Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) in New York was founded in 1928 through a merger with Presbyterian Hospital. VP&S is part of a group of programs that compose the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, which has had multiple faculty members that have been awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine. The school's honor code emphasizes “honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, and professionalism.”

Medical school students have begun a long journey pursuing a career of practicing medicine. In addition to rigid standards for academic performance that are subject to remediation, each institution maintains guidelines for professionalism. Medical students with the prospect of serious disciplinary sanctions including suspension and dismissal may face less desirable residency options, employment opportunities, and reduced earning potential. Having an experienced attorney in an advisory role is critical for protecting your rights and achieving a positive resolution.

Common Breaches of Professionalism

  • Failing to properly manage and reliably handle their various responsibilities
  • A failure to demonstrate a commitment to personally honor patient needs above self-interests
  • Insufficiently building rapport or empathy with patients

Columbia's students are expected to assume responsibility for protecting patient information according to the guidelines for securing confidential or sensitive data. In clinical environments, students must recognize their limitations as they develop their knowledge and gain experience; therefore, caution is emphasized when acting without supervision.

Respecting the honor code is very important at Columbia during the transition period from being a student to a medical professional. The administration recognizes that the medical profession is honorable and requires trust. Potential instances of lapses in professionalism are reported using a Professionalism Concern Report. Students that are the subject of these reports will be contacted by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs who is responsible for investigating and reviewing these issues.


The student is always allowed to respond to adverse allegations. The Columbia University Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) may conduct disciplinary hearings when needed. Those with persistent concerns or whose actions are particularly egregious are subject to suspension or dismissal from the institution.


All students are expected to satisfy the minimum requirements for remaining in good academic standing and maintain eligibility for promotion and graduation. Technical standards are developed based on guidance from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Failing to achieve a 70% on an exam or course is deemed as unacceptable and subject to remedial measures. Students are afforded one opportunity to retake a course when necessary.

Seasoned Advisory Attorney for Medical Students

Medical students that are the subject of serious disciplinary actions have much at stake, as having a clean background is critical in the medical profession. Retaining experienced advisory representation ensures the school's specific disciplinary provisions are properly interpreted and that you are afforded due process.

Leaders at today's top institutions of medical education, innovation, and research are devoted to maintaining an impeccable reputation. The administrators responsible for the disciplinary process may be inclined to promptly resolve these matters and impose disproportionately harsh penalties. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that understands the potentially adverse repercussions and will support your best interests. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.