University of Arkansas Medical School

UAMS: Membership Spotlight

 Program Goals:

  • Provide reliable, longitudinal academic and career counseling for UAMS COM medical students
  • Provide opportunity for development of a strong mentor-mentee relationship between faculty and medical students
  • Provide consistent advising for the residency selection and matching process for all students
  • Provide formal opportunities for peer advising/mentoring (each academic house will have students from all four classes)

UAMS Academic House program was implemented in 2016.

Primary activities are para-curricular and include the following:

    • Required meetings with Academic House advisor once/semester
    • Three required All-Academic House meetings focusing on topics chosen by the students (choosing a career, the interview trail, etc)
    • Required USMLE Step 1 Prep Course where students must report to their AH Basic Science faculty weekly to discuss their study progress and challenges


Sara G. Tariq, M.D.

Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Academic House Director [email protected]

Program Highlights:

  • Big-Little “Sibling” program: M2s serve as big siblings with M1. This program starts the summer before medical school where we pair M1s based on interests, family situation, etc with M2s. This all occurs within the Academic House structure.
  • Academic House Olympics: Each September, we welcome the freshmen by hosting an All-Academic House Olympics event. A large park is rented out, and students sign up for sporting and spirit events (from tug-of-war to hula

hoops). It’s an opportunity for faculty and students to build relationships in a non-stressful environment. The House with the most participation and points wins the Academic House Cup. The House with the most points at the end of the year (accumulated from Olympics, participation and community service) is the final winner.

Student Activities/involvement:

  • UAMS has a student Leadership Council which includes four roles for each House:
    • Olympics Chair and Co-Chair- to help organize annual Olympics
    • Communications Director- sends out emails to their Academic House
    • Community Service Lead- helps organize community service projects
    • Meeting Chair – works with faculty to determine the topic for the All- House meetings


  1. Vuk, J., McKee, S., Mendiratta, P., Tariq, S. “A better learning community: mixed-methods reveal medical student preferences with implications for learning community design and implementation”. Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development. July, 2021
  2. Karina Clemmons, Sara Tariq, James Graham, Jason Mizell, Annlee Taylor Glass-Hicks, Purushottam Thapa. “What do Medical Student Actually Want from Learning Communities? A Comprehensive Needs Assessment”. MedEd Publish, 2020.
  3. Jackson, M, Tariq, SG, Kaplan, E.   Nurturing a Culture of Growth in a Climate of Safety for Learning Community Faculty, LCI, Kansas City, KS. 2019
  4. Jackson, M, Tariq, SG, Osterberg, L. Promoting Inclusion within Learning Communities, LCI. New York, September, 2018
  5. J.S., Clemmons, K. R., Tariq, S. G., Graham, J., Glass, A., & Thapa, P. B. (2018, September) Medical students’ expectations for wellness promotion in LCs. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Learning Communities Institute (LCI), New York, NY. *LCI Research Poster Award, 2018