Medical schools are keen on training doctors they believe will do well in the field, both academically and professionally. Every medical school wants to be the one to educate the next superstar neurosurgeon or cardiothoracic surgeon. Their reputation is their number one priority, and the same is true in Kansas. With such high hopes for their students, some individuals might find it hard to withstand the pressure. If you think you are experiencing something similar, an attorney advisor will be able to help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Kansas Medical Students
At the beginning of the year, medical schools distribute student handbooks that contain specific rules and guidelines they want the students to follow.
Generally, these rules cover both academic and professional expectations. For instance, at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, the student handbook lays out the Honor Code, which asks the students to:
- Tell the truth and demonstrate respect for others
- Refuse to help others act fraudulently
- Not obstruct the investigation or prosecution of another student who is in violation of the Honor Code
- Maintaining satisfactory grades
- Remediate courses, exams, and clinicals when given the chance
- Maintain patient confidentiality
When a medical school faculty member believes a student has violated this Honor Code, they will refer them to a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal committee. These committees will review the issue and determine the next steps. It's important to know what your schools' particular policies are before starting classes. You don't want to be taken by surprise by some arbitrary or archaic policy you would never have guessed existed.
Remediation at Kansas Medical Schools
Kansas medical schools expect their students to graduate with not only an exceptional understanding of medical knowledge but with excellent professional capabilities. As such, they consistently test their students on both. If they discover a student is having a hard time keeping up, they may recommend them for a remediation plan.
A remediation plan essentially allows the student to retake a course, exam, or clinical rotation to ensure that they have a full understanding of the subject. At Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, if a staff member discovers that a student has failed their coursework, they will meet with them to formulate a Learning and Professionalism Contract. This contract is focused on providing support services, like access to a learning specialist, advisor, or mental health counselor. Once the student signs the contract, the course director will lay out specific instructions for remediation.
Unfortunately, even if your school does offer a remediation program, there are times when the committee overseeing your case decides not to place you in a program. Whether this is just an oversight or blatant disregard for their own rules, it is inherently unfair, causing students to lose their chance at a medical degree. Some students don't learn the same way as others. Maybe you are stronger in the clinical arena than in the classroom. Maybe you understand the information intrinsically but struggle to get it onto paper when sitting for a test. Whatever it may be, you are owed the chance to remediate the course.
Dismissal From a Kansas Medical Program
At any point during the semester, a medical student can be referred for dismissal from the program. It might sound like it could never happen to you, but the reality is that there are several reasons why a student could be referred to the dismissal committee outside of disciplinary issues. For instance, at the University of Kansas, students can be referred for dismissal because of failing grades, inappropriate behavior while working in a clerkship, or mistreating patients. If a majority of people on the Academic Professionalism Committee vote that the student should be dismissed, they will be.
To combat these cases, the first thing you should do is create a strategic defense for the hearing. Regrettably, many students will not take these proceedings seriously and end up being dismissed for issues that could have been argued better. Because of their insufficient defense, they might find that they are now suffering from consequences like:
- Trying to be admitted to a new medical school only to have that one close its doors to them
- Paying back student loans without the financial support of a physician's salary
- Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and declining mental and physical health
Working with an attorney advisor is the only way to guarantee you are sufficiently prepared to defend yourself.
Medical students are owed specific due process rights from the moment they start school. Generally, these rights include:
- The right to face your accuser
- The right to defend yourself and be heard
- The right to an attorney advisor to help advocate for you
- Asking for grade changes or remediation programs
- Appealing decisions of the hearing committees
Once your disciplinary hearing ends, the committee overseeing it will send notice of their decision. This notice will also list steps for appealing the decision, including the submission deadline, who to send the appeal to, and what grounds it can be made on. For instance, at the Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, the student must appeal, in writing, to the Chief Academic Officer or Dean within five days of receiving the initial decision. If you are facing a suspension or dismissal, an appeal is your last chance to protect your dream of becoming a doctor in Kansas.
If you find the idea of filing the appeal on your own to be daunting, an attorney advisor can walk you through the process so you don't lose the opportunity. Additionally, if your appeal is denied, your attorney advisor can reach out to the Office of General Counsel at your medical school to advocated further on your behalf. Usually, these discussions have a much higher success rate than if you were to file a lawsuit against your medical school.
Kansas Medical Student Defense Advisor
It can be very jarring to learn you are being brought before a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal hearing at your medical school. You've worked so hard to get into medical school, but a myriad of situations may have brought you to this place. But remember, the best thing you can do for yourself is to reach out to an experienced attorney advisor. Attorney-advisors have the expertise and understanding to defend you properly. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have devoted years of their professional careers helping medical students in similar situations. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.