A career in medicine can be rewarding, but it's not an easy path. You'll face plenty of challenges. You'll be expected to know everything there is to know about the human body. You'll be asked to make yourself available as a healer twenty-four hours a day. You'll have to treat patients you may not like. That's why schools like the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine hold their students to the very highest standards—to ensure that they're ready when they graduate.
DMU-COM is part of the larger Des Moines University Medicine and Health Sciences program. That program has been around for over 120 years. It's the largest medical school in Iowa and among the top 25 largest accredited schools in the country. In other words, it's a prestigious program, and you can expect to receive a rigorous education.
Rigor can be a great thing. It can, for example, make you into a great doctor. Too much rigor, though, can create problems. Medical schools can and do get things wrong sometimes. They falsely accuse students, hold students to unreasonable standards, and issue sanctions all out of proportion to offenses. If you should find yourself in one of these situations, you do have the right to fight back. You don't want to try and do it alone, though. Luckily, you don't have to. An attorney who is familiar with medical school cultures and procedures can help.
Academic and Professional Standards
DMU-COM maintains strict requirements for its students, both in terms of academic and professional behavior. You can find information about both in the school's Academic Catalog. Both are ultimately under the purview of the school's Academic Progress Committee (APC).
In terms of academics, the APC reviews every student's progress following every semester. The committee has the power to recommend remediation for students who fail courses or generally fall behind in the coursework. They can also assign more serious sanctions such as probation and even dismissal to students who struggle consistently.
The APC reviews professional conduct as well. Students are expected to behave professionally, not just when they are on campus but throughout their day-to-day lives. Failing to follow the law, for instance, is grounds for dismissal. In addition, less extreme misconduct like cheating or using drugs—violations of school policy—can also lead to serious sanctions like a dismissal.
Why Would You Need an Attorney?
At this point, you may be saying to yourself, sure, medical school is difficult, but I know what I signed up for. I'm bright and capable. I know what's expected of me, and I intend to follow all the rules. Why would I ever need an attorney to handle an issue for me?
The fact is, things don't always go as planned. Life intervenes, and you find you need to take a semester off, even though your school recommends against it. You go out with friends after an especially difficult final and don't realize just how much you've had to drink when you get into your car to drive home. Or maybe DMU-COM accuses you of something you didn't actually do, such as revealing a patient's medical history in public.
In fact, attorneys can help with a whole range of student issues, both big and small.
- Remediation: If you've failed a class or struggled to keep up with your coursework, the APC may recommend remediation. Remediation can be a useful safety net that allows you to catch up if you should fall behind. Remediation takes time, though, and usually costs money. You may have other, better options, like appealing your original grade. The APC probably won't tell you about these other options. An attorney who knows how your school operates will, and they can guide you through the entire process.
- Cleaning up your transcript: Remediation and other kinds of sanctions can sometimes appear on your academic record. Even a warning can mar an otherwise stellar transcript and cause you problems when it comes time to go for job interviews. An experienced attorney will have suggestions for cleaning up your record.
- Dealing with dismissal: Of course, the most serious sanction you can face is dismissal. If you're forced to leave school, you'll find it difficult to enroll anywhere else. Even if you do find another spot, your dismissal will likely appear on your academic record. If you don't enroll anywhere else, you can expect your student loans to come due immediately. An attorney can help you defend yourself if your school is trying to dismiss you. They can craft a winning defense strategy, help you present your case to the APC, and assist you with writing documents. They can even help prep you to answer questions or make presentations.
Here's the thing, though. While an attorney can be a valuable asset no matter what kind of issue you're having with your medical school program, not just any attorney will do. Just as doctors specialize, so too do attorneys. You need an attorney who's familiar with medical schools, someone who knows the procedures and can help guide you through complex judicial processes.
How Can Joseph D. Lento Help You?
Joseph D. Lento is a fully licensed, fully qualified defense attorney. His work extends well beyond the courtroom, though. Joseph D. Lento built his practice defending students' rights and helping them get justice. He has represented hundreds of medical students as a legal advisor. He's practiced in dealing with faculty and administrators. He's helped students appeal grades, remove negative evaluations from their transcripts, and overturn dismissals. Joseph D. Lento is a fighter. He'll make sure your school respects your rights and treats you fairly.
If you're facing a sanction from your medical school, don't wait. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.