initiating services.

Inclusion and belonging 

We recognize the ways in which the deeply entrenched historical, social, and cultural impacts of systemic racism, social injustice, and structural inequities manifest in the experiences and learning of our students in the health care field. Acknowledging these challenges, Students Services works to sustain a diverse and inclusive community. We are committed to challenging discrimination and addressing these disparities and inequities.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Student Services Coordinator within Student Services is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among students in the School. The Coordinator offers:

  • Support services and specialized culturally aware advising and mentorship for students who identify as historically underrepresented in medicine, or come from other marginalized backgrounds;
  • The availability to meet one-on-one with students looking for support around issues of identity;
  • Guidance for students to maximize the experiences and resources at the School to enhance their personal growth, development, and academic success;
  • Safe spaces for all students to discuss and deepen their understanding around issues of DEI

Working collaboratively with the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and the Native American Center for Health Professions (NACHP), we create programs and host social and cultural events that celebrate and promote diversity; build community; facilitate networking; connect incoming students with diverse faculty-role models; and support underrepresented in medicine student organizations.

Disability accommodations

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health welcomes qualified students with disabilities.

If you have a disability, reasonable accommodations are available. This is true whether you have a known disability upon matriculation, or whether you develop a disability during medical school. Contact the SMPH Technical Standards Director at for more information.

More details are included in the technical standards policy

Medical student ombuds

The medical student ombudsperson serves as a neutral, independent, and confidential resource for UW School of Medicine and Public Health  MD students, providing a safe forum to voice concerns, evaluate a situation, express feelings, discuss options, and promote resolution of issues or conflicts.

The ombudsperson is independent of existing school administrative and academic structures and supplements existing resources available for students.

The medical student ombudsperson treats all matters confidentially within the bounds of the law. The goal is to offer medical students another venue through which to discuss concerns should the student wish to do this confidentially outside the resources provided through the medical school.

Emergency Financial Support 

Through the generous support of our donors, the school can assist medical students by promoting financial wellness with limited support through the Medical Student Emergency Support Fund through limited, financial support

The fund can provide assistance with emergency expenses surrounding situations such as accidents, illness, death of a family member, fire damage, theft, or, needs related to COVID-19.

About us

The Student Services office for the MD program provides support to students on a litany of topics, including; academic success, career advising, school/community involvement, and inclusion. Our staff work to ensure that every student is connected to crucial resources, and to each other, through programming, 1-on-1 meetings, and ongoing communication. Medical school is a demanding, once-in-a-lifetime experience and we begin working with students, from before they even arrive for their first day of class all the way through graduation, to ensure that no student ever feels as if they are alone in completing the challenge.

Contact information