Medical Student Defense at UC Davis School of Medicine

Established in 1966, the UC Davis School of Medicine (UCD SOM) is among California's most competitive and prestigious medical schools. UCD SOM consistently ranks among the top US schools for patient care training and research – a ranking it takes pride in and reinforces through a rigorous curriculum. Medical students graduating from UCDSOM have multiple opportunities for career growth and placement, whether it's in the school's network of hospitals or research centers. However, with a behavioral misconduct charge or academic underperformance, students may not graduate on time.

It's no secret that medical school comes with multiple responsibilities, many of which can overwhelm even the most diligent student. The constant pressure causes some to falter, and their performance and behavior suffer. However, medical school administrations cannot tolerate academic and behavioral issues, imposing sanctions that impede student progress and add more stress in their lives.

Without the proper guidance, medical students may find themselves at the mercy of an unforgiving panel that strips them of their dream of becoming a doctor.

Code of Conduct and Ethical Values at UCSDOM

The medical field differs from other professions in that it deals with people's lives and their health and requires trust. Personal and social responsibility are the byproducts of a future physician's school training. UCS DOM prides itself on educating future medical professionals who demonstrate strong values, expecting students to maintain principles of integrity, excellence in conduct, accountability, and respect. The Standards of Ethical Conduct outline the compliance requirements expected by the administration.

In the policy, the statement of ethical values maintains that:

“Members of the University of California community are committed to the highest ethical standards in furtherance of our mission of teaching, research, and public service. We recognize that we hold the University in trust for the people of the State of California. Our policies, procedures, and standards provide guidance for application of the ethical values in our daily life and work as members of this community.”

The Office of Support and Judicial Affairs handles all matters related to social/behavioral misconduct at UCSDOM. Students who violate the code of conduct may face sanctions that include dismissal and permanent discharge from campus. Disciplinary issues receive a preliminary review by the OSSJA, which notifies the student of the alleged infraction and decides the appropriate resolution process. Three types of resolution processes exist; Informal Resolutions, Unilateral Action, or a formal hearing.


In some cases, it's not the student's behavior that is an issue but their academic performance. UCS DOM works with students who are lagging academically, providing an opportunity for remediation and continuing enrollment in their programs. Remediation pathways are available through the Committee on Student Promotions.

Failing students receive probationary status, with restrictions on extracurricular activities. Once the committee determines that the student's performance is satisfactory, they are no longer on probation and continue to the next phase of their program. Although it may be inconvenient for students to take on extra work, remediation is the only way to remain at UCSDOM when academic performance needs work.

Dismissal and Expulsion

Only reserved for egregious behavioral and academic infractions, dismissal and expulsion cause the most damage to a medical student's progress and reputation. Students facing dismissal must contact an advisor to help fight against such damaging sanctions since they can potentially deter a student from continuing medical school. Some of the issues that students face with a permanent dismissal include:

  • Re-enrollment challenges. A permanent dismissal is akin to an academic death sentence for some students. Those with a note on their permanent records will find difficulties in re-enrollment. Prestigious medical schools have a low acceptance rate, and admissions officers prefer students with a clean history instead of a potentially problematic one.
  • Time and effort lost. It takes years for students to become doctors and double the effort to keep up with medical school curricula. Expelled students have to start over if they want to pursue the same degree, delaying their professional career.
  • Increase in financial pressure. Medical school costs run in the thousands of dollars, not including personal expenses and accommodations. Expelled students must pay extra and unexpected funds that place them in debt.
  • Reputation damage. In the professional world, reputation matters. In the medical world, doubly-so. Students who don't demonstrate professional conduct while in medical school may find that their reputation precedes them when it's time for professional placement.

Medical schools have a reputation to maintain and enforce such rigid standards to prepare their students for a physician's life rigors. However, some allegations are false or baseless but affect the student's life permanently. The repercussions of dismissal come at a heavy price that has long-term impacts on their careers. The extra effort is not worth it for some students, and they stop pursuing a medical degree altogether.

Without the help of an attorney advisor, students risk losing more than a semester – they might potentially lose their future careers.

Hiring an Attorney-Advisor

Behavioral misconduct and sluggish academic performance can be detrimental to a student's graduation prospects. However, lapses in judgment and allegations unsupported by evidence should not be the end of a student's potential medical career. Moreover, college administrations aren't immune to making mistakes, and procedural errors are more common than people realize. With so much on the line, students need someone with thorough procedural knowledge backed by experience.

Although some students assume that they can handle allegations alone, an attorney advisor identifies mishandled investigations processes before they become unresolvable issues. Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento works with medical students nationwide, understanding what's at stake and passionately working with them towards a favorable outcome.

Whether it's to file an appeal or address allegations before they become unmanageable, help is ready. Advisor Lento works tirelessly to fight for student rights, helping them overcome this stressful time in their lives.

If you or a loved one faces academic issues or professional misconduct allegations at UCSDOM, don't wait to speak to a professional. Call Lento Law Firm today for a thorough consultation at 888-535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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