There are four medical schools in Massachusetts – Boston University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Tuft University School of Medicine, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. All of which expect their students to abide by their strict academic integrity standards while also providing their patients, colleagues, and faculty with an incredible level of professional respect. With stakes as high as these, medical school can feel overwhelmingly difficult to navigate. In some instances, you may find that you have violated your school's professional and academic standards. If you find yourself in such a situation, an attorney advisor will be able to advocate on your behalf for a solution.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Massachusetts Medical Students
Medical schools, like almost every other school in the country, have created a specific code of conduct they expect their students to follow whether they are on campus, in class, or working in their professional lives. For instance, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Honor Code asks students to use only use their email accounts appropriately, not to cheat on an assignment or examination, and always show their patients a certain degree of dignity.
When you are accused of violating the code of conduct at your medical school, the administration will be notified, and you may have to attend a formal hearing or face formal sanctions. Sanctions could include any type of punishment the Honor Board agrees to, up to and including suspension and expulsion. To mitigate these negative consequences, an attorney advisor will review the issue and gather evidence and witnesses to testify on your behalf in an effort to achieve the best possible outcome.
Remediation at Massachusetts Medical Schools
The medical field holds very high standards for its physicians. Doctors are expected to not only have done well in their coursework but to have the perfect comforting bedside manner. To create doctors who live up to these standards, medical schools test their students on their medical knowledge, their flexibility in the face of unique challenges, and their interpersonal skills with other physicians, hospital staff, and patients.
If your school is similar to Harvard Medical School and they determine you are having a hard time keeping up with the coursework or rotations, they may offer you the chance to remediate the work. Essentially, they would allow you to retake the course, exam, or rotation altogether. At Harvard, they give one chance to remediate. It's important to understand your school's stance on remediation, but if you are unsure, an attorney advisor will be able to help you not only ascertain the information but also help your medical school design an appropriate remediation process.
Dismissal From a Massachusetts Medical Program
When you get into medical school, you never imagine you could be facing dismissal at some point. The truth is, though, there are several things you might do, whether accidentally or not, that could lead your medical school to dismiss you from their program. For instance, at Boston University Medical School, students are dismissed for receiving three or more failed final grades in a curricular year or failing after being allowed to retake the exam.
Medical school dismissals are generally not done without giving students the opportunity to present their case and be heard. Working with an attorney advisor will help lessen the stress of presenting your case clearly and succinctly. If you are insufficiently defended, the consequences will extend beyond expulsion. For instance, if you are expelled from your medical school, other schools may immediately remove you from their pool of applicants, forcing you to apply to less promising programs or concluding your medical career before it even began. You might also experience substantial financial harm from being forced to exit the program prematurely. You've taken out considerable loans, and without the promised income of a physician, it will be incredibly hard to pay those loans back. Other issues might include having your academic credits roll over to your new school, forcing you to start from zero, and experiencing significant personal problems.
All your dreams have been wrapped up in this career for as long as you can remember. Without those dreams, you might begin worrying how your life will turn out.
If your school's disciplinary process finds that you should be dismissed from the program or otherwise sanctioned, they will allow you to appeal the decision. Usually, appeals must be completed within a short time frame and can only be made on specific grounds, which is why it is so important to familiarize yourself with your school's exact process beforehand. Most schools allow their student to:
- Hear the allegations against them
- Face the person accusing them
- Be heard by the school's disciplinary body
- Request a grade change or remediation process
- And appeal an adverse ruling by the school's disciplinary body
Appeals are the last chance for students who are facing expulsion to preserve their original medical career dreams. Your attorney advisor will be able to help you appeal these decisions and hopefully lessen the sanctions against you.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, an attorney advisor will be able to reach out to the Office of General Counsel (OGC) at your medical school to negotiate on your behalf. Usually, these personal negotiations have a much better success rate, with more beneficial outcomes, than if you were to pursue a lawsuit against the medical school.
Massachusetts Medical Student Defense Advisor
Being accepted into medical school is a transformative experience for any student. You might be the first person in your family to go to medical school or hoping to join your several generations-long family practice. Whatever the case, you should be proud of such an accomplishment. When you are accused of violating your school's honor code, either professionally or academically, you might be worried those dreams for the future are being stripped away. The truth is these accusations can have long-lasting effects if you are not quick to defend yourself against them.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent his professional career fighting for students who have found themselves overwhelmed by challenges the medical profession might present. Attorney Lento and his team work diligently to protect your future medical ambitions and reputation. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.