ACADEMIC ADVISING: A STUDENT’S FIRST RESOURCE
OUM Appoints First Associate Director for Student Advising

Himself an Academic Adviser, Research Adviser, and Clinical Student Adviser, Ahmed Muhsin, MBChB, MPH views the Oceania University of Medicine (OUM) Academic Advising Program as one of the most involved, dedicated programs he’s ever seen. These sentiments make him the ideal choice as the University’s first Associate Director for Student Advising.

“I don’t think there’s any program, perhaps in the world, where students meet with their advisers weekly, especially graduate students. I think the norm is perhaps once or twice during an academic year,” says Dr. Muhsin who acknowledges that sometimes students just want someone to talk to who understands their challenges, their stress.

Dr. Muhsin will work with Paula Diamante, MD, Director of Faculty Affairs, to provide leadership and oversight to OUM’s comprehensive Student Advising Program which has expanded from the original preclinical Academic Advisers to now include Research Advisers and Clinical Student Advisers. Dr. Muhsin will recruit new advisers, design and implement their orientation, and facilitate ongoing training/development activities.

Invaluable student resources

OUM’s Student Advising Programs commence with Academic Advisers during the preclinical curriculum. Research Advisers guide students through their required research project and Clinical Student Advisers counsel students through clinical rotations.

The first that students encounter, Academic Advisers, are a great resource, says second-year student Amber Hume who points out that she has attended five universities in three countries over a ten-year period and none of them come close to providing the support OUM students receive from their Academic Advisers.

“They make sure you are on the right track. Some students call their time with their adviser their ‘therapy session.’ I look forward to our call every week,” says Amber. She adds that the weekly contact with her Academic Adviser is one of the reasons she feels such a part of the medical school.

A non-traditional student, too

Dr. Muhsin earned his medical degree at Almustansiriyah College of Medicine in Iraq, practiced for several years in Baghdad and Australia, then moved to and practiced in the US where he also earned his Master of Public Health at Texas A&M University. In addition to his OUM responsibilities, Dr. Muhsin is currently a PhD candidate in Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Like many of his students and advisees, he understands the challenge of managing family, career, and academics.

“I am very excited about my new role. It enables me to express my passion for student support, including guiding some in mastering the boards on two sides of the globe,” he says, referring to his passage of both the AMC and USMLE.

(September 2019)