Idaho is known for potato farms, precious gemstones, and the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM). The vision of an osteopathic medical school is to train physicians to treat the whole person, not just to fight illnesses or injuries. Their students must be compassionate and empathize with their patients, helping them develop lifestyles to prevent disease as best as they can. With such high stakes, osteopathic medical schools have high expectations for their students, and some students may feel crushed under the pressure. If you find yourself in a similar situation, an attorney advisor can help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Idaho Medical Students
At the beginning of your osteopathic medical school career, you will be given a student handbook. In this handbook are specific guidelines the administration wishes you to follow, including how to behave in a professional setting. If your osteopathic medical school is like ICOM, the guidelines will ask you to refrain from cheating or falsifying information, disrupting your class or clinical clerkship by arriving late or being ill-prepared, breaching integrity or patient confidentiality, and failing to maintain your grades.
If the administration hears that you have violated these rules in any way, you will be recommended for dismissal, remediation, or disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions may include sanctions other than dismissal, like a written warning or behavior contract to disciplinary probation and suspension.
Remediation at Idaho Medical Schools
All medical school programs are competitive. After all, they are hoping to shape excellent physicians of tomorrow, who will build their patients up and represent the osteopathic community well. This competitiveness breeds stress and anxiety amongst students and might be the cause of less than stellar grades. But at most osteopathic medical schools, students are expected to maintain their grades and progress through the program in an orderly manner. If a student is found struggling with the course work, their clinical rotation, or their state licensing exams, they may be offered the chance to join a remediation program.
Remediation programs are generally put together by a director or dean and are meant to allow the student to retake the exam, course, or clinical with the hopes that they will retain the information better. Sometimes, remediation programs push back expected graduation dates because they have to be completed during a particular period the school has set up as a remediation period. Once a student passes the assignment, they can move on to the next module or year. If a student is unable to pass, they may be recommended for dismissal from the osteopathic medical program altogether. If your school has failed to give you a remediation plan or has referred you to a dismissal committee, you are entitled to an opportunity to defend yourself.
Dismissal From an Idaho Medical Program
There are numerous explanations for why a student would be dismissed from an osteopathic medical program outside of being caught cheating or fabricating information. For instance, many students find themselves before the dismissal committee for not being able to maintain their grades or not keeping patient confidentiality during a clinical clerkship. At ICOM, students have been dismissed for intentionally lying about their background during admissions, not reporting a criminal incident they were involved in, or failing to get drug or alcohol tested.
If you have been recommended for dismissal, you must present a solid defense at the hearing. So often, osteopathic medical students believe they can defend themselves and don't prepare well enough. The defense they present turns out to be wholly insufficient, causing them long-term consequences they may not have thought about. For example, if there are dismissed and wish to pursue a career in medicine at another school, they will have a much harder time gaining admissions with a dismissal noted on their transcripts. And if they can get into another school, they may not be able to transfer over all of their credits, forcing them to start from zero. Working with an attorney advisor who can create a solid defense is the only way to guarantee the best possible outcome for your case.
You've probably heard of “due process rights” when it comes to the Constitution, but even medical schools owe them to their students. These rights usually include:
- Facing your accuser in a disciplinary hearing
- The right to defend yourself and be heard in all hearings
- Requesting grade changes or the chance to join a remediation program
- The opportunity to appeal the hearing committee's decisions
When your disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal hearing ends, the committee overseeing it will review the evidence and witnesses presented and the facts surrounding the case. They will determine whether or not to pursue sanctions, allow you to join a remediation program, or dismiss you from the school and then send you their decision in writing.
This notice also should also come with instructions on how to appeal the decision they made. It's important to make sure the instructions are clear. If you have questions, ask them. For students facing dismissal or suspension, this appeal is your last chance to continue with your dream of becoming a doctor in Idaho. And we know filing an appeal can be overwhelming, but an attorney advisor can walk you through it.
Additionally, attorney advisors will be able to walk you through alternative paths if your appeal is denied. For instance, they can reach out to your medical school's Office of General Counsel to negotiate on your behalf. Typically, these attempts are much more successful at resolving the issue than filing a lawsuit against your medical school might be.
Idaho Medical Student Defense Advisor
Medical school is hard, and being brought before a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal committee can feel overwhelming. But try not to crack under the stress and anxiety; an attorney-advisor can help.
Attorney advisors, Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have spent their professional careers helping students in similar situations. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.