Hawaii is known for its stunning beaches, lush vegetation, and gorgeous sunsets. It also happens to be home to the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Osteopathic Medicine Program in Hawaii: Wainae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) through the A.T. Still University of Osteopathic Medical School in Arizona. Both of these medical schools focus on training high-quality physicians with a penchant for research and comforting patient-centered care. As a school with such high standards, some students may find it hard to keep up with the constant pressures. If you feel like you are struggling to tread water and your medical school has yet to help, an attorney advisor will be able to advocate on your behalf. You've worked so hard to get into medical school, don't let complex proceedings get in the way of graduating. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Hawaii Medical Students
At the beginning of every year, medical students across the country are given codes of conduct the medical school expects them to follow. These codes are usually found in the student handbook and are updated from time to time. While the specifics change from school to school, generally, these codes of conduct are a set of rules that cover how a student is supposed to behave academically and professionally.
If your school is like the University of Hawaii's medical school, it will probably ask you to:
- Uphold the medical school's academic integrity (i.e., refrain from cheating and plagiarism)
- Refrain from bullying, stalking, harassment, and physical abuse
- Avoid treating patients without the necessary training
- Dress appropriately while on campus and during your clinical clerkships
- Make satisfactory grades in all courses, exams, and clerkships
When a faculty member or clinical instructor determines a student has violated this code of conduct, they will refer the student to the appropriate hearing committee. This committee will review the issue, hear the student's side of the story, and decide whether to punish the student, create a remediation plan for them, or dismiss them from the program. It is important to create a solid defense for these proceedings, working with an attorney advisor will ensure you the best possible outcome.
Remediation at Hawaii Medical Schools
Medical schools in Hawaii are hyper-focused on training physicians who can take care of the people in their communities. Hawaii is a melting pot of nationalities and ethnicities. As such, its medical needs will vary considerably, and the hope is that patient-centered care will travel beyond just the island of Hawaii to Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, and Maui.
To create such highly skilled physicians, the University of Hawaii will test their students consistently throughout their four years of medical school. If their Evaluation, Remediation, and Review Committee discovers a student is struggling in either their academic studies or their professional responsibilities, they will create a remediation plan for the student.
When students are asked to remediate a course, exam, or clinical clerkship, they are being given the opportunity to retake it. Many medical schools will have specific dates that remediation can take place, but once the student successfully passes, they are placed back into the advancement line. Sometimes though, remediation can push back a student's expected graduation date.
It is important to remember that while the medical schools in Hawaii have remediation programs, they can choose to send a student straight to the dismissal committee instead of offering it first. If you feel like your university is not giving you the chance to fight for your medical career, an attorney advisor will be able to present your case to the committee on your behalf.
Dismissal from a Hawaii Medical Program
Every medical school has a process for evaluation at the end of every semester. At WCCHC, students can be dismissed for a myriad of reasons, including not keeping adequate health insurance on themselves, violating academic integrity, or continuously failing a course, exam, or assignment even after remediation attempts.
Dismissal hearings are complex in nature, both emotionally and policy-wise. If you are unable to defend yourself well, it could result in a slew of long-term consequences that follow you beyond medical school. For instance, if you are found responsible for cheating and punished, that punishment will be disclosed to future employers. Additionally, if you are dismissed for failing either step of the USMLE or the COMLEX, you might find it hard to get into another medical school program to achieve your dream of becoming a doctor.
Attorney advisors are your best bet for preventing these unnecessarily negative consequences from occurring.
No matter where you are in the country, medical schools are supposed to provide their students with certain due process rights, which may include the right to:
- A grade change
- Ask for remediation
- Face your accuser in disciplinary cases
- Defend yourself, whether that's presenting evidence or witnesses to speak on your behalf during the proceedings
- Appeal a decision made by the hearing committees
During your dismissal proceedings, your medical school will decide if it is an appropriate action to pursue. You will receive notification of their decision, as well as the necessary steps you must take to file an appeal. The steps will include when to submit the appeal by (usually you only have a few days to do so), where to send the appeal, and what grounds you can appeal on.
If the thought of filing the appeal is frightening, an attorney advisor can help you navigate the process, bringing about the best possible outcome for your appeal. Also, there are certain scenarios where your appeal may be denied. If this happens, your attorney advisor will be able to help you navigate the next steps to take. For instance, they may reach out to the Office of General Counsel and negotiate for an alternative resolution on your behalf. Usually, these negotiations have more successful results than if you were to sue the school instead.
Hawaii Medical Student Defense Advisor
It can be incredibly stressful to prepare for a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal proceeding, but an attorney advisor can help you get peace of mind. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has dedicated his career to helping medical school students navigate these complexities. He and the team at Lento Law Firm know that the best defense is a quick defense. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.