A. T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

A. T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is a private medical school based in Kirksville, Missouri, founded in 1892 as the world's first osteopathic medical school. Originally known as the American School of Osteopathy, over the past century, several other osteopathic schools have merged with ATSU-KCOM, which now hosts more than 3,000 students from at least 35 countries.

ATSU-KCOM holds its students to exceptionally high academic and professional standards, with their acceptance rate being just 3.7 percent. Osteopathic physicians are in one of the fastest-growing segments of healthcare providers, and the four-year rolling average postgraduate medical education placement rate for ATSU-KCOM osteopathic medical students stands at an impressive 98.7 percent.

An immaculate academic record can open many career doors for medical school graduates. When the stakes are high, negative consequences from academic failures or disciplinary actions can limit a student's career prospects. If you are a medical student handling misconduct allegations or other medical school concerns, you can improve your chances of a favorable outcome by hiring an attorney-advisor with specific experience in student rights and student discipline issues.

ATSU-KCOM's Code of Academic Conduct and Code of Behavioral Standards

Medical students at ATSU-KCOM must abide by the highest academic and behavioral integrity standards as stated in the Student Handbook. Furthermore, students agree to abide by two essential codes known as the Code of Academic Conduct and Code of Behavioral Standards. These codes establish minimum student expectations and serve as a model for professional behavior.

Student academic progress is monitored by the Academic Progress Committee (APC) or Student Success Committee (SSC). The dean of the ATSU-KCOM or the vice president for student affairs (VPSA) manages student actions via the Code of Behavioral Standards. Students in violation of the codes will be subject to sanctions including but not limited to:

  • Remediation
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal
  • Revocation or withholding of degree

Remediation Plans at ATSU-KCOM

The intense course load and hands-on training at an osteopathic medical school is a grueling process. Even the best students sometimes struggle to maintain ATSU-KCOM's high standards. When students fail to achieve minimum academic standards, the APC or SSC may recommend a remediation plan to help a student regain ground. Remediation plans may also be prescribed for professionalism violations.

Remediation can either save a student's career and future residency placements or become the beginning of a slow downfall that can cost them time and money. That being said, if a period of remediation appears on a medical student's academic record, it can negatively affect job opportunities. Yet, remediation can be averted through a successful grade appeal. Therefore, before establishing a remediation plan with the school's governing bodies, a student should consult with an attorney-advisor to explore whether other options may be more favorable.

Dismissal From ATSU-KCOM

Medical students who continually fail to meet academic standards or have committed violations of the Code of Behavioral Standards may be dismissed from ATSU-KCOM. Separation from medical school may not only completely thwart a student's career prospects but may also cause a long road of difficulties for the student moving forward. Dismissed students may face any or all of the following:

  • Challenges in continuing their medical education at ATSU-KCOM or elsewhere. Considering medical schools accept just a few hundred students to matriculate per semester out of thousands of applicants, a previously dismissed student will not be regarded as a high-priority candidate.
  • The loss of academic progress from a dismissal will most likely wipe out the student's previous work. If the student manages to overcome the hurdles in re-enrolling at another medical school, they will have to start from the beginning.
  • Once a student is dismissed, they will receive a permanent notation on their academic record. Regardless of if the student then goes on to graduate with honors or at the top of their class, the previous dismissal will likely limit their career placement opportunities.
  • Overcoming student debt is a large part of medical school. With students borrowing up to and well over $100,000 to finish their studies, if the student is dismissed, they must repay loans, possibly without the benefit of a physician's salary.

Appealing ATSU-KCOM Disciplinary Action

Before any disciplinary sanction is levied, the student has the right to submit an appeal. At ATSU-KCOM, students may appeal a dean's decision regarding dismissal to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (SVPAA) on the following grounds:

  • Procedural error or violation of official policy during the decision-making process or judgments improperly based upon various criteria
  • New information emerges that was not available for consideration when the dismissal was rendered and sustained during due process

Once the school renders a decision after the disciplinary hearing, the student has only seven days to file a formal appeal. If the sanction is dismissal, this may represent the final opportunity for the student to rescue their academic and professional career.

Hiring Joseph D. Lento as Your ASTU-KCOM Attorney-Advisor

Most medical schools have the best intentions in educating and training students to become highly competent physicians and healthcare leaders. However, they also face pressure from accrediting boards and the public to maintain a pristine reputation. Sometimes, the pressure to hand down disciplinary sanctions results in an unfair resolution for the student. When this happens, the student's career prospects may be severely damaged because they weren't afforded proper due process.

No medical student facing misconduct allegations or disciplinary proceedings should face these dire matters without the help of an experienced attorney-advisor. An attorney-advisor understands the nuances of school disciplinary policies and can ensure a student's due process is protected.

Joseph D. Lento has years of experience in student rights and student discipline matters. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm have helped medical students across the country achieve positive outcomes in student disciplinary hearings, appeals, and other conflicts so students can continue their studies. There is no excuse for facing remediation, suspension, or dismissal alone. Call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 to get the extra help you need, or visit the online consultation form.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future