In 1873, what is now the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) was established when Boston University and the New England Female Medical College merged. Each year, roughly 180 new medical students are admitted to BUSM and must be prepared to demonstrate high standards in academics and “behavioral attributes of responsibility, empathy, and service excellence.” The institutional leadership created an Appropriate Treatment in Medicine (ATM) Policy, which clearly outlines their expectations.
Medical schools have high hopes for their students in academic performance, professionalism, and integrity. Students that are in remediation struggling to meet the minimum standards or those facing potential disciplinary actions for misconduct have too much at stake. Under these circumstances, students should speak to their families and promptly retain an attorney-adviser that will lend support and guidance. This assistance may result in minimizing harsh sanctions and other long-term consequences.
Example of Demonstrating a Lack of Professionalism
- Inadequate efforts to maintain patient confidentiality
- Failing to make improvements after evaluations and feedback
- Using language or expressions that appear demeaning or discourteous
The Medical Student Disciplinary Code of Academic and Professional Conduct is founded in the belief that all students must “uphold the standards of the medical profession.” Conduct that does not conform includes acts that suggest a lack of integrity, character, or professionalism.
The Associate Dean of Student Affairs (ADSA) is responsible for administering the Code of Conduct. The ADSA may attempt to informally address minor concerns or present the concerns to the Medical Student Disciplinary Committee (MSDC) when the conduct is egregious or persistent. The MSDC is tasked with objectively evaluating student conduct and may conduct a hearing where the student will answer the allegations. Students that face sanctions such as suspension or expulsion have 14 days to notify the Dean of the School of Medicine that they wish to appeal.
The Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee (SEPC) is responsible for identifying deficient academic performance and responding appropriately. One remedial strategy for academic difficulties is Decelerated Curriculum, which allows the student up to an extra 12 months to complete the coursework and improve their performance. Students with persistent performance deficiencies may be subject to dismissal from the institution.
Lawyer Provides Effective Advisory Representation for Medical Students
Medical school students represent the future of the medical profession; therefore, the standards of professionalism and integrity must be instilled early on in the educational and training process. The institution's faculty will react promptly when students are delivering poor or mediocre academic performance with remediation plans to determine if the student is truly appropriate for the profession. Students that are the subject of disciplinary proceedings for conduct that lacks professionalism are in jeopardy of facing harsh sanctions including suspension or expulsion.
Students with records and transcripts that show a history of subpar academic progress or lapses in professionalism are likely to encounter barriers to entry in residency programs, employment opportunities, and more. Medical students that are facing these concerns need to take decisive action to avoid these adverse consequences. Retaining an experienced attorney-adviser to assist in navigating the school's disciplinary process can produce positive results. Contact the office of attorney Joseph D. Lento at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.