Gaining acceptance into a New Jersey Medical residency program is no small feat. Medical students ready to take this final step in their education have spent most of their lives in school, working toward residency placement. In addition to the years these students have committed to learning, most have also spent significant sums of money on tuition. The average debt for medical students graduating in the last few years rings in at well over $200 thousand, according to credible.com.
With so much time and money invested into their medical school education, medical students are right to believe they'll one day reap a return on their investment. Of course, this outcome is contingent upon successful completion of the medical residency program, and unfortunately, some medical residents are ultimately dismissed from their programs.
If you're worried your standing in your medical residency program is in jeopardy, call medical resident defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today. You've spent too much time and money on your professional education not to fight a dismissal with every tool available to you.
New Jersey Medical Residency Program Dismissals
During your tenure within a New Jersey Medical residency program, you will experience a new host of challenges designed to ready you for a medical practice of your own. While we can agree that it's in everyone's best interest that our doctors be thoroughly vetted, there are times when a medical resident unfairly or unreasonably faces dismissal from their program.
Residency programs are a sort of hybrid relationship between an employer and an academic institution. In a sense, dismissal is tantamount to being fired; however, medical residents face more strict scrutiny in their behavior and progression than a fully licensed physician would. Medical residents are subject to more supervisor evaluations and curriculum completion requirements, for example. Generally, the reason for dismissal from a medical residency program will fall into one of two categories: ethical concerns or competency concerns.
Professional Conduct Issues and Ethical Concerns
Professional conduct is a cornerstone of the medical profession. Physicians are placed in a position of public trust that requires the highest standard of ethical behavior. According to the Code of Medical Ethics, promulgated by the American Medical Association (AMA), nine principles comprise the standard of ethical conduct that medical residents are expected to adhere to.
These principles concern:
- Treating patients with dignity and respect
- Upholding standards of professionalism
- Adhering to the law
- Respecting the rights of patients and colleagues and protecting their privacy
- Pursuing continued education
- Consideration of who to treat, except in emergencies
- Participating in community involvement
- Upholding responsibilities to the patient being treating
- Supporting access to medical care for everyone
A medical resident can be evaluated on any aspect of ethical behavior, and some New Jersey programs may even have more strict rules concerning professionalism. No one enters a medical residency program thinking they'll violate their program's ethical code, but what happens if you have one too many drinks at an event put on by your program? If you get a DUI, you'll have violated principle number 3, outlined above. Accidents happen, especially when you're stressed and exhausted.
Medical residency programs are notorious for overworking residents, and some participants find their emotional state suffers. When you're emotionally depleted and physically exhausted, it's easy to let professionalism slide.
If you're facing ethical misconduct accusations at your medical residency program, you need to speak to an experienced legal team who will have your back. Mistakes happen, but these missteps don't mean you aren't deserving of another chance.
Core Competency Concerns
Each medical residency program has a curriculum designed to introduce various medical fields to residents. Pursuant to policies implemented by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), all residents must meet certain benchmarks before they can graduate from an ACGME-accredited medical resident program. For example, to meet the ACGME accreditation standards, the internal medicine residency program at Englewood Health sets core curriculum requirements for all residents.
Medical residents aren't only required to successfully complete rotations in hospital medicine, emergency medicine, and geriatrics, to name a few, but residents must simultaneously complete specialty training in areas that include patient safety, quality improvement, research, and ultrasound care, in addition to others. Curricula like that outlined at Englewood Health's medical residency program serves to satisfy areas of core competency required by the ACGME.
The ACGME core competencies are:
- Patient care
- Medical Knowledge
- Practice-based learning and improvement
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Systems-based practices
Failure to demonstrate competency will prevent a resident from reaching the milestones needed to graduate from their program.
Medical Residency Program Disciplinary Boards and Sanctions
Medical residency programs are designed to comport with the requirements of the ACGME. Failure of your program to adhere to the ACGME could mean the institution loses its own accreditation. It's important to understand that accreditation is much more important to a medical residency program than any one of its medical residents.
Medical residents facing disciplinary board reviews and potential sanctions will be subject to the rules and procedures at their institution. While each program may have slightly different intervention and dismissal policies, in large part, the process is similar. For initial violations, your program's disciplinary board will likely try to create a plan that addresses your needs, but there are times when the board fails to adequately address the medical resident's issues. When this happens, the resident will continue to underperform in the eyes of the disciplinary board and ultimately be vulnerable to dismissal.
Retain a Medical Resident Defense Attorney
A New Jersey medical resident defense attorney can help you in a number of ways when you're facing discipline or even dismissal. Mr. Lento and his experienced team understand that medical residents often need an advocate who can clearly articulate their needs to the board through thoughtful and deliberate negotiation. In his vast experience defending medical residents, Mr. Lento has negotiated with all parties, including the hospital office general counsel to reach a satisfactory resolution or to avoid litigation. To learn how the Lento Law Firm can help you, call 888-535-3686 today, or contact us online.