Maine is home to wild blueberries, lobster boils, and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine is focused on educating physicians with excellent clinical skills and compassionate patient-centered care. While the program offers several ways to access urban research and clinical facilities, it also prides itself on training physicians who want to work in Maine's more rural areas. With such lofty goals, this osteopathic medical school has high expectations of its students. If you find yourself getting crushed by the pressure, an attorney advisor can help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Maine Medical Students
Most schools across the country send out student handbooks to their students on or before their first day of classes. This tradition is carried into osteopathic medical school. Usually, these student handbooks also clarify specific rules the medical school expects the students to follow. These rules tend to cover both academic and professional expectations. If your school is like UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine, they will ask to:
- Refrain from cheating or helping another student cheat on an assignment, exam, or paper
- Provide compassionate, appropriate, and effective patient care
- Maintain satisfactory grades
- Pass all necessary state licensing exams
- Avoid behavior that can be construed as bullying or sexual harassment
This list is not exhausting, but if you are found to have violated any of the rules in the student handbook, your administration may recommend you for a remediation plan, a dismissal hearing, or a disciplinary meeting. Students found responsible for disciplinary actions might be sanctioned with things like a warning letter or probation and suspension. It is important to attend these hearings and defend yourself. If you don't, the consequences could be even more disastrous.
Remediation at Maine Medical Schools
Osteopathic medical school programs expect their students to not only do well academically but positively represent their education in their professional lives as well. As such, they expect their students to have exceptional grades and consistently test them to see how they are progressing.
Unfortunately, some students may do better on practical exams or in-person learning than in traditional testing situations. The good news is most osteopathic medical schools offer their students the ability to retake a course, exam, or rotation they had done poorly in. At UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine, students must remediate outstanding course or clinical work to move forward in the program. If a student is recommended for remediation, another faculty member, director, or dean will orchestrate a plan for them to resolve these issues. Once they are completed with a passing grade, the student can move on.
If a student is unable to pass a course, exam, or clinical rotation, even after being given the opportunity to remediate, they may be referred to the dismissal committee. All students learn differently; if you feel like your medical school is not supporting you enough, an attorney advisor can advocate for that help on your behalf.
Dismissal From a Maine Medical Program
Students are brought before the dismissal committee at their osteopathic medical school for a number of reasons. For most students, they think they can only be brought for academic or disciplinary actions, but the truth is, you can be brought before them for even mundane things like excessive absences.
At UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine, students are recommended for dismissal if they fail and level of the COMSAE and COMLEX-USA three or more times or if they exhibit irregular or inappropriate behavior during their rotation. If you've been recommended for dismissal from your program, you will be asked to meet with a dismissal committee.
The committee will give you an opportunity to defend yourself. It is important to go into this hearing with a solid defense, evidence, and witnesses willing to speak on your behalf already in place. Students who are insufficiently defended run the risk of other long-term consequences besides just dismissal. For instance, some students may suffer from financial hardships trying to repay their student loans without the promise of a physician's salary to help. Attorney advisors can help prepare you for your dismissal hearing. They will gather evidence and witnesses and create a solid defense that will guarantee the best possible outcome for your case.
When a medical student is brought before a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal committee, they are owed certain due process rights. The term “due process rights” might make you think of the Constitution, but all it really means is that these hearings follow established guidelines. That is, the school cannot decide to change the rules on a whim. Every student must be treated equally. Usually, these rights include:
- Being able to face your accuser in a disciplinary hearing
- The right to defend yourself and be heard in all hearings
- Requesting grade changes or the chance to join a remediation program
- The opportunity to appeal the hearing committee's decisions
At the end of the hearing, the committee will review the issue, and all the evidence presented. They'll issue a notice which states their decision and explains how to appeal it. If you are facing a suspension or dismissal, it's important to remember that an appeal is your last chance to protect your dream of becoming an osteopathic doctor in Maine.
If the idea of filing the appeal on your own is intimidating, an attorney advisor can advise you on appeals best practices. Additionally, attorney advisors can advocate on your behalf with your medical school's Office of General Counsel if your appeal is unsuccessful. These negotiations tend to be more beneficial than if you were to file a lawsuit against the school.
Maine Medical Student Defense Advisor
Attending a committee hearing can be overwhelming. How do you prepare? When are you allowed to speak? How do you defend yourself? Attorney advisors can help you prepare and alleviate the stress. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his expert team have spent their professional careers helping students in similar situations. They know the best defense is a strong defense. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.