International American University College of Medicine (IAUCOM) traces its beginnings to 2003 when an act by the Saint Lucian Parliament formalized the university's charter. Since its founding, IAU College of Medicine has advanced its mission “To train future physicians to serve selflessly and humbly, while emphasizing strong medical ethics and appreciation of human worth and dignity.”
Graduates from IAUCOM generally expect to embark on a medical career in either the U.S. or Canada. IAU graduates have attained residencies in American programs in the fields of diagnostic radiology, pediatrics, internal medicine, and more.
You may find similar success following your graduation from IAU College of Medicine. First, though, you must reach the graduation stage with the most pristine record you can possibly manage. If you are facing any sort of medical student issue, such as academic underperformance or sanctions for alleged misconduct, then you need an attorney-advisor to help.
Honor Code and Standards of Conduct
The IAUCOM Student Handbook contains two guiding pillars for medical students: The Honor Code and Standards of Conduct.
The IAU College of Medicine Honor Code requires students to “manifest and uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.” This call for unwavering integrity and professionalism applies to both students' personal conduct and their interactions with others, from patients to colleagues and faculty.
IAUCOM's Standards of Conduct pertain primarily to proper academic conduct. Students are expressly forbidden from collaborating on graded coursework, falsifying, , engaging in any other behavior considered to be academic misconduct.
The IAUCOM Student Handbook also defines specific criteria for student professionalism, which is one of the university's core competencies. Students must exhibit consistent professionalism in patient care, collegial interactions, personal accountability, and adherence to medical standards.
An alleged violation of the IAUCOM Honor Code or Standards of Conduct may prompt a formal complaint against you. The Dean of Student Affairs will process the complaint and may forward your case to the Dean of Academic Affairs or Honor Council for adjudication.
The Dean of Student Affairs may try to resolve your complaint informally. If you cannot reach an agreement with the Dean of Student Affairs (whether because you refuse to accept sanctions or for another reason), then the IAUCOM Honor Council may overtake your case.
If your case reaches the IAUCOM Honor Council, then you should prepare for a thorough adjudication process. A three-person Hearing Panel will notify you that they have begun your case and that you have an upcoming hearing no more than seven days later.
Following its investigation, the Hearing Panel will conduct your closed hearing. The Hearing Panel has discretion over who may testify, what evidence you (or your attorney-advisor) can present, and the general nature of your hearing.
The standard of proof in Honor Council hearings is the preponderance of the evidence. You will receive notice of the Hearing Panel's findings following your hearing, with those findings also becoming part of your disciplinary record.
When your academic performance suffers for any reason, you may face the prospect of remediating one or more courses. IAUCOM states that “Students with failing grades will be required to repeat the associated courses the following term.” This means that remediation is likely, if not certain, should you receive a failing mark.
You will also have to retake the NBME shelf exam—a test of your fundamental medical competency—if you receive a score of 54 or below. Remediation of an exam or course may also land you on academic probation. You will be required to meet certain criteria, such as attending regular meetings with advisors, until you shed the probationary label.
For students who are genuinely struggling with their IAUCOM coursework, remediation can be a necessary safety net. In other cases, remediation may be a costly (students must generally pay the expense of retaking a course or exam) and unnecessary step. If your poor marks stem from unfair grading, an unaddressed absence from the university, or other unique circumstances, then you may have options beyond remediation.
Dismissal is the harshest sanction that a medical school can deliver upon a student. When circumstances necessitate, IAUCOM will deliver an order of expulsion.
Grounds for academic dismissal include:
- Failing a course while on academic probation
- Failing three or more basic sciences courses
- Failing to pass specific exams within a certain number of attempts or within a specific timeframe
The IAUCOM Promotions Committee will determine whether you should be dismissed on academic grounds. Grounds for dismissal for non-academic issues include:
- Academic misconduct
- Unprofessional behavior
- Other behavior prohibited by IAUCOM
The university's Disciplinary Committee may make the final ruling for a misconduct-related dismissal.
The Executive Dean of IAUCOM handles all appeals involving disciplinary action. You have the right to appeal a disciplinary decision based on:
- A flawed adjudication process
- Inconsistency between the evidence and the Hearing Panel's ruling
Though these are the two primary grounds for appeal, you may be able to appeal a ruling on other grounds. You have seven days from the receipt of the Hearing Panel's decision to file your written appeal with the Executive Dean. The Executive Dean has the power to modify, reverse, or maintain the Hearing Panel's decision. The Dean may also remand your case to the Honor Council for further consideration.
For academic sanctions (including dismissal), you can file an appeal with the Chief Academic Officer within 15 days of learning of your dismissal.
Hiring an Attorney Advisor
Many medical students in the Caribbean find themselves in uncharted waters. Not only are the harsh realities of medical school unfamiliar, but so may be the culture of St. Lucia and the specific practices of IAUCOM. When real trouble strikes, you need an attorney-advisor who specializes in Caribbean medical student issues on your side.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have helped countless Caribbean medical students overcome the challenges that can arise on their journey to become doctors. Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm will defend you against academic or behavioral sanctions while working towards a fair process and the best possible outcome. The Lento Law Firm knows that any formal reprimand or adverse outcome can delay your graduation, add thousands to the cost of your schooling, or have even greater ramifications.
Do not wait to get the help that you need. Call attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686. You may also contact us online here.