The Central Michigan University College of Medicine emphasizes the training of Michigan-based medical students to serve diverse and underserved populations in the state. The College offers a comprehensive, hands-on educational strategy that prepares medical students for the rigors of their future professions. After graduation, students have multiple career opportunities that include employment within the CMU Health complex that spans eight locations.
For most medical students, graduation is the final checkpoint to cross before actualizing their goal. However, medical school is notoriously rigorous, especially with the pressure to master the material and juggling personal responsibilities. As a result, some may falter with studies, while others commit professionalism infarctions that lead to sanctions. In worse-case scenarios, the sanctions end up delaying graduation, and students lose their placement at CMU College of Medicine permanently.
Professionalism Policy and Student Responsibilities
The Student Handbook provides a compressive overview of CMU College of Medicine administration's behavioral, academic, and professional standards. For example, personal integrity is high on the list of valued attributes medical students must have – enforced by the Office of Student Conduct if necessary. In addition, the text within the Professionalism policy stipulates that students wishing to pursue their medical degree at CMU College of Medicine must:
“understand that their professional responsibility to the care of their future patients begins when they matriculate to the College of Medicine. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned and demonstrated in the classroom and laboratory are directly relevant to patient care, [approached] with the same professionalism as is the patient in the clinical setting”.
Medical students must abide by the CMU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Disciplinary Procedures or face sanctions. The penalties range in severity from a written reprimand to permanent dismissal. In addition, the College temporarily revokes access to campus facilities and equipment if students receive a temporary discharge.
Enforcing professional and academic standards is a necessity in medical school due to the sensitive nature of the physician's practice, requiring knowledge and ethical conduct. However, procedural errors, mistakes, and even baseless accusations are not uncommon occurrences in deliberations. Innocent students and those facing false allegations may not have the tools and knowledge to defend themselves properly if such issues arise unless they work with an attorney advisor.
Remediation at CMU College of Medicine
High academic performance and course mastery are necessary to progress to more rigorous training at CMU College of Medicine. Students who receive a “not-progressing as expected” status on their transcript must partake in a remediation plan to improve their grades. The policy also applies to students who receive an “I Grade” (incomplete), after which they enter an automatic remediation period and must take a remediation examination. Students may not challenge a remediation grade.
The Student Performance and Conduct Committee makes decisions regarding the next steps for students who fail remediation. Penalties include a dismissal recommendation that goes to the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Although remediation indeed means additional time and extra effort, it is a necessary burden. Without remediation, students cannot progress to the next phase of their training and maintain placement in their program.
Students who engage in egregious violations or chronically underperform academically risk permanent dismissal from CMU College of Medicine. Students lose access to campus facilities, privileges and must repeat the material from scratch at another medical school. CMU College of Medicine investigates allegations of infarctions and recommends sanctions based on the violation – but not all processes are fair. As a result, even innocent students face long and short-term difficulties from expulsion, such as:
- Challenges finding another medical school: Admissions Officers prefer flawless applications and won't hesitate to reject those that seem problematic. With an expulsion charge on one's transcript, finding a top-ranked medical school that's willing to overlook it becomes doubly challenging.
- Loss of opportunities: Reputation damage from an expulsion charge has long-term consequences and leads to loss of professional opportunities.
- Seemingly wasted time and effort: Regardless of how long a student attends medical school, expulsion returns them to square one. As a result, students may have to start over, losing years of time and effort in the process and potentially putting them off medical school permanently.
- Increased debt: Medical student debt sets students back years before they can pay them off. Expelled students fork out more money to find new housing and face loss of scholarships, placing them thousands of dollars in debt.
Medical students who receive a suspension or expulsion charge have the right to appeal the decision of the SPCC for two reasons. The first is if the student believes that procedural errors caused a failure of due process. The second is the existence of extenuating circumstances that warrant a lesser sanction. Students submit the appeal to the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs within ten business days of receiving the decision.
The Role of an Attorney-Advisor
CMU College of Medicine allows students facing a hearing to have an attorney-advisor present, an advantage for students over other medical schools. However, the advisor cannot address the panel directly. Despite this limitation, the guidance of an attorney-advisor significantly improves a student's chances of receiving a favorable case outcome.
Attorney Advisor Joseph D. Lento understands the sensitive nature of professional misconduct allegations and how academic performance delays graduation. With his experience working with medical students nationwide, Attorney Lento works diligently to reduce the impact of harmful allegations that threaten a medical student's dreams of becoming a doctor.
A mistake, lapse in judgment, and even sheer exhaustion shouldn't lead to suspension or expulsion from medical school. If you or a loved one receive notice of professional misconduct violations or academic underperformance, don't wait until it's too late to make a difference in the case outcome. Contact Lento Law Firm today through the online form or call 888-535-3686 for a thorough discussion about your rights.