They don't let just anybody become a doctor. We, as a society, expect the very best from our medical professionals. We expect them to be experts in their fields; we expect them to treat all of us with dignity and respect; we expect them to have the highest moral values. It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, to learn that medical schools hold their students to the very highest academic and professional standards. If they want to produce graduates who can thrive in medicine, they have an obligation to do so.
The California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine is a relatively new institution. The first cohort of 79 students matriculated in 2020. That means there's energy on campus. It means the facilities are all shiny, new, and state-of-the-art. It also means the school is relatively unproven. It's not necessarily a given that CHSU-COM will hold its students to higher standards than other medical schools, but there's a high probability.
High standards are great. They produce great doctors. What happens, though, when the standards are simply too high, when a school expects the impossible from its students and doesn't get it? Even medical schools get it wrong sometimes. They do accuse innocent students; they do impose sanctions that are more severe than the transgressions deserve. If this has happened to you, don't let it derail your career. There is help out there. The right attorney, someone who knows medical schools and how they operate, can help you resolve your issues and get your future back on track.
Academic and Professional Standards
CHSU-COM is so new that it is still drafting some of its standards. However, like any other medical school, it expects its students to excel in both academics and their professional and personal lives.
According to the school's Catalog, The Office of Academic Affairs and Assessment has primary responsibility for tracking students' academic progress. However, their main role seems to be in identifying students who are struggling. These are referred to StARK, the Students at Risk Committee, which is responsible for providing students with academic resources to help them succeed, including, in some cases, remediation plans.
Students who fail a course or are in clear academic distress are further referred to the Student Progress Committee (SPC). This committee has the power to implement sanctions such as probation, suspension, and dismissal.
Professional conduct remains, for now, under the purview of the California Health Sciences University itself. The CHSU catalog takes note of school policies such as those against academic misconduct and sexual discrimination. In addition, though, it references broader expectations, such as the expectation that students abide by all laws, that they conduct research in an ethical manner, and that they conduct themselves in the community in ways that reflect positively on the school itself.
CHSU-COM talks about providing all students with due process rights. However, it says little about actual judicial procedures. This suggests if you find yourself in trouble, you may need an attorney to help protect your rights.
Remediation: Getting Your Academic Future Back on Track
As daunting as medical school may seem, you should recognize that CHSU-COM doesn't want you to fail. Failing students reflect poorly on the school. That means you can expect to get some help if you begin falling behind. StARK, in particular, exists to provide you with tutoring and other academic services. StARK also assigns students remediation plans to make up missed or failed course work.
Remediation can provide a valuable safety net. However, it can be costly, both in terms of money and time. It's also not always the only option. For example, it could be that you'd be better off trying to appeal an instructor's original grade. Your school probably won't suggest these kinds of remedies since they are outside of normal operating procedure. However, an attorney who's familiar with how medical school operates can tell you exactly what's the best course of action for your situation.
CHSU-COM wants you to succeed, but don't be fooled. They will certainly dismiss you if you continue to struggle academically or if you commit an egregious disciplinary offense. If you're facing a dismissal, the stakes are too high not to contact an attorney. Those stakes include:
- Trouble resuming your medical education: If CHSU-COM should dismiss you, you'll likely have trouble enrolling anywhere else. Medical schools don't give high priority to students who've been dismissed elsewhere.
- Loss of academic progress: If you do manage to find a school that will admit you, you will likely have to begin the program all over again. That means extra time and money.
- Permanent transcript notations: Even if you successfully register at another school and complete the program, your dismissal will probably remain on your academic record. That can cause you problems when you're trying to establish your career.
- Student debt: Finally, you should know that if you are dismissed from CHSU-COM, you'll have to begin paying your student loans almost immediately. Worse, you'll be paying money for a degree you didn't receive.
You should never simply accept any sanction. Schools can and do get justice wrong sometimes. More importantly, even a warning on your permanent academic record could eventually cost you professionally.
If your school is considering dismissing you, though, you should definitely defend yourself. Of course, battling your school can be a daunting prospect. It's not one you should take on by yourself. You need professional help. You need an attorney who can serve as your advisor. An attorney with experience in medical school cases can provide you with invaluable advice, help you construct a defense strategy, and even work with you to draft grievance documents.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
No one is perfect, even doctors. You will make mistakes in med school. The question is whether or not you let those mistakes define you, or rather whether or not you let your school define you by those mistakes.
If you're facing a sanction, Joseph D. Lento can help. Joseph D. Lento is a defense attorney who specializes in student cases. He's served as an advisor to hundreds of medical students across the country, helping them appeal grades, remove negative evaluations from their records, and overturn dismissals. Joseph D. Lento is on your side and will fight to protect your future.
Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.