One of only three medical schools in the state, The Louisiana State University (LSU) Shreveport School of Medicine is the only medical school in north Louisiana and celebrated for its rigorous education for healthcare professionals.
The field of medicine is a revered area of study that offers a bright future. However, the barrier to entry is famously high. Going to medical school will be one of the biggest and most expensive commitments you ever make.
Once enrolled in medical school, students often face grueling schedules and considerable pressure to keep their grades up. All the while, they are expected to uphold rigorous standards of integrity and excellence. Academic issues, professionalism concerns, or disciplinary charges can imperil a medical student's career prospects.
If you are tackling allegations or disputes with your medical school, you deserve to have your academic rights defended. Having an attorney advisor who is familiar with the issues unique to medical students can best ensure that you can continue unimpeded to the medical career for which you have worked so hard.
At LSU School of Medicine, students are held to high standards of academic and professional integrity. Students must abide by the school's Honor Code, which pledges to “uphold the ideals of the medical profession and protect the name of the LSU School of Medicine.”
Medical students must adhere to additional standards of conduct compared with students of other fields. Professionalism is a key part of studies, built into a medical education. This means professionalism is an academic issue overseen by the Office for Academic Affairs. The office outlines this requirement as a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles.
The school takes these demands very seriously. You will have had to agree to the Code of Conduct by signature before you could complete your registration to enter the medical school. Complaints about student's professionalism will see them in front of first the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who supervises the undergraduate medical curriculum. The Associate Dean will always be the first point of contact for reports of unprofessional student behavior, and both oversees and directs the professionalism committee.
The School of Medicine takes its Honor Code very seriously, so much so they have a dedicated committee, the Council on Student Professional Conduct. The council's mission is to uphold the LSUHSC School of Medicine Honor Code. Allegations of academic, professional, and ethical misconduct are taken seriously, and should a student be found to be in violation, they could face disciplinary sanctions including reprimands and probation, or in more serious cases dismissal or permanent expulsion.
Studying medicine at the LSU School of Medicine is a challenging proposition. Meeting the demands of the heavy workload and stiff academic standards can be difficult for even the most diligent students. Unfortunate things happen, and sometimes life can get in the way. Your Student Promotions Committee is aware of this and can offer remediation to students who need time to repeat part of their studies to ensure they meet the requirements for their degree.
Remedial measures are varied and discretionary. However, the LSUHSC-S Student Handbook provides some guidance on remediation rules and parameters, including strict limits to how much remediation can save ailing grades. Students may remediate the grade of F in one course but will be dismissed if they earn two Fs.
Important things to consider with remediation include the not-insubstantial time and financial cost it can incur. However, remediation can offer an invaluable route ahead, particularly if offered as an alternative to failing your course. What is best in your case will depend on you and your personal circumstances.
If you show continued poor academic performance, you will face the risk of academic dismissal, when you are asked to leave the school. If dismissed, you could still reapply for admission. Should you face expulsion, you will be unable to do so. Either way, you will face a slew of challenges pursuing a career after this. You will still be responsible for any student loans you took out, though your future earning potential may have been slashed or, at best, cast into doubt. Reenrollment elsewhere can prove very difficult given the stringent admissions standards at medical schools. Should you be successful in enrolling at another medical school, the likelihood of which may be tenuous at best, you may have to begin from the very start of your medical education. This could amount to years of repeated work, and all the associated financial cost that comes with studying at medical school.
Given the devastating consequences of dismissal or expulsion, you should attempt to avoid dismissal by any legitimate means possible. Whether your defense is based on a grievance with the school or extenuating circumstances, you will want to navigate your school's disciplinary process with the best possible assistance.
If you are facing academic dismissal or other penalties, you still have the right to appeal the Professionalism Committee's decision. Speed is of the utmost importance as you will have to make your appeal to the Dean of the School of Medicine within ten working days of the Committee's decision. In general, appeals are based on information not previously considered. Another route, depending on your case, is the school's grievance process. If you feel that you have been judged under different standards as other students, this is a valid grievance. You have the right to lodge an academic grievance if you believe your rights have been compromised because of an arbitrary and/or capricious action.
Under school procedure, the Dean of the School of Medicine will decide on further action within ten working days after receipt of your appeal, at which point they will notify all parties. The Dean's decision is final. That will conclude the matter.
It is therefore critical that you take this final opportunity to restore your name and prospects. With the stakes as high as they are, the prudent move would be to hire an attorney-advisor who can help protect your rights and navigate the appeals process.
Do You Need An Attorney-Advisor?
Sometimes the pressure on medical schools to maintain their reputation can lead them to exact judgment on student conduct all too quickly or without fairness. If you are facing issues at medical school, you should look to safeguard your future by securing an experienced attorney-advisor. With the right guidance, you can rest assured that you are putting forward your best defense and know that someone is looking out for your right to due process.
Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience in student discipline matters and has successfully helped countless medical students address and resolve the unique challenges that can present themselves in medical school. Don't face medical school disciplinary actions or disputes on your own. Call the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 to see how we can help.