Medicine is among the noblest professions anyone can pursue. The life of a doctor can be a hard one, though. It isn't just that you're supposed to be an expert on all aspects of the human body or that you're expected to be on call day and night. You're also supposed to be a model of ethics and professionalism for the rest of society. That's a tall order. It should come as no surprise, then, that medical schools hold their students to the very highest standards, both academically and personally. It's their job to prepare you for the rigors of your career.
The Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) is no exception to this rule. In fact, it may, in some ways, demand even more of its students than most medical schools. CUSOM is a relatively new program. The first cohort of students matriculated in 2013. Already, though, it has developed a reputation as one of the strongest medical programs in the region. Located in the prestigious North Carolina research triangle, it is the second-largest medical program in North Carolina and has a 100 percent residency placement rate. Developing a reputation like this in such a short time means asking your students to put forth their very best.
High standards, of course, are important. CUSOM's standards produce great doctors. No one's perfect, though, even med students. You will do your very best, but you will make mistakes. It's important you don't let these mistakes define you. It's just as important you don't let your school define you by your mistakes. You can re-establish your reputation after a mistake. It's not always easy, though, so you're going to need help.
CUSOM's Academic and Professional Standards
CUSOM expects you to excel both academically and professionally, and they maintain strict policies regarding both. The Academic Performance, Promotion, and Standards (APPS) Committee is ultimately responsible for holding students accountable in both areas.
- Academics: The APPS Committee meets at the end of each Block and clinical rotation to review all students' grades. In addition, the committee holds hearings when a student falls behind academically and has the power to assign sanctions, including remediation, probation, and dismissal. Students do have the right to defend themselves but, in doing so, are limited to making ten-minute oral presentations.
- Professional Conduct: Students are also expected to adhere to the school's honor code. This applies to academic misconduct, disciplinary misconduct, and personal and professional behavior. Violations range from things like cheating and plagiarism to drug usage to sharing patient information publicly. Here again, the APPS Committee deals with all allegations. In these cases, though, students are allowed to defend themselves at a full hearing, including presenting evidence and calling witnesses.
CUSOM does not allow attorneys or advisors to accompany students to hearings into either academic or professional matters. An attorney can still be vital in helping you create your defense strategy and preparing yourself to face a hearing.
The Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine doesn't want you to fail. When students fail, it suggests the school itself has done something wrong. Either it hasn't done enough to screen its students, or it hasn't done enough to encourage its students' success. As a result, if you're in academic distress, you can expect the APPS Committee to work with you to catch up. Often this involves creating a remediation plan that lets you make up course material you failed or missed.
Remediation is a great safety net. It has saved many medical careers. It can be costly, though, both in terms of time and money. You may have better options. For example, it could be simpler to appeal the instructor's original grade and avoid remediation altogether. Before you sign on to any remediation plan, then it's to your benefit to ask an attorney, someone with experience in medical school curriculum and procedures, to review your situation and suggest the best course of action.
CUSOM will do what it can to support you as a student, but make no mistake: the school will dismiss you if you fall too far behind or you commit an especially egregious disciplinary offense. Dismissal, of course, can have serious, long-lasting repercussions.
- Difficulty resuming your medical education: Medical schools don't give priority to students who have been dismissed from other programs. If you're dismissed from CUSOM, you'll likely have trouble enrolling elsewhere.
- Loss of academic progress: Even if you should find a spot in another medical program, you'll probably have to start from scratch. This means more time to finish your degree and more money to retake courses you've already taken.
- Permanent notations in your academic file: It can be difficult to recover from a dismissal, even if you are admitted to another school and graduate. In fact, you can even graduate with honors, but if there's a dismissal listed on your permanent academic record, you may have trouble establishing your professional career.
- Student debt: Student loans come due soon after you leave school. That includes leaving school because you were dismissed. You can wind up paying back the money you spent on an education you were never able to complete.
You should take every sanction proposed by the APPS Committee seriously. Even a warning in your permanent file can damage your future as a doctor. Schools can and do get things wrong. They accuse students unfairly, and they assign sanctions that are disproportionate to the offenses.
However, if your school is considering dismissing you, it only makes sense to defend yourself as vigorously as you possibly can. Here again, an attorney can be an invaluable resource. An attorney can help you gather evidence, write questions for witnesses, and fill out paperwork.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
An attorney can be crucial in helping you defend yourself from false allegations and unfair treatment. Not just any attorney will do, though. You need an attorney who understands how medical schools operate, someone with experience taking on faculty and administrators and helping students get the justice they deserve.
If you're facing a sanction, Joseph D. Lento can help. Joseph D. Lento is a defense attorney who specializes in student cases. In fact, he built his practice defending students just like you. He's dealt with hundreds of cases, helping medical students appeal their grades, remove negative evaluations from their records, and overturn their dismissals. Joseph D. Lento has the knowledge and the experience to get you the very best possible resolution to your case.
Don't wait to see what might happen. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.