Kentucky might be known for horse racing and moonshine, but it is also home to three major medical schools: the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. Both of these schools are focused on training future physicians to bring excellent patient care to the people of Kentucky. As such, they expect their students to not only meet, but exceed their ambitious standards. Some students may find this quite intimidating and start behaving in ways they normally wouldn't, landing themselves in front of review boards. If you find you're going through something comparable, an attorney advisor can help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Kentucky Medical Students
At the beginning of medical school, students are given a specific code of conduct the administration wants them to follow. Usually, these rules cover both academic and professional standards. For instance, at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, they include:
- Asking students to refrain from cheating or plagiarizing their work, bullying or sexually harassing other students, faculty, and staff.
- Requiring students to maintain patient confidentiality and satisfactory grades.
- Showing concern to prevent and minimize the risk of injury or disease of their patients.
If a student violates their medical school's code of conduct, they might find themselves standing before a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal committee. These committees will review the issue and determine if the student should be placed on a remediation plan, dismissed, or sanctioned for their behavior. Sanctions can include anything from a formal warning letter to suspension.
Remediation at Kentucky Medical Schools
Medical schools breed competition. They want to make sure their students are the best physicians they can be before entering the workforce and treating patients. Because of this, they tend to test their students continuously throughout their four years. These tests cover both medical knowledge and professional capabilities. Students should leave medical school knowing how to triage a patient and comfort them.
But no matter how hard a student studies, it might be enough sometimes. Academia knows that students do not all learn the same way, yet the way they teach is always consistent with one style of learning. To try and balance the field, medical schools allow struggling students to remediate classes, exams, and clinical clerkships to better understand the material.
For instance, at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, the Student Progress and Promotions Committee (SPPC) monitors student progress. If they determine that a student is struggling, they will refer the student's case to the Dean of the College of Medicine, who will then determine if the student should join a remediation program. Remediation plans need to be passed before students can be progressed to the next year or module of their program.
There are some students who will continue to fail even with the remediation plan, and in those cases, the Dean may move their case to a dismissal committee. How many chances a student gets to remediate will vary from school to school, which is why it's important to be familiar with your school's individual policies.
Dismissal From a Kentucky Medical Program
If your school is like the University of Louisville School of Medicine, the medical school has the power to dismiss you for any policy violation. This means you can be brought before a dismissal committee for cheating, plagiarizing, bullying, violating patient confidentiality, poor grades, and inappropriate behavior while working in your clinical clerkships.
When you receive notification of the impending dismissal hearing, it is important to fully prepare for it. So many students do not take these proceedings seriously and find themselves getting dismissed. Working with an attorney advisor is the best way to guarantee you are prepared to defend yourself. They will gather evidence and witness testimony to persuade the administration to give you a second chance.
Unfortunately, inadequate defenses can have more consequences than just premature dismissal, including personal and financial difficulties. For instance, dismissed students still have to pay back their student loans even if they never secure a physician's salary. Additionally, medical students are already exhausted and hyper-aware individuals, being dismissed can cause a chain reaction to their mental and physical health.
Medical schools owe their students certain rights, including the right to all be treated equally. They cannot suddenly change the rules from student to student. Instead, the rules must be voted on and upheld, no matter the situation. At almost all American medical schools, these rights include facing their accuser in a disciplinary hearing, being able to defend themselves, asking to join remediation programs, and being able to appeal committee decisions.
When hearings end, the committee will decide if the student should be punished. Their decision will be mailed to you and include steps for appealing it. If you are facing a suspension or dismissal, it is important you appeal the decision. Sanctions like these are mentioned on your permanent transcripts and will have to be clarified on all future applications. For instance, if you are dismissed and choose to go to medical school elsewhere, you will not only have to explain what happened in your admissions interview but potentially on every state licensing exam after that
Filing appeals may seem straightforward, and for the most part, they are, but figuring out what ground to file on can be tricky. Some students may avoid filing their appeals just because they can't decide which ground fits best. If you find yourself feeling the same way, an attorney advisor can walk you through it.
Furthermore, if your appeal is denied, an attorney advisor will be able to show you how to navigate the next stage of your petition. For instance, they may contact the Office of General Counsel at your medical school and attempt to negotiate on your behalf. Usually, these negotiations are much more successful than if you were to file a lawsuit against your school first.
Kentucky Medical Student Defense Advisor
Defending your spot in medical school is an intimidating task. You may not know what to do to best protect your dream of becoming a doctor in Kentucky. Luckily, all students have the right to have an attorney-advisor advocate on their behalf. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an expert in medical school defense. He and his team with creating a strategic defense to that guarantees you the best possible outcome for your case. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.