The life of a dentist can be a rewarding one, but it's not necessarily an easy one. As a starting point, school isn't the end of your education: you'll be expected to keep up with new techniques and the latest tools. You'll likely work long hours, especially in the beginning. You'll have to work with every patient, even those you may not like. Maybe the best way to put it is that the life of a dentist is just that: it's not a job or a career—it's a life.
It's the job of a dental school to prepare you for that life. That's why schools hold students to the highest standards, not just academically but professionally, ethically, and personally. The LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton is no exception. Bradenton is a beautiful Florida city with a planetarium, an aquarium, and miles of gulf shore beaches. Don't let those amenities fool you, though. The school's expectations are high. You probably won't have a lot of time for strolling on the beach or checking out the stars.
Here's the thing, though: high expectations are great. We all want dentists who are capable and professional. Sometimes schools expect too much from their students, though. If that should happen to you, if you should find yourself facing an unfair charge or a sanction that doesn't fit the offense, you need to know that you have options. It's not easy to take on your dental school, but you can do it, and we can help.
Academic Standards at LECOM School of Dental Medicine, Bradenton
Excellence at LECOM begins with academics. Your instructors want to be sure that you know oral medicine inside and out and that you can care for teeth with your eyes closed. So, they set rigorous standards and keep a constant eye on whether you're meeting them or not.
LECOM's Student Promotion and Graduation (SPG) committee meets regularly throughout each semester. At the end of semesters, the committee reviews every student's progress. LECOM expects you to earn at least a C (70%) in all your coursework. Should you fail a course, the SPG will likely require you to participate in remediation as a means of assuring you master the material. Failing more than one course usually means retaking the entire year. Besides disrupting your graduation date, that can interfere with your financial aid package. A consistently poor performance, though, can have more serious consequences: often, dismissal.
The LECOM School of Dental Medicine Student Handbook describes the school's process for appealing grades, and that can be one way to avoid remediation, probation, and dismissal. However, the Handbook doesn't explain how you might go about questioning the SPG committee's decisions or sanctions. This suggests it may not be easy to raise those sorts of questions. Should you need to, it may be useful to talk to an attorney first.
Maintaining Professional Standards
If anything, LECOM, Bradenton's professional and ethical standards are more rigid than its academic standards. Of course, you're expected to adhere to the American Dental Association's (ADA) Code of Ethics and Professionalism, which includes important strictures about maintaining patient confidentiality and conducting yourself professionally in the workplace. To this, though, LECOM adds language about serving as a positive representative of the school and the dental profession in general, whether you're on campus or off.
Here again, LECOM makes no mention either of who is responsible for identifying and punishing ethical and professional lapses or how you might go about objecting if you should find yourself accused. That's particularly troubling. Academic failings may be cut and dried, but professional failings are often a matter of subjective interpretation. Once again, this lack of guidance suggests just how important an attorney can be if you find yourself in trouble.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
You might well ask, at this point, why would you need an attorney as a dental school student? You're bright and capable; you're dedicated to your profession; the very fact that you're in dental school demonstrates your commitment to dentistry.
An attorney may be able to help you, though, in ways you might not realize.
- Evaluating remediation plans: Remediation plans serve an important function in medical school. They're basically there as a safety net should you fall behind. In fact, they have saved many a future dentist's career. Remediation can be costly, though, both in terms of time and money. It can even jeopardize your financial aid. The fact is you may have better options. It might, for instance, be easier to simply appeal your original grade in a course. Your school may not tell you about options like this. An attorney, one who understands how dental schools work, will.
- Cleaning up your transcript: If you should find yourself in trouble, academically or otherwise, you will want to do everything you can to keep it off your transcript. Remediation plans, to say nothing of sanctions like probation or suspension, can have long-term consequences when they're part of your record. They can keep you from getting a fellowship; they can keep you from getting that all-important first job. A skilled attorney can help keep negative comments out of your record and may even be able to get past comments removed.
- Avoiding dismissal: No sanction is as serious as dismissal. It isn't just about being asked to leave the program. You'll find it hard to find another school willing to take you if you already have a dismissal on your record. Even if you do manage to find another place in another program, you'll have to start at the beginning, and your original dismissal will likely remain as a permanent stain on your record. It's always in your best interest, then, to fight a dismissal. An attorney can help you plan your defense strategy, work with you to draft documents, and help you prepare to present your case.
How Can Joseph D. Lento Help?
An attorney can be an invaluable resource during dental school, but you don't want just any attorney. You want someone who is familiar with dental school curricula and procedures. You want someone who knows the law as it applies to higher education. You want someone who can actually talk to faculty and administrators.
Simply put, you want Joseph D. Lento.
Joseph D. Lento is a fully-licensed, fully-qualified defense attorney who specializes in defending students in campus judicial cases. Over the years, Joseph D. Lento has represented hundreds of students in matters both large and small. He knows the law, and he's a passionate defender of student rights.
If you're facing a sanction from your dental school, trust your case to someone who knows dental schools. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.