Student Life Advising

The Associate Deans with the Office of Medical Student Wellness are confidential resources to help students resolve personal issues that may affect academic life. They are points of contact for students who wish to discuss sensitive or personal topics or to obtain advice of a non-academic nature.

Dr. Anita Honkanen, Associate Dean for Student Life Advising and Wellness

Dr. Rebecca Smith-Coggins, Associate Dean for Medical Student Life Advising

Advising and Referral Services

Students are encouraged to bring issues that impact their life decisions, well-being and academic performance. Issues appropriate for OMSW include the following:

  • Interpersonal conflicts or misunderstandings
  • Struggles with the stresses of school, family or social life
  • Uncertain career direction
  • Questions regarding professionalism 
Dr. Honkanen and Dr. Smith-Coggins is also available to discuss the possible need for referral for:
  • Medical care
  • Psychological therapy
  • Drug/alcohol dependency treatment
  • Tutoring
  • Study skills improvement
  • Harassment
  • Financial problems
  • Legal advice 

Confidentiality Policy

The freedom to discuss concerns without there being any influence on a student’s evaluation or grade is an essential component of our work at OMSW. As a general rule, we provide a confidential environment.

It is worth bearing in mind, however, that unlike discussions with an attorney, psychiatrist, ombudsperson or clergy, communications to OMSW are not shielded by law. There are situations where the University may be required to take some action to address these concerns and we may need to disclose. These include concerns relating to race and gender discrimination, sexual harassment or the personal safety of the student/others.

Urgent Issues

If the matter is urgent, please call 650-723-6661, identify yourself as a medical student, and the page operator will call Dr. Smith-Coggins' cell phone.

Schedule an Appointment

MD & MSPA students - use this link to schedule an appointment with Dr. Honkanen.

Ears for Peers (E4P) is a student-to-student peer listening group that provides free and confidential counseling for the Stanford School of Medicine community.